Tuesday, November 18, 2008

He's either got a future on stage or perhaps insurance fraud. Tale of a Toddler.

Short Stuff, as I have mentioned, is something of a clever monkey and we keep a close eye on his actions lest he, I don't know, disassemble the television or something.

He is, at this point, proficient with stairs unless he gets distracted, but for safety is not permitted to be on them alone. The following incident has occurred three separate times:

The J was playing with his assortment of cars and trucks in the family room while I loaded the dishwasher. Our house has an open floor plan, so the kitchen and family room are kind of like one long room. After a minute or so, he silently got up and trotted down the hallway towards the front door and the stairs. I followed to see him sit down on the bottom step, nodding to himself. Seemingly lost in thought, he patted the carpeted stair and nodded again. Then he bent at the waist and leeeeeaaned forward slowly, until he slid off of his seat and was lying on his stomach a the base of the stairs.

Then, he lifted one leg up behind him and placed it on the stairs. The action was repeated for the other leg, after which he spread both arms out to the side and then put his face straight down.

And then? He began to moan and groan.

If I had not stood there watching this entire set-up, I would certainly have assumed he'd fallen on the stairs and apparently that was EXACTLY what Short Stuff was thinking.

"Nice show," I told him, "You do know I was watching the whole time, right? Cut the drama, silly man."

And he scrambled up and giggled and ran off to play some more.

Don't ask me where he got the idea to do this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Managing my stress is stressing me out. But who's hungry??

Some people manage their stress through meditation or crying or painting or racquetball or eating or drinking or whatever. Me? I am prone to handling stress in two ways. If its the minor-but-annoying sort of stress, I dye my hair. If its the I-think-my-head-is-about-to-pop-off-and-roll-down-the-hall kind, I go crazy in the kitchen.

This weekend? Was a go crazy kind of couple of days.

It resulted in two batches of snickerdoodles, lemon lamb ragout over noodles, meat pie, chicken soup with homemade spaetzle, roasted and pureed butternut squash, sweet potato pudding and buttermilk biscuits.

And although this made everyone else delighted, it wound up creating three dishwasher loads of dishes, plus all the things that needed to be handwashed, sweeping up the flour I spilled and cleaning the counters 9 times.

And I seriously need to wash the kitchen floor now.

I need to find some way to manage my stress that doesn't make more work for me.


Also... Short Stuff has been sick this weekend. Not surprising, since I caught the current office plague midweek last week and it knocked me on my tush. Friday night started off badly, my husband and I getting into a rolicking, loud, painful argument after J was asleep that resulted in bitterness and hurt feelings... a horrible, wet sounding coughing from Short Stuff's room around midnight put the argument to rest for good as we both responded to his whimpers. Now, I know better than to stand behind both horses and cows. You'd think by now I would have also learned not to stand behind my husband when he picks up a sick child. Alas, both for J and me, he was immediately sick to his stomach. What is it about motherhood that turns you into someone that might once have covered your eyes in horror at a hangnail, but now lets you embrace a whimpering child without flinching at the vomit coating both of you?

Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep after that. By the end of the weekend, we had to make a trip to the after-hours pediatrician and Short Stuff has a humdinger of a raging ear infection and strep. My poor monkey has not had a good weekend.

But the only part of it he's complained about? The part that distresses him to the core? Not the high fevers, not the pain in his head, not the coughing that kept him up all night. Nope. He's horrified and I mean absolutely APPALLED by the fact that he's gotten "boogies." "Is TEWWIBLE!!" he tells me, waving his hands around for added emphasis. Go figure.

And after all that, the thing I felt most like doing was cooking. Clearly, the stress is getting to me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oops, all fresh out of supposedly witty titles.

Rock on with myself. But I have a working, REALLY working, computer of my own now AND a internet-capable cell phone where the keypad is not peeling away and the keys really work. It bites when most of your communication tools take a flying leap at the same time. I had to resort to my old standbys... smart mouth, mostly. It didn't get me far.

Mom's finished her radiation and first round of chemo and had her first surgrey on Halloween. She came home from the hospital last week and is doing well, all things considered. The surgeon said he was very pleased at the outcome of the surgery and he's pretty certain he got it all. For now, she recovers before the next round of chemo.

Friday, August 22, 2008

In which we learn something...

When I arrived at mom's with dinner (slow-cooked apple-glazed pork loin, roasted ginger cinnamon butternut squash and roasted asparagus. Did I mention I handle stress with saucepans??) tonight, she was looking solemn. (also annoyed)

"I learned something important today," she announced.
"Do tell," says I.
"well... if you spend your days having your ass end nuked, and they tell you that Pampers Ultra Sensitive Wipes will make your daily business more pleasant? They are lying."
"Ohhhhkay."
"And do you know WHY?"
"Um. I am afraid to guess."
"I will tell you. It is because whatever is in the damn things leaves a film. Like baby oil. BABY OIL. Which serves to amplify the radiation and if you thought your parts were burned before???"

She trailed off, looking really, really pissed.

Boy is it hard to think of a response to a greeting like that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

reboot

We're in Week Three of chemo & radiation in CancerLand out here and it reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally bites. Mom's holding up, I guess, but I've discovered something that feels worse than seeing your child weeping. Moms can comfort their children, making things "all better" with a hug and a kiss and maybe a Hello Kitty bandaid.

But when YOUR mom suddenly dissolves into tears? There just ain't enough Hello Kitty bandaids on the market to make that all better.

She's trying to keep hold of her sense of humor. Surgery looks to happen in October, and she'll have to have a temporary ostomy while she heals. Can't say she's looking forward to that, but my daughter (who has clearly inherited the family twisted humor) has promised to knit her an ostomy cozy. (Like a tea cozy. Only.... not.) She was going to make an octopus, but between the two of them, they decided an octopus was not suitably vile enough to fit the purpose and they have settled on a remora.

It's funny how your whole world can abruptly narrow down to The Disease and its eradication. Ok, its not funny at all, but you get the idea. Still, there are moments of hilarity in which we think we might get through this. For instance, she's opted for the continual infusion pump for her chemo. The port was surgically inserted into her chest, and she has a bag that holds her chemo. Every 2 minutes, it sends another burst of chemicals through the tubes and when it does, it makes a little squeaking noise.

Her cats? Think there's a mouse in that bag. They have spent the last three weeks trying like hell to find that damned mouse. We cannot seem to convince them otherwise.


* * *


My cousin was married this past weekend and mom was unable to go so the rest of us drove out to attend. As late as Friday, I still had nothing to wear, and dashed into a local TJ Maxx on my lunch break. As luck would have it, I actually found a possible dress and squeezed myself into their absurdly small changing rooms to try it on. I must admit that although I was wearing a good suit, underneath of it I was hardly dressed for success. My unmentionables were of a caliber that would probably inspire more laughter than racing hearts... but I had no plans to share them with the general public, so whatever. I'm confident that many a woman out there has done the same thing around Laundry Day.

So the dress appears to fit and I get it zipped most of the way... tug. tug. Oops. Huh. I can't seem to get it to move. Tug. Tug. Tug tug tug TUG. Aw hell. I try and unzip and.... nothing. Nada. It's stuck. I'M stuck. Tug tug tug yank tug. I am really really stuck.

I manage to snake one arm out without dislocating my shoulder, and contort myself and the fabric enough to see that the zipper is actually broken, and as I zipped it up, it was coming open beneath the zipper pull. Yep. I am well and truly stuck and will need assistance to get out of this.

I hold the bodice up and go in search of the 18 year old attendant. We do not fit into this little closet of a changing room together, so the girl stands in the open door and starts yanking on the zipper for all she is worth. I am trying not to fall on my butt, because this girl has got some serious upper body strength and I'm close to flying backward with every attempt she makes.

Finally, she gives one last savage yank on that zipper and it practically FLEW downward. And so, alas.... did the dress. She exerted so much force on that last pull, not only did she rip that broken zipper open, it pulled the dress clear OFF of me and it fell onto the floor.

Just as three women entered the dressing area.

And there I stand, trying to gather the shreds of my dignity.

Go figure.


* * *

Also? I don't think I hear myself thinking, lately. Mostly I just get this high-pitched humming noise that could possibly indicated that I've shorted out my brain. Overload. Syntax error, does not compute. In the family roles, I've apparently been cast as the worker bee, the "fixer", the problem solver.

I CAN'T FIX THIS AND IT PISSES ME OFF MIGHTILY.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In Which She Attempts to Channel her Inner Martha Stewart and Winds Up with Jerry Lewis

Since mom has been ill, I've been pitching in by cooking their dinners. It's no trouble, since I find it just as easy to cook for five as three and its especially important as we battle stage 3 cancer, that she keeps to a healthy diet.

Which sets the stage recently for a planned meal of herbed pork loin chops, roasted new potatoes, steamed sugar snap peas and a wilted spinach salad with organic balsamic dressing.

And therein lay my trouble.

Now, mom has allergies to msg and sulfites, so finding a balsamic dressing without them is not an easy task and I was not up to the chore of making one from scratch. (I know. Major demerit on the Martha scale.) But I found one - Annie's Organic - and decided I was good to go.

This was a brand-new bottle, plucked by the store shelf by Yours Truly. Unopened... with a plastic sheath sealing the top of the bottle. This is key.

I think this also what's known as foreshadowing but what the hey. We're going with it.

Anyway, I peeled away the plastic seal and flipped the bottle over to blend the contents as the balsamic vinegar had settled to the bottom. Flip down and flip back up and....

You know, somebody at Annie's Organics bottling plant gets a big fat FAIL in my book. I do not expect to have to check whether the cap of an UNOPENED bottle to see if it is firmly screwed into place. And so it was that as I flipped the bottle upright, the cap flew off and three-quarters of the contents erupted out of the bottle in a balsamic geyser of epic proportions.

The velocity caused the deluge of dressing to kind of spread itself out in midair and it seemed to hang there like something out of The Matrix long enough for me to realize that things were about to get very messy and there was not one dang thing I could do to prevent it.

Time returned to its normal speed as cold vinaigrette splattered onto my head, all across both sides of the kitchen, the stove, down my shirt... there was balsamic vinaigrette in my BRA.

The sound of the splatter drew my daughter and parents out to the kitchen to behold my fragrant disaster. To her credit, my daughter started helping me clean up the mess with just a bare hint of a smirk.

Cooking with Gerbil... kind of like vaudeville dinner theatre.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's all about the numbers

1 diagnosis.
3 weeks of emotion from all sides.
8 doctor's appointments.
1 round of chemo lasting 40 days.
3 choices of how to receive the chemo drugs.
0 prescription drug coverage.
4570 in cash for the chemo pills
5 trips to the hospital weekly to recieve chemo injections
1 decision to use the implantable continuous infusion pump
1 procedure to insert the pump
15 days of external radiation following chemo
1 surgery to resect the bowel, with a stoma and temporary ostomy
30 days of adjuvant chemo
1 surgery to reattach everything
7 days of meals to prepare
1 entire house to be scrubbed down
10 skeins of yarn to finish the ''chemo blanket'' my daughter asked me to help knit
25 years since I last held knitting needles.
8 gazillion deep breaths.
1 pair of 'big girl panties' that I keep yanking up so I can keep my 'game face' on.
6 million tears my mother is trying very hard not to let anyone see

all comes down to 64.


64 percent.


Our chances of a 5 year survival.



Sure, better odds than Vegas. Still a little overwhelming.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lather, Rinse... oh my.

The heck with good days. How can you tell if your toddler had a GREAT day???






Look closely. Very closely.




The lighting is bad but that is ONE DAY'S DIRT, washed off of His Shortness just barely a half-hour ago.


Now excuse me, please. I gotta go get the scrub brush. Again.


No wonder that child was asleep five minutes after his bath!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Answers

Somewhere, I once read that God answers all prayers, but sometimes the answer is no.



She's got colon cancer.



Although its a large mass and fully blocking the intestine, it hasn't metastasized. They can't stage it until she's had an endoscopic ultrasound to determine how far its penetrated the intestinal wall.

So she'll start with chemo to shrink the tumor and hopefully kill the cancer cells before she has surgery.

Who knew that a horrific case of food poisoning could possibly save a life? But for a popular fast-food meal on her way out to Aunt F's funeral - she of the cabbages - my mother would have suspected nothing. She had no pain, no symptoms... she's young. But that fast-food meal was bad, and the distress it caused didn't go away and her doctor became worried.

And so she had to have a colonoscopy, which we are learning, freaks people out enough that they refuse to consider having one.
But she relented, so she has the chance to beat this.

And now that the worst shock is over with, we can plan our attack.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Waiting.

For what seems like forever, I waited.

First, it was to learn if my son had accumulated enough credits.

Then, to be certain he'd passed the last math course.

And last, for the DAY.

And then this past wednesday, my son graduated high school and my heart almost broke with pride and relief. Its been one hell of a fight to get him back on his feet and back on his way. The wait was so worth it.


And now I'm waiting again, for different answers, answers to darker questions.

My mother had a colonoscopy the very same day and they found a mass. They did a biopsy and a CT scan and told her its genetic, but because of her medications, she can't remember what they referred to. We know she'll require surgery, whatever is going on.

So.

Its kind of draining, going from one emotional extreme to the other, back and forth. Forgive me if I'm a little distracted this past week.

I'll be sitting over here, waiting.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let's see now...

When Short Stuff and I get home in the afternoons, I'm more than ready to ditch the business suit and pantyhose in favor of frumpwear... er, clothing more suited to racing around like a lunatic with a gleeful toddler.

Since the toddler in question is lightning quick and climbs like the monkeys he loves, its better to bring him into the bedroom with me while I change.

Unless you happen to be standing there in your unmentionables as you're trying to get your pantyhose off and you hear the whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr of the venetian blinds being yanked skyhigh... the venetian blinds which normally prevent anyone walking past the front of the house from being able to see into your bedroom.

And you drop to the floor in a horrified crouch and crawl toward the the window cord as your child waves frantically with one hand as he pounds on the window with the other to get the attention of the Perfectly Polished group of Uber Mommies strolling past with their perfectly groomed perfectly perfect dogs.



Pride of the neighborhood, that's me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Short Stuff can count to twelve (depending, of course, on whether he wants to), which has become part of the bath time routine, counting the stairs as we go. If he's in a good mood, you can ask him what number comes next and he will tell you. If he's in a GREAT mood, he will give you answers such as "What comes after five?"
"Ohhh. Hmm. Grandma."

He and I are on our own for most of the weekend, since my husband is valiantly trying to complete the work on his property. I find that nearly every single time, Short Stuff is the cure for what ails ya. We began our morning in bed with our cups... mine a stoneware mug of strong coffee, his a sturdy sippy of soy milk. Neither of us speaking, just leaning into each other and a vast mound of pillows. What a great way to start the morning.


My parents found a vintage Radio Flyer bicycle and this thing has to be the smallest two-wheeler EVER. They refurbished it and brought it over tonight and Short Stuff is infatuated with this thing. He spent the better part of the evening climbing on and off of this thing like a monkey. Since I knew they were bringing the bike over, I took his Shortness to Target this morning to shop for bike helmets. I knew he had a generously-sized cranium but good lord. Toddler sizes did NOT fit. We now have a gorilla-sized bike helmet and a rinky-dinky bike. Seriously, the training wheels on this thing are smaller than my palm.





We also had to find a new pair of shoes for someone, since his disappeared at the sitter's during the week. She has torn her house upside down trying to find them, and on Friday, we think we maybe have figured out where they went... seems a certain somebody has figured out how to work her kitchen trash can, reeeeeaaaaally quietly while Sitter is getting lunch on the table. How do we know this? Because she discovered her TV remote control in the trash can and J has been fascinated with the concept of trash. Ah well, he was about to grow out of them anyway.



Sitter really had a tough week. Did I mention that we had the Dreaded Fingerpainting Episode? Medium of choice was NOT paint. He got the wall, every inch of the pack and play, the floor, the other wall, himself, more of himself, even more of himself, ohmylorddidyouROLLinit??, the books, the bedding... and when I arrived to pick him up, he was very pleased to announce that "I POOP!!" The poor sitter looked like she needed a drink.

I could use one myself. Although we had a fabulous day, I swear he has more energy than both of his siblings ever did... and that's combined. I also discovered today that in the same amount of time it takes me to walk from the family room to the kitchen table to set down a cup, the little monkey dude can scale a seven foot bookcase. From behind the Super Yard Gate, no less.

I'm beginning to suspect that I might need to consider hiding my car keys.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Fabulous. The FIOs issue still isn't fixed, and I'm still trying to read, comment and post using buttons about the size of your average pillbug, on a screen about 1.5 inches tall. If, after 15 phone calls, the issue is not resolved tomorrow afternoon, I am going to be sorely tempted to freak out.

Anyway.

I'm in a funk.

For one, I took a risk and well... I don't think you can say it failed, since I got up the guts to try, but it didn't have a happy ending. I attempted to extend an olive branch to someone who used to mean a lot to me and it was met with frozen silence.

I will have to accept this.

For two, there's a situation at work that's causing more tension and its required a lot of effort to sidestep and avoid being dragged into drama.

The rest of it really isn't worth mentioning. So I won't. And besides... fiddle-dee-dee, Scarlet, tomorrow is another day and all that.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This is only a test...

If this had been an actual emergency, you would have recieved further instruction. This is only a test. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.



So. My husband claims that he doesn't dream and never has. I maintain that he just doesn't remember them when he wakes. Except last night....

Apparently he had snuggled very close in the night. Cute, right? While he was cuddling up, he began dreaming that he was in a house with his friends. And it caught fire. And my husband, concerned for his friends' safety, screamed out warnings.

Except he really did shriek ''FIRE'' at the top of his lungs.

Two inches from my face. People, there is no sleeping through THAT. The flood of adreneline through my body was instant and effective. I was off that bed and bursting into our son's room, bent on rescue, before I realized that there was no problem beyond my husband's volume control.

I suppose its a bit unfair to be annoyed at him for a dream, but oh, couldn't he have dreamed about bringing the sleep-deprived wife coffee and chocolate instead?? And maybe a nice back rub?

I'm just going to count my blessings that he wasn't dreaming about stomping on spiders.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm

Now that I have returned to the Land of the Internet, I can shamelessly whore out some pictures of my cuties from our trip.

The drive out was educational. I learned many things, notably that Short Stuff really WON'T sleep in the car more than about 20 minutes, no matter how long the trip. (Or, as we learned from last summer's ill-fated drive to the beach, what time you make the drive. We left at midnight, thinking he'd sleep the whole way, right? Wrong. SO wrong.)

I also was reminded that he really hates holding still, and he fillibustered the entire way on The Evils of Carseats and Why He Should be Let Loose. And since he's still not mastered the english language, he held forth in the universal toddler language of Shriek.
Also? My daughter had PMS. What I won't do in pursuit of relaxation, hmm?


Judge for yourself if it was worth it.
That first morning came EARLY.

Sitting on the front porch with his sister...


playing a little zim zam...

And so is born his fascination with "trackers"
Long walks with his sister were great fun
As were the face-making episodes
Gardening with his grandmother
Relaxing? not one bit. But Short Stuff had an absolute BLAST. So it was worth it.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

As Nature Abhors a Vaccuum, so doth the Universe Abhor my Dignity

You may now find me hiding under my bed while I wait answer from the Witness Protection Program to see if they'll give me a new identity even though I haven't witnessed anything because this one? Is dangerous to my sanity.

Let's begin with this morning.


After much drama, we finally had Verizon install the FIOS today (the install still isn't complete because the order is screwed up AGAIN and can't be fixed til Monday but I now have TV and 'net. OMG. I already love FIOS).

My husband has been without tv and internet for a week and a half and its gotten on my last working nerve. the technician was scheduled to arrive at 8:00 because a certain husband thought that would be best. Never mind the fact that all of us were up frequently in the night and Short stuff normally gets up and eats breakfast at 8:00.

The house? Wrecked. WRECKED to the 15th power of OH SH*T. I get up and start zooming around performing the Dance of the Unfortunate Wife, speed-cleaning lest I suffer great embarrassment. I had been cleaning last night but didn't finish and our bedroom and my husband's office were the worst of the freaking lot, not helped by our being out of town and his frequent trips to work on his house. Stuff was flung everywhere like it was poo and this was the Monkey House at the National Zoo.

And so despite my pleading, husband forgets to do any kind of sweep. And then the guy arrives, woefully promptly, and I have not had a chance to fully restore the bedroom to presentable order when the tech arrives and i have to show him where the tvs are. I apologized pathetically for the mess.

But. It gets worse.

I fail to notice until AFTERWARD that there is two crumpled wrappers on the bureau in front of the TV. Two crumpled personal-type wrappers. REALLY personal. As in... prevention-of-siblings-for-Short Stuff kind of personal. My brain promptly short-circuited from mortification.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

(worse, those were not um... recent. Are you kidding? We're parents of a toddler. Given the choice between intimacy and sleep? Puhleeeeeese.)

I confront my husband furiously and he giggles like an idiot and says "Oh yeah, i found those behind my nightstand.''

Ever hear of a TRASHCAN, butthead???

After husband and child head off to Grandma's house for the weekend and internet and TV is restored, I head out to do my errands. Some of these errands took me back to the Land of the Big Red Dot.

Idiot pre-adolescent girls were apparently playing VOLLEYBALL in the aisle. And they MISSED. Well, sort of. They nailed me smack in the back of the skull. My inner curmudgeon erupted.

Let me just say that it doth not take a village to scare the living lights out of 3 foolish girls. It only takes One Angry Gerbil, who can do a fairly accurate imitation of Krakatoa when a volleyball is unexpectedly applied to her coconut.

But wait.

So now I'm heading home in a torrential rainstorm. Visibility has been reduced to "Are you joking??" and I'm heading carefully at reduced speeds. However, I have my window cracked because my stomach is feeling slightly touchy and something about having the window open keeps it from getting worse.

Except that an extremely large SUV came barrelling past on the left, and hit some standing water, sending up an impressive rooster tail of storm water.

Which flooded into my open window and hit me full in the head and neck and drenched me but good.

I give up. I think I'm going back to bed now, before I'm attacked by a mob of squirrels on a sugar rush, or something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Riddle me this.

Why is it... I go away for a long weekend to my mom's farm where there is no internet (not even cell reception) and no tv and that is relaxing.


I come home and there is no internet and no tv...



and that is a crisis.






Irony, party of two? Your table is ready.




No service until Saturday. My husband is losing his mind.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Um.

We moved into our current house last May, and while we are friendly with the neighbors on either side, we don't know anyone else. That's not so uncommon for this area, and honestly, we are usually quite busy. We're also one of only two houses on this particular stretch of road.

But someone apparently has been paying some attention to who WE are.

I arrived home with Short Stuff, and crammed under my front door is a religious tract. (Let me be clear - I am not against mission work, so long as one respects my polite response that I am happy with my faith and leaves it at that. In my view, the world is large enough for all. )

But this particular tract, and the accompanying note, is written entirely in Korean. (but no signature, mind you)

And as my husband is Korean, this is very clearly targeted specifically to our family. And its clearly not from anyone who knows us, because my husband knows very little Korean and he definitely doesn't read it.

What in the heck...

I am a bit put off, to tell you the truth, because I'm not exactly certain how this group found out that my husband is Korean in the first place, especially considering his last name is anglicized. And its not a group that any of his family have ever belonged to.

Someone's been prying, it seems. Oh boy does THAT bother me.


Also....

We're having FIOS installed next week. (which with our 'computer' is kind of like getting a Ferrari so you can haul your trash to the dump. but anyway.)

As part of the package deal, we're getting the FIOS tv, too. The same analogy may apply, but I wasn't too heartbroken at giving up the Direct TV. Now in comparison to Comcast? Direct TV was my darling... I adored them. Except for one problem... losing the signal in bad weather.

Tonight, Direct TV called to query about our service cancellation. I explained the package deal with FIOS.

'we can offer you a better deal!'
'There's also the issue that we lose the signal every time it rains. Sort of an issue when there's a tornado warning you need.'
'we'll send someone to fix that!'
'You... what??'
'We'll send a technician to fix it! Immediately!'
'You can't.'
'Sure we can!'
'Okay, I don't want to argue with you but I don't think you're grasping the problem. How are you going to fix atmospheric conditions interfering with the satellite signal reception??? Does Mikos Cassadine* work for y'all over there??'
'Huh?'
'Never mind.'
'We don't want to lose your business! We'll call you in a few days.'

Great. So now Direct TV is shaping up to be the boyfriend/girlfriend you can't break up with.




And in case you wondered? The bird is still at it and now my entire front door and two windows are covered in beak marks.





** Two points if you got the joke.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Now that's just Bull.

Short Stuff and I were on our own this weekend and he was in fine form. Despite cutting another troublesome molar, he was running in fifth gear from the moment his feet hit the floor in the morning until his head hit the mattress at night.

We went out on Saturday to run errands and while trying to cross from the curb at one of the dreaded warehouse stores, we were very nearly run over by some jerk who decided that speeding up so that I had to jump back was hysterical. Mind you, this wasn't a teenager, either, it was a guy well into his fifties, driving a very expensive Mercedes. And just as he shot past me with that smirk on his face?

He hit a pothole he wasn't looking at and he blew a tire.

And I? Turned and said loudly ''Your mother would have told you it served you right for being an ass!''

Good Lord, one of these days I might get my butt kicked but I laaaaaaaaughed all the way to the car.


The rest of the weekend was a jubilant blur of running toddler feet and the excitement of being! almost! two! and! everythings! fun!!

We watched a Baby Einstein dvd about farms and everytime the cow puppet or the illustration appeared, Shortness yelled ''Booooool!''

At first I thought he was saying moo. ''That's a cow'. I said, nodding, "And the cow says mooo.''

''No! Boool!''

Lather, rinse, repeat. And then it dawned on me. Puppet, illustration... NO UDDERS. Bull.

He's right, its not a cow, its a bull.

Dang. Forget being smarter than a fifth grader, I'm not even smarter than a guy not yet two!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tell me everything.

My daughter came down for a visit tonight. She's been having problems with vertigo, so my husband picked her up on his way home and I told her I'd drive her home.

It was getting kind of late, so we stopped off at a convenience store for a cup of coffee. I was stirring my usual gazillion creamers into my cup of caffeinated goodness when a woman not much older than me approached the coffee bar and struck up a cheerful conversation.

''I thought I was the only person who drank coffee this late!.' she chirped.

''Nope,'' says I. ''Love the stuff.''

''Oh me too, me too. Had to give it up though, doctor told me I had to. I got right sick on Mother's Day. ''

''Really? I'm sorry to hear it.''

''I don't think it was the coffee that did it, though. My intestines, they twisted all up! Couldn't pass a damn thing!''

Now, all my life I've noticed that people feel compelled to tell me the most unexpected and often outrageous things. An older friend once remarked that I've ''heard confessions that would make a crack whore blush for shame.''

Not knowing any crack whores, personally, I've never been able to prove her theory. But anyway, my daughter made a funny noise but the woman went on, still as chipper as she could be.

''Yeah, they tell me I could have died!! It's a bad thing, I tell ya. A woman I worked with had it too and they had to cut her leg off! She couldn't pass a thing neither and she got gangrene! I'm tellin' ya, if you can't go, better go to the doctor and make sure your intestines are ok. I coulda got gangrene!!''

People, it is damn hard to make a graceful exit from a random conversation about gangrenous intestinal torsions. I could think of only one thing to say.

''Good talking to you. I do hope everything comes out okay in the end.''

But I didn't say it. You could say... I didn't have the guts. But I wisished her well and she beamed and waved goodbye to us as we left.

I waited until we got in the car and then I told my daughter. She smacked me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Huh?

I look forward to Wednesday's paper because of the Food section that runs weekly, with recipes, wine reviews and other fun stuff that makes a kitchen geek like me happy. The weekly sales flyers for local groceries are usually in Wednesday's paper as well. I just glanced at the Safeway flyer which boldly proclaims a GRAND RE-OPENING of one particular store nenearby.

Trouble is? That is - no joke - I think the seventh 'grand reopening' for this same store in the last 15 months. Why can't they just run a flyer that says Big Sale instead of touting a chronic case of GRAND REOPENING. Can't be too grand if it takes you seven tries to get it right. This irks me enough that I don't want to shop there.



This morning, my headache seemed more determined than ever and whenever I stood up, I felt sick and dizzy. It decided that it would be wiser to stay home and rest than to get behind the wheel of my car and risk a problem.

At roughly 9 am, someone knocked on the front door. I got out of bed and opened the door.... no one was there. And wouldn't you know it, no sooner had I gotten back into bed than the knocking repeated.

Again... no one at the door. I stepped onto the porch and looked around. There wasn't even anyone on the street.

About the fifth incident, I yanked that door open fast as heck and glimpsed a flurry of brown feathers streaking into the bush. Go figure.

All day long, a dang sparrow has done battle with the storm door and the side windows like he's got a starring role in Hitchcock's classic. Nothing I have tried has dissuaded this feathered Don Qixote and he's still at it even now. I hope he has a headache to rival mine, that's all I can say.

All I wanted was a long nap but I got a woodpecker-wannabe instead.

Mother Nature's on my short list today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This blows

Last night, Short Stuff was happily playing in his bath when he looked up and noticed the showerhead. 'Dat?' he wanted to know, so I told him and gave a simple description of a shower.

He looked down and considered this. Then he pointed at the faucet and in an unsure voice said 'bath?'

'Yes', I told him. That's where the water comes out for your bath.'

He pointed up at the shower and said 'Daddy', then at the faucet and said 'me! me!'

'Yes, Daddy takes a shower and Jacob takes a bath.' Grand communication all around! He then proceeded to dump water over his head with his toy watering can, giggling 'Daddy!' as he pretended to shower like Daddy. All was sunshine and roses until he lifted his face and managed to pour water right up his nose.

I lifted him out of the tub and wrapped him in a towel as he flapped frantically at his face. I held up a tissue but he batted it away.
'Blow your nose,' I told him and snorted air to remind him what to do. He snatched the tissue away and held it to my nose instead. Getting nowhere fast, I turned to reach for the nasal aspirator tha was sitting on the counter, saying 'Jacob, you need to blow your nose!'

No sooner had those words left my mouth than Short Stuff leaned into my collarbone and blew his nose, exactly as I told him he should... long and hard, straight into my shirt.



Consider the role of Mom.

Cook, doctor, housekeeper, entertainer, peacemaker, librarian.






Handkerchief.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Great Mother's Day Debacle

Debacle. (noun) The American Heritage dictionary defines it as both a total, often ludicrous defeat and also a violent flood. Both shall apply.

If you've seen the Weather Channel recently, you may know that the Washington DC region has been a bit soggy. Waterlogged, even. People, it has been damn wet. Now, I'm perfectly aware that as far as unfortunate weather goes, we're getting off a lot easier than an awful lot of people.

But its still not a treat to find out that your basement is going to try and moonlight as a fishpond, especially if a good portion of your treasured gazillion and one books happen to be down there. We noticed a puddle seeping across the floor last thursday, but it was easily contained and besides, we were sort of having a possible tornado about 2 miles down the road.

Yesterday, however, we got six inches of rain in a single day. Short Stuff was visiting my husband's parent while my poor husband was trying to finish up the work on his rental property, which decided he wasn't overworked enough and sprang a big leak in the skylight. I told him not to worry about doing a Mother's Day dinner with me, that leak had to be dealt with before it ruined the drywall. Besides, my parents, youngest sister and my older son were coming over so I'd have a good time anyway.

We had just finished up supper and my son went downstairs to check the basement. Unfortunately, it was leaking again, much worse than last week. I ran to get some towels and he got a pushbroom to sweep water into the sump pump. (because 30 years of settling house has resulted in the side of the basement with the pump being ever so slightly UPhill from the leaking side) I see that the window well is full of water, which points to a problem with the gutter.

I grab a hoodie and go outside to survey the problem. Apparently, last week's storm blew a bunch of stuff onto the roof and it has now clogged the gutter, which is sending cascades of water down into and around the window well and contributing significantly to Lake Basement. I can't do anything about the gutter at the moment but I grabbed Jacob's plastic wading pool and used it to cover the window well, hoping to divert the water. Feeling clever in the face of a problem, I turned to go back to the house.

You know how sometimes when you fall, it seems like slow motion? And you have time to consider how badly the impact is going to hurt? Well, that did not happen. The very next thing I was aware of was the back of my skull bouncing off of the ground. I guess both feet slid out from under me in a spectacular failure of bipedal action and I had to have gotten some impressive lift because it was my head that struck the ground first, followed by the rest of ragdoll me.

son of a... OUCH. I? left a dent in the water-soaked ground. Not a big one but still.. And then I had to roll onto my stomach and push myself up since I'd knocked myself damn silly. Utterly soaked and covered in mud, I made it back into the house and staggered into a wall as an encore. And it was raining hard anough that no one even heard me yell.

So now I have a whopping headache, a mild concussion, a bruised arm and a bruised butt. But my books are dry and by golly, tonight I'm going to bed with a glass of wine and look into what I might need to do to change my name to Grace and get it over with.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Also...

For the last few weeks, I've struggled with something and argued with myself over whether it really deserved my attention, much less anyone else's. Is it an actually an issue for me, or am I just whining?

And each and every time, I told myself that I was whining and put the thought back on the figurative shelf... upon which it fell off and rolled in front of me again. So I'm thinking that I probably ought to take a good look at it and get to know it a little better.

We've all had friendships that went away. Sometimes there's a big, ugly incident that triggers a blowout and the bridge to that friendship is effectively dynamited right out of existence. And sometimes they just sort of wither slowly until you realize with surprise that you're looking at a friendship that's got about as much life to it as that Christmas Pointsettia that you put in the sunroom and forgot about and now its dried out and cracks into withered pieces when you touch it. Sometimes you just don't know what the hell happened.

I've apparently been "fired" from some long-term friendships over the last few years... one for noticing that the friendship had gotten painfully one-sided and having had the balls to say "wow, this really hurts". And with that, what I thought was a close friendship of more than 25 years was freaking gone. Oh. Way to define my value in THAT relationship. Yikes. Okay, squirt on some emotional bactine and carry on. Only a flesh wound.

A couple others where contact ceased abruptly. Emails no longer answered, phone calls go unanswered, messages unreturned. There's really not a lot to do beyond acceptance, and you know, I think at some point in our lives we all go through this experience. Growth happens. And sometimes parts of the old you don't fit anymore or are worn out. It happens.

But it got me thinking about the value of friendships to ME.

Although I am welcoming of new persons into my life, I appear to have this stumbling block about forming new bonds. I am perfectly content to refer to someone as my friend but reluctant to think that I, myself, might be friend-worthy. I was a painfully shy kid and teenager who wanted to make those around her comfortable and happy. Occasionally, this made me an easy mark for the self-styled Alphas and that sort of reinforced the shyness. I'm pretty certain that's where it started, and a failed and unfortunate first marriage didn't help matters all that much.

But at the same time, it also made me appreciate the few close friendships I formed and as the Divine Ms. M has been known to say, I love these people on bagels.

There are a few people with whom I have been friends with now for more than twenty-odd years and some less than that and some I've never seen in person.

They will tell me if I screw up or if I piss them off. They will give me honest opinions when I ask for them, even if I don't like the answer. They will tell me what I need to hear, not just what I WANT to hear.

These women will answer the phone at midnight and hold my hand through the direst of times. They were there when my daughter's illness emerged and she tried to take her life, my heart exploding into a million crystal pieces of pain. They gathered the pieces for me.

They were there when my son fell from grace and developed addictions to alcohol and marijuana, like others in his family tree. Their hands helped hold me up as I struggled to get him help whether he wanted it or not. Their hands held mine when I was the one to dial the number for the police.

And their hands applauded when we finally made it through and he put himself back on track, clean, sober and determined not to fall again.

Their hands cleaned my house when I lay dangerously ill with pre-eclampsia (they cleaned my house!!! The whole thing.) They phoned me and emailed me when I was hospitalized early to keep my spirits up. They sent me fabulous handmade hilarities to distract me. And when my youngest son was born prematurely, I didn't even need to call. All of them, they were already there.

Some of them are mothers themselves, some are not.

But all of them have mothered my heart and soul through the best and worst of times and for each and every one of them, I would walk barefoot on glass.

And for them, especially, I am also wishing them a Happy Mothers Day because there isn't a Better Friend than I Deserve Day. Cheers, babes. I simply could not have done any of it without you.

Beyond rubies... all of you.

"Thank you Robert Smith!! Disintegration was the best album ever!!!"

If I ever doubted that I'm just not 20 anymore, the morning after a Cure concert is definitely a confirmation. My butt? Was dragging in the dirt. The concert was great although it was a little startling to see Robert Smith about 30 lbs heavier... why I unconsciously expected him not to have aged, I do not know. The only real downside to the concert was the acoustics of the Patriot Center, which caused just enough echo to muddy the sound. And oh yes, the pissed-off looking blonde chick sitting with Her Man next to us. She sulked and pouted through the whole thing and plunked this incredibly huge shiny black plastic purse (only half the size of a VW Bug) down and refused to move it should anyone have this misfortune to need to squeeze past her. I know that three persons finally deliberately stepped on the thing; someone should have punted it, really.

I actually considered it, but I was tottering in a pair of shoes borrowed from my friend (because I am SMRT, s-m-r-t), as I had forgotten mine and did not realize until we were getting ready to leave her house. I figured that attempting a field goal in heeled sandals was probably tempting fate. Also, it would be out of place to be aggressive and bitchy at a Cure concert, after all.

A highlight for me was actually checking out the crowd. There were some excellent Goth ensembles (I covet that one chick's pillbox hat. Truly.) and plenty of 40-somethings reliving our youth. There was one guy in a sports jacket and every time we looked at him, we had to grin because he was the HAPPIEST looking guy I think I have ever seen in my life. He looked like Drew Carey and he was completely, absolutely rocking out with a grin that never faded. It just made you happy to watch him.




Oh and... a certain friend has apparently been reading my blog because a box showed up at my door yesterday. A long cardboard box containing... (drum roll, please)





That's right. Stress Relief in a Box. A zim-zam game.

Said friend is now owed about a gazillion favors. Thank you to the power of about 23 trillion. I AM NOT WORTHY.





Oh and Happy Mothers Day to all.

Do not adjust your set, we are experiencing Technical Difficulties

Also? Between Blogspot & my stoooopid Motorola Q (or maybe its actually Sprint, I don't know), I have been having a terrible time posting comments on a large number of blogs. Lately, it especially seems to have issues with Wordpress and some templates. So if you don't see comments from me, I AM reading but its a toss-up whether I can leave you a note.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Why can't I be you?

That's not a question actually, it's me singing. Badly. The husband gave me my Mother's Day present already. Cure tickets for tonight's show at the Patriot Center. Color me ecstatic... also relieved since I found something to wear that ISN'T a business suit. (I asked my friend just what an aging, puffy Cure fan wears to the show, anyway. Her reply? ''Duh! BLACK!!!'' Oh right. my mistake.) And my coworkers have all been looking at me funny but that might be because I was singing Lullaby to myself when they came in.



and in the ''ExCUSE me????'' department...

As my friend Velocibadger says... sometimes the jokes just write themselves. A trio of Texas 17 years old are in a heaping mess of trouble. Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Robbing a 90 year old grave, stealing a skull AND MAKING A BONG OUT OF IT????? Not even my wisecracking teenager could think of a response to that news story, except to say faintly ''Wow. Bet their moms are proud.''

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'll take Women Who Need to Get a Grip for 500, Alex!

Short Stuff is watching one of his Baby Einstein dvds that he got from his grandmother - he prefers the one on shapes because he thinks the lion hand puppet is funny. The DVD also features some computer-generated characters, notably a box of crayons which jump out of their box and dance and run around. Three of the crayons have long eyelashes and three do not.

And there I sit with my son, and I catch myself muttering about the continuity errors in the BE episode because sometimes the yellow crayon has long eyelashes and sometimes it doesn't. I have to admit, that is an embarrassingly stupid thing to notice.


In addition, the house was stuffy when His Shortness and I arrived home. While my boy played, I took a few minutes to change out of my work clothes. I am definitely no fashion plate and my at-home wear could possibly be called frumptastic... if you were generous. I live in mortal fear of the What Not to Wear show.

Since I was hurrying, i grabbed the first things that came to hand, an old tshirt that shows too much (imaginary) cleavage and a pair of yoga shorts that i would not be caught dead wearing outside of the house...

Fast forward about 3 hours to my husband looking at me with a puzzled expression. ''Are you wearing those shorts like that on purpose?''

And I sighhhhhhhed. ''yeah, I know they're super short. I just needed to throw something on so I didn't sweat to death.''

''Um... I meant the fact that they're inside out.''

oh snap.

Its a wonder they let me cross the street by myself these days.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Commercials that make me angry

Most television commercials annoy me although rarely I'll find one that I like (The Dove commercials/ads using ''real'' women for example) or makes me snicker (Trunk monkey!! I WANT A TRUNK MONKEY!!).

But there's currently an ad for a roomba vacuum that I really do not like. The sarcastic 'mom' of the house is talking about why she needs her roomba because her kids are (shot of two piglets running down the stairs) and her husband is a (image of a donkey's hindquarters as seen through a doorway.)

An ass.

(Although to be specific, that shot would be an ass's ass, but anyway.)

We all have days, no doubt, where we think our spouse is indeed behaving like an ass (and that goes for us chicks too, lets face it. ).

But ... what the hell? Add to the commercial all the aggrieved sighing and eye-rolling she does. That doesn't make me want to run out and buy a vacuum, it makes me want to hand the woman a freaking Midol and a sympathy card to her 'family'. And I have a rather bent sense of humor...

Has that commercial actually made anyone laugh? Is it just me?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Boo

I went to bed early last night and was just sliding down into delicious sleep when an unusual noise caught my attention. It sounded sort of like very heavy breathing. 6 or 7 deep breaths and then quiet for about 15 seconds and then it repeated. My husband was downstairs watching a game, so I assumed it was Jacob and began to get up. The breathing sounded really odd for a sleeping toddler, so I figured I'd better check on him.

As I walked toward the door, I noticed that the baby monitor was not even turned on. Oooookay. That heavy breathing sound is still going. One notch up on the Creepy Scale.

I opened the bedroom door and stuck my head out into the hall. No noises. I turn around and take a few steps towards our bathroom and the breathing sound is perhaps a shade louder. And it seems to be coming from the direction of my husband's closet. Oh boy. Ohhhh boy.

Now, some of you may recall that a childhood black cat, (appropriately named Lucifer, with a fondness for the taste of human leg flesh) has left me with a lifelong case of Not Liking the Dark... but only inside houses. Hey, its a sensible sort of phobia. the stupid cat never jumped out and tried to gnaw my leg off when I was outside, so why worry there? Clearly, if the ghost of Lucifer the cat was ever coming back with a nice bottle of chianti and some fava beans, it was gonna be INSIDE where I'd meet my doom.

So right about now, I'm feeling a tad nervous.

Also... if I were in a horror movie, I would be the first dumb beyotch to die because I? I am the dumbass who has to investigate the noises herself. No calling the Strapping Husband - who, I might add, took enough Wu Shu kung fu lessons over the course of his lifetime that he could probably totally kick the Suspicious Noise's ass, whereas I am more likely to have to smother it with the laundry or my freshly ironed freaking tablecloth. Better yet, maybe I could show it my cellulite and horrify it to death.

Oh no. Summong backup doesn't occur to me. I gird my loins and creep stealthily towards the closet. As I reach it, now I hear the noise coming from the window. Its outside, and as I put my ear against the heavy insulated glass window (you didn't think I was about to open it, did you??) I can faintly hear that it sounds sort of like screaming, but the glass muffles it so it sounded like heavy breathing in the room.

I do not pee myself with relief, because I reeeeeally didn't want to open the closet.

I go downstairs and turn the back yard light on. I seeeeee nuthink! So, continuing my dumbass 'please prove Darwinism's natural selection and remove me from the gene pool' tendencies, I step outside. Yep. Definitely screaming.

By this time, my husband has noticed me acting all Secret Squirrel and comes out to see what's going on. His eyes go really wide, but I am no longer worried. I've figured it out, y'see.

'What the hell is that?????' my poor city-boy husband wants to know.
'Raccoons', I reply. 'Two of them.'

If you've never heard it before, mating racoons sometimes shriek like banshees. And these two had been um... busy for a while by the sounds of it. Good lord.

I sheepishly 'fess up to my Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My routine upstairs and we share a good laugh. And then I notice that my husband was standing there in his fruit of the looms (we're so klassy!) and I smirked because I might go first, but at least I was wearing pants.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cheeseburger in Parody...

Sometime, people, sometimes....

I was running a few errands on my lunch break and got caught waiting for a very very long, very very slow freight train to pass. I started to drift off to some mental happy zone after something like the 45th car until a flurry of motion caught my eye.

The little car next to me was occupied by a man around 50, dressed in a suit, looking professional... or at least under normal circumstances he would have been. We were not dealing with normal, here. This guy was fuh-REAKING out. He was gesticulating madly, flailing about, shouting and tossing assorted gestures at the train, which clearly was inconveniencing him. Train rage?? Actually this went far beyond mortal rage to full-on apoplexy with a side of mental.

He went on and on and got redder and redder and I just kept staring in fascination. He looked like maybe he was doing a weird in-car combo of Thriller's zombie dance, the electric slide and the tarantella. By the time the last freight car rumbled past, I was making bets with myself on whether he'd have a stroke or piss himself first.

As he hit the gas and squealed away, I see that his license plate holder advertised him as a Parrothead AND he had a Grateful Dead bear sticker on the bumper. Hold up, here... most followers of either are known for genial mellowness. That certainly did not match up to the image of him furiously dancing around in his car seat like Rumpelstiltskin on PCP.

Clearly he needs to spend a little more time in Margaritaville.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Spring Cleaning, House and Head

At some point yesterday, it occurred to me that I might have lost my grip. The husband was out of town for the majority of the weekend, Short Stuff was napping off his apple juice high (seriously. Having only recently mastered the Juice Box, compliments of his older sister, receiving the rare juice box puts him into a state of complete giddiness. Ok, so does farting but come on, he's not yet two) and I was attempting a deep cleaning of the house.

Serious cleaning is difficult for me. Not because I hate cleaning - which I do, but I hate living like a pig even more so it works out. Clutter is one thing, grime another. Anyway... difficult. right. Why? Because I'm AD freaking D. I started by doing dishes and as I started to wipe down the counter, I realized a drip of coffee had run down the front of the dishwasher. And as I cleaned that up, the floor attracted my attention. While I hunted for the lemon cleanser, the dining room table caught my eye....

it always works this eay. I end up trying to clean three rooms at the same time and at one point? I found myself ironing a tablecloth while remembering that there was a laundry mangle in the Williams Sonoma catalog that could zip this baby through in about a minute and...



Whoa. What the ripe hell... what is WRONG with me? Its a KITCHEN TABLECLOTH. Nobody cares. NOBODY CARES.


And lets face it, Williams Sonoma is very very very bad for me. Its shiny, glossy, heavyweight pages of expensive crack. Even if its really well-made crack. I need this catalog like a hole in the head. I've managed to wean myself from all other catalogs but not this one.... when I see a "new" one (they just shift the stuff around and put a new cover on and throw in a few seasonal items but really... its the same stuff every month) in the mailbox each month, I practically salivate. I am a kitchen-crap marketer's dream, I really am.

Is there a 12 step program for Donna Reed poseurs? I might need an intervention sometime soon. Or at least an extended session with power tools. Yeah. That's it, somebody hand me the nail gun, I need to FIX stuff instead of y'know, go to that Stepford place in my head.




Also? Forgot to mention that I got the best Secretary's Day (you can call me an Administrative Professional all you want. I is what I is.) gift EVAH. They gave me a gift certificate.


to GAMESTOP.



Bwah-hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Awesome. I was most pleased.


Last, Short Stuff is at times too smart for his mommy. He was happily playing with his toy kitchen, and he fell silent for about 30 seconds. Not unusal when he's concentrating on something and then he dashed across the room, so everything was business as usual.

Except he's standing on tiptoes, trying to reach across the gate to the chair where his overnight bag is sitting. Huh? I walk over and realize he has stripped himself naked from the waist down. And he succeeds in snagging the bag and pulls out a diaper. And I look for the other diaper, the one he'd been wearing. It is crammed into the toy trashcan of his toy kitchen and it is freshly wet.

Oh boy! He's using the toilet if he has to go when we put him on it, but he has yet to fully grasp what the feeling of needing to go is and giving us warning. So he peed, and was apparently planning on changing his diaper by himself.

Like Cinderella, I am wakened each morning by flights of sweetly-singing birds

... and I poop sunshine and rainbows all day after that, right?

Man, I am NOT a morning person. I used to be, back in the days when I could look forward to a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Now I just count myself lucky if I remember to put pants on before stumbling downstairs for coffee. Right side out is a bonus.

It takes a few minutes, naturally, for my consciousness to climb out of its fog. Especially if I have been jarred out of a sound sleep. And if you'd lived with me for oh... 8 years, you'd possibly have figured this out.

So... the fact that I LAUGHED when told, in my bleary, uncaffeinated state, that someone's uvula was SWOLLEN and omg the doctor couldn't see him untill 11...

well. That really shouldn't be held against me.

And... for the love of pete... go gargle with salt water, you aren't going to fall over and die.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Insanity

Last week was very bad. My co-workers visitation and then his funeral mass... and then he was laid to rest in Quantico. This week has simply been a daze of too much work and massive sleep deprivation, compliments of erupting molars and perimenopausal insomnia.

Why am I in this handbasket and why is it so hot?????



Anyway. Its been rough pulling my brain back into sunnier climes. Pass the chocolate.

On the other hand, I've decided that I'm taking Short Stuff out to my mom's farm for Memorial Day Weekend. My husband's niece is graduating from college in NY so they're all driving up there and I'm going to retreat to the ol' family stomping grounds. The more I think about it, the more excited I get. I think my youngest sister is going with me, so it will be me, my mom, my sister and Short Stuff. Can't wait.

We did this year's March of Dimes March for Babies... which out here was more like WADE for babies. We slogged through torrential downpours but had a good time anyway. Jacob is a NICU grad... by grace, good luck and good medical care when I landed in the high risk unit with preterm labor, he made it through 34 weeks and day 1 of week 35, my body couldn't take any more. We are so luck and so blessed.

I vividly recall Mother's Day 2006, when I realized that I was not having Braxton Hicks contractions at all and the roller coaster began. And I remember hearing the tearing sobs of the woman in the triage bed next to me who was 6cm dilated at 24 weeks. And counting to myself at thinking ''okay, we hit 28 weeks four days ago. So he'll probably live. Oh God, please... let him live.''

And despite my developing severe pre-eclampsia and going through repeated episodes of PTL, we made it. And we got through NICU. And he hasn't looked back.

And so we walked this year, like we did last year, so that maybe someone else won't have to, you know?





And in more cheerful new, Short Stuff evidently enjoyed his supper SO much last night, he broke into The Cabbage Patch. You have not busted a gut until you have seen a 21 month old doing The Cabbage Patch. Don't ask me where he picked it up.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why Being Married is So Awesome

There are plenty of reasons why being married is a Really Good Thing but I listen to stories from my single friends and coworkers and I'm reminded that perhaps a petty but valid reason is Not Dating. Seriously, there are some strange people out there. And I've dated my fair share...

There was the Man Who Juggled. He really was a nice guy but everywhere. we. went. he juggled. He carried juggling balls with him so that if we were in a crowded place, say the Metro? He'd start juggling so everyone would look at him.

There was the nimrod on a first date who suddenly stopped his car on a suburban street, turned it off and said ''I thougt we could just skip dinner and have sex here.'' And tried to put the moves on. And when I growled at him to get his car back in drive and take me back, he pouted. Seriously pouted. Next day he called and whined that I'd ruined the evening and why did I say I didn't want a second date?? And when I said 'don't you think you were awfully pushy?' he replied ''Pushy would have been NOT STOPPING'. 'No,' sez I, 'That would have been a FELONY. Don't call me again.'

And there was the guy I'd dated for six months who did a drive-by breakup. No, really. He drove past my house, slowed his work van, leaned out the window and put the cooler he'd borrowed from me on top of my car with a 'I'm breaking up with you' note taped to it and the drove away. HE NEVER STOPPED. Seriously, I have to be the only woman in America ever dumped by drive-by.

But the winner, the hallmark of Bad Date experiences definitely had to be Elvis (not his real name but he had this Elvis thing going). Who picked me up wth this ginormous biker friend of his, nicknamed Tiny, naturally. He said Tiny's car was in the shop, was it okay if we gave him a ride? Tiny really was a good-natured guy, even if he looked scarier than hell without its makeup, so all right, whatever.

And then he mentions he needs to drop a check off to his brother at at Arlington Bar and Grill. (DC area bloggers are probably laughing at me already) Tiny looked uncomfortable, but I chalked that up to the car being the size of a Geo Metro and Dude was huuuge.

We get to the little strip mall and Elvis says he'll just be a minute and runs in. Tiny gets out, looks around, and starts shifting his weight from foot to foot. Finally he leans into the window. 'Um, I'm so sorry but... you don't want to wait out here.'
'Oh, that's ok, I'm fine.'

He looks queasy. 'No, really. You need to go in, its not a safe area. Really not safe.'

I began to have some bad feelings about this but got out of the car. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness inside, Tiny says in a strangled voice 'I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.' And I see why he looked so miserable for me.

Despite the name, it is NOT a bar and grill.


It?


Is a very seedy pasties-optional STRIP JOINT.


Mother of God.


Elvis is freaking nowhere to be seen. I go find a seat at the far end of the bar and chain-smoked like Beelzebub on a bender, watching second-string NASCAR while trying to avoid glimpses of writhing entertainers. And suddenly this tiny, smarmy little weasel appears at my elbow, asking to bum a cigarette. I hand one over without taking my eyes from the tv screen. And then... oh dear lord and THEN the weasel spoke.

'Soooooo... come here often?'

Kid you not, he said that. I stared at him in utter disbelief. And then Tiny, bless him, stood over me and did that puff-up thing that large men can do. 'She's with ME,' he snarled and weasel? He not only left me alone so fast, he left the place altogether. Tiny began apologizing all over himself once more. Eventually we got out of there. And you can guess the evening ended pretty quickly. and there was not a second date...

Know what's worse? All these guys appeared to be perfectly normal. i'm so grateful my husband actually proved to BE normal. And if, heaven forbid, I ever find myself single again, I'm just going to get 50 cats and be done with it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I need a Zim Zam

Back when I was a kid (Hah. Hah. No there weren't dinosaurs but I'm pretty confident that Australopithecus was still keeping it real...) I had a game called Zim Zam. It was kind of like tetherball only with a tennis ball on the cord, and the pole was about 5 feet tall with a metal coil at the top. You won by getting it to either the top or bottom of the coil, depending on whether you were hitting it forehand or backhand. Let me tell you what, I could smack hell out of that tennis ball with a backhand... before long, no one wanted to play with either me or my stepdad, as we were known to hit it hard enough that we usually split at least two tennis balls every summer.

WHACK!!

I can't play tennis thanks to Zim Zam because when I tried? Yeah. I hit it as hard as I did my zim zam game and sent the ball through the chain link fence. Um, whoops.

But it was GREAT stress relief. Fabulous stress relief without having to chase a ball all over the place and crash dramatically into walls in front of amused gym-goers like you would in racquetball. (I am nothing if not about as graceful as your average three-legged arthritic cow)

I'm kind of sort of maybe feeling a tad stressed out these days. Its a combination of sleep deprivation (two jobs and perimenopause do not A Cheerful Gerbil Make), some worries about family and a bunch of other stuff, and I usually lock everything down in order to fix whatever issue crops up, but the more you shove things into that emotional closet? Well, eventually you can't get the door shut and you gotta do some housecleaning. Or work off some of the stress and beating a two by four against a tree really sort of makes people look at you funny. And I really think beating a two by four against hateful people I encounter would not do much to make friends and influence people.

Well, it might influence them. Just not in a good way.

At any rate, this too shall pass. Hopefully before I get TMJ.



Is life telling me something??? For the last three weeks, my inbox has been flooded with advertisements for bras. Not the cute kind, either. The armored, "supportive" This-Bra-Strikesa-Fear-Into-the-Hearts-of-Men kind. The kind that not only lifts, separates and contains but could probably stop bullets, or at least angry squirrels. The kind that makes you think of Frau Bl├╝cher. Ok, Universe, I get it. I don't LIKE it... but I get it.


Also, back to Short Stuff recognizing his parents unseen? Tonight, he heard a toilet flush downstairs and perked right up. "DADDY!" he announced excitedly. "Daddy POOP."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Taxing my Patience

Yeah Mid April around here gets annoying because no matter how good the intentions, how early the program gets purchased, the taxes invariably get done at the last minute.

And someone's failed to keep track of necessary items. Also had been adamant about me not going through the massive amounts of papers and setting up a filing system. Not that anything's being hidden... quite the opposite in fact, since a year after moving, the office remains cluttered with bags and bags and bags of papers and old bills and receipts and a gazilion expired coupons...

Did I mention that I'm a secretary? And a damn good one?? This is making me NUTS. Especially last night when the past four years of returns were needed in pdf format.... and paperwork from the purchase of the SUV.... and a meeeeeeelion other things. And frustrated foot-stomping was heard multiple times, and none of these incidents happened back to back. Oh no. It made more sense to wait until I was almost asleep each time.

The end result? We finally both went to bed at 2am. But I didn't fall asleep until closer to 4am. The taxes are finished and someone has a deadline to bring me a file cabinet because I am NOT doing that again.

But he is kinda cute. And he puts up with me. AND he keeps me stocked with cheese. (man I love cheese) So I guess it all evens out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We interrupt this program...

A friend and coworker was killed in a terrible car accident yesterday. I'm just a little preoccupied and horribly sad.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Testing... testing....

A few days ago, when I arrived at my sitter's to pick up Short Stuff, they were all in the backyard playing. My sitter's trainee remained out back with the two boys while Fabulous Sitter greeted me and we walked around to the back gate together. The other little boy came rushing to us, because if I was there, that meant his mommy was sure to arrive any moment. But Short Stuff? Fugeddaboudit. He was not about to end HIS outside time. Finally, oh soooo slowly he shuffled towards us, scowling and clutching a big stick. My sitter laughed and said "He's such a boy. If we go outside, the first thing he does is find a stick. He doesn't do anything with it, he just wants a stick."

All boy indeed.

This morning he showed his boy-ness again. My husband had to go do some more work on his house and my dad was meeting him up there at 8:30 to help. Since I have to work today, Short Stuff is spending the day with his paternal grandparents, but he and Husband had to leave the house by 7am to get there in time. While Husband was packing up the car, I went in to wake my little boy up. He was sleeping soundly... so soundly that he never even opened his eyes when he stood up in the crib and started to reach for me.

But then his arms froze... he reached out, started to pat my chest and gave the right boob a firm, full-handed honk. Eyes still closed, he smiled and said "ohhhh, my MOMMY!"

I guess he wanted to make sure.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Talk about your bear of very little brain...

I spent twenty minutes writing out this long, reflective, self-scolding post and then accidently hit Alt-dumbass, Shift-something or other and POOF. Like the fairy of Little Bunny Foo-Foo fame... it was GONE.


Well then.


Um.


The only thing I have now is an observation made this evening as I was on my way to pick up my older son and give him a ride to his friend's house...


I'm sitting in traffic on Route 1 (ironically, nearly the exact place where Journey Man was spotted) and there's a group of about 7 or 8 you adults making their way up the pathetic excuse for a "sidewalk" on the side of the road. (Really, the only part paved is where there's a small creek that goes under the road). They all looked to be in there very early twenties, with the saggy pants and boxers showing and huuuuuuuuuge tshirts on. One of them's horsing around, smacking his friends in the back of their heads, trying to pull their jeans down, that sort of thing. You could see that the others were tolerating it but they looked irritated.


As they reached the little "bridge" that went over the road, Klass Klown smacked at one of them again and he whirled on him and cocked his fist back. Was he going to hit him? I don't know. What I DO know is that as Klown jumped back to dodge a blow, laughing... he fell off the pavement and flat out disappeared.




Yes indeed, he fell into the creek, ass-first.



Sometimes, that karmic payback is swift. And really cold. And kinda wet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It was the best of nights, it was the worst of nights... OK. There was no best. Nope.

Ok, this second job thing has proven to be um... educational.

I know it wasn't a full moon tonight but DAYUM. And pickles.

When I arrived for my shift, three cars of people were engaged in an arm-flailing screaming match in the parking lot. Some white woman (customer) went OFF on the poor black man in line behind her for apparently being black. What ... the... hell. He started yelling back at her for being a crazy white beyotch (which oh she most definitely definitely was) and we thought they were going to start throwing punches. Just as the manager was getting ready to call the police, she decided to leave. Good lord.

Some guy flapped his hands in my face - I have no idea why.

That was the tip of the Krazy iceberg tonight.

I am reminded why I am naturally an introvert. People are scaaaaaary. If you need me, I'll be hiding under thebed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!











This primal scream has been brought to you by 4 hours of sleep, stress and The National Partnership of Numbskulls.




How was YOUR day?

Monday, April 7, 2008

You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out

I was walking down the hall yesterday and as I approached the elevator, there was a man standing with his back to me. He was impeccably dressed in what looked like a very costly suit, very polished, Very Important Looking.

And then he squatted once, twice, and on the second downward lunge, he grabbed his crotch and gave things a good shake. Then he stood and shook his tush a few time to settle things out. Since it was obvious he didn't know I was there, I dodged down the side hall and re-emerged like I was just arriving to the scene and hadn't witnessed the readjustment dance.

Ah yes. You can put us in expensive clothes but we're all still monkeys underneath.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April Showers...

... bring really biiiig puddles. Late last summer, our neighbors put in a wooden privacy fence. All well and good, especially as he likes to go out into the generously-sized yard and hit a few golf balls. Although he has a net for them, a few would go astray. Not so with the fence.

Unfortunately, the presence of said fence has had one notable drawback... its at the bottom of the slight decline of our yard, which means no drainage. If it rains, we have a small lake under the trees. The robins are enjoying this greatly, as they're out there splashing around in it. The squirrel? Well, he's not so pleased, since his favorite napping place is the small sapling that's right in the middle of of the water and to get to it now he either has to eat his squirrel wheaties and make one hella leap off the top of the fence, or climb one of the larger trees and try and drop down, flying squirrel-like. I have seen him miss just once and that was one pissed-off rodent. Apparently he doesn't have a problem digging up nuts and grubs and such in the rain, but he draws the line at getting a bath.


And have we discussed the woman suing Victoria's Secret over a bra injury yet? Seriously. She's suing for a "bra malfunction" that resulted in a slice to her boob. She claims that said boob injury will negatively impact her desire for a modeling career, which makes me scoff ever so slightly. What, breast augmentation leaves no scars? Come on now. Unless you plan on topless modeling, I suspect your hooter scratch isn't going to be an issue. And probably every woman who's ever owned an even slightly off-the-wall cat (which does seem to be a prerequisite for BEING a cat) is likely to have some mark left from a time when the cat decided to climb straight up and over the front of her. Can I get a show of hands? Uh-huh, there you go.

VS, naturally, insists that the woman's misuse of their product is probably responsible for her injury. Now think about that. How in heck does one MISUSE A BRA? I mean, I can give you a few suggestions, being somewhat left of center in the whole brain department, but that's beside the point. Now, I myself narrowly escaped a bra injury when I worked in DC but someone else was wearing it. She and I had decided to get some lunch and as we were walking up 19th street, her underwire failed spectacularly. (She was quite generously endowed) This underwire actually shot straight out the side of her sweater, rocketing past me to clatter against the side of the building. Naturally, we laughed ourselves sick but we never once considered that we could SUE for something like this. I mean really!

Sometimes the General Public astounds me.

Also, while I'm thinking about boobs and bras and such, I have a funny-NOW-but-no-so-much-THEN tale to share because clearly I don't get enough people laughing at me in the couse of a normal day.

When I was pregnant with Short Stuff, I didn't have a very easy time of it and was confined to bed rest more than once. I also swelled right on up to uncomfortable proportions, including the chest. My cups? They runneth over and flooded the place. I went from a 34b to "oh mah gawd its GODZILLA" (you know, if Godzilla were a chick and had boobs. And I refer to classic 'zilla and not that STUPID movie in the 90s) Anyway. After I'd hit the 40E mark and left it behind, there were days when bras seemed more torture than support. And so it was that once day after my shower, I was still feeling overheated and desperate and I decided that I was just going to lay there in my undies. It's not like my husband was gonna care, right?

I heard slow, measured footsteps on the stairs and knew my husband was coming up to check on me. Yeah. I couldn't have been more wrong. The door burst open and my poor teenaged son's eyes bugged out of his head and he threw himself backwards, nearly falling down the stairs in the effort to escape the horror he'd just witnessed. That had to be the ONLY time in his entire life he'd actually walked up the stairs like a normal person, so it didn't even occur to me that what I heard was anyone other than my husband.

It seems that he'd come by the house for a visit and I hadn't heard him come in. My husband said "Oh, go on up and see your mom!"

He certainly did. To his chagrin, he REALLY saw his mom.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Newton's Second Law of Gravity

Eventually, what goes up must come down on ME. I appear to be some sort of walking, talking skeet shoot. I have had not just the bird-crap-at-unfortunate-moments (meeting my grandparents' very proper, elderly aunt and it not only hit me in the head but ran down my cheek. Talk about your first impressions), dead pigeons, irons, etcetera, but today was golf balls. I was headed to the grocery to pick up something for dinner and was struck by a random golf ball falling from the sky. Had I been near the golf course, I'd have understood this. But no. I have NO idea where that thing came from and I'm very glad I was in the car because that left one helluva dent.



I discovered something this week. GROUNDHOGS HAVE LONGISH TAILS. Seriously! I did not know this! I thought they had little stubby tails, I guess and trust me, in my family? There's a long groundhog history.


My mom is an avid gardener. She puts in 6 or 7 gardens around the house each year and could practically start her own nursery with the number of plants she puts in. Unfortunately, one year she attracted the attention of a very fat groundhog who had a taste for the good life - as in, $1500 worth of plants eaten within two weeks.


My stepdad bought one of those humane traps and caught the cat, a squirrel, the cat, a turtle, the cat, the cat, a rabbit, the cat, the cat, the cat, the cat, the cat, the turtle again, the cat, the cat, the cat.... so he gave up on that idea. Next, he filled in one of the burrow entrances (they usually have two) , tossed in a couple of poison gas sticks, and filled in the other entrance. The next morning, there was another burrow entrance and the depleted "gopher killers" were now laying below the burrow in the woods.

Next, he got an air-powered BB gun and much entertainment ensued... not because he was shooting an animal but because he was completely UNABLE to. Someone would spot the groundhog and raise the alarm and he'd grab the BB rifle and try and run around the house before it took off. This didn't work so well. One afternoon he actually spent hours hiding in the gigantic forsythia bush, waiting for his furry nemesis to appear. Finally, as dusk approached, he got his chance. The groundhog waddled into view, pausing to nibble at some hosta. My stepdad raised the rifle to his shoulder, stepped out, took aim and fired.

And since he had completely forgotten to pump up the gun, the pellet rolled leisurely out of the barrel and dropped into the grass.

Lather, rinse, repeat. This little sitcom went on for months and one day the starts aligned and he got a bead on it and shot it, hitting it in the face.

And damn if that groundhog didn't sit up on its haunches, scratch its cheek and look around, pissed off to no end. Spying my dad, it came barrelling right at him as my sisters and I watched from the deck. My dad yelped once, lifted the BB gun over his head and brought it crashing down onto the Groundhog from Hell. THE GUN BROKE IN TWO PIECES. No joke. My stepdad was now running back toward the house while the groundhog tottered unsteadily towards the woods, shaking its head and wondering what the hell just happened.


Eventually the situation was resolved but my poor dad will never hear the end of it. We're pretty rotten that way.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lavendar's green, dilly dilly, lavendar's blue

If you love me, dilly, dilly, I will love you.
Let the birds sing, dilly, dilly, And the lambs play;
We shall be safe, dilly, dilly, Out of harm's way.


A certain young man told me that he "luff" me this evening, for the first time, while I was giving him his bath. Oh, I get hugs and "MY momma", but that "luff"? Pure bliss.

Of course, he then poured water on my head and giggled like an imp, but what the hey. I'll take it.


***

Another big freaking delay on the Beltway! But this time, no Naked Guy! Instead? PRODUCE. yes indeed. DC-area traffic delayed by vegetables. You always knew they were bad news.

***

I'm starting to identify with the concept of cranky old woman in a housecoat yelling "You kid! Get the hell outa my yard!" As the weather's started to turn slightly warmer, we're getting groups of teenagers sitting on the corner outside my house. I'm not too pleased with this, since I've found three very small ziploc baggies in my yard. VERY small. With graphics on them. Do the math.

This is a mostly dark corner, and there are only two houses that face this street - mine and my neighbors. So its a prime spot for Not Attracting Attention, get what I'm saying?

Husband and Short Stuff are out of town tonight, leaving me alone with two rodents who are very cute, but no so much use in the Home Defense arena. I was reluctant to go out and confront the 6 or so teens that were loitering out there, making a lot of noise. A few years ago? Yeah, I'd have been raising hell but now, you just never know. Hells bells, a kid who'd been my former neighbor, a young man who'd always been polite and respectful, who took care of his younger brother and sister, a BOY WHO'D BEEN IN MY HOUSE moved to a new area. And got mixed up in a gang. And he got in a stupid, STUPID argument with another kid. And he, along with a third idiot, escalated this argument to the point where they stole some guns and drove to this other kids neighborhood and shot him to death in the street. WTF?

So, I wound up calling the community security patrol and the guy came dangerously close to whining at me. "What do you want me to DO????"
"I want you to drive past this corner. When they see the patrols, they decide its a bad idea to be hanging out."
"But what if they aren't doing anything I can see?"
"I'm not asking you to get out and confront them, I just want you to DRIVE PAST."

Dear lord, it was like pulling teeth. Finally, he understood that all I wanted was exactly what he's supposed to be doing every night - driving through the neighborhood. And sure enough, the teens decided they needed to be somewhere else.

I really don't feeling like I'm too much the wuss to yell at a bunch of kids acting like nimrods. But at the same time... I REALLY don't like that anymore you can't trust that nimrods won't seriously hurt you.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

And the ever-lovin' cheese stands alone

So! I mentioned this part time gig, right? As a checker! In a grocery! And they threw me on a register this week! Before I finished training! Because a live body is better than no body! Even if that body hasn't even been shown how to work the freakin' phone!

Good lord.

And last night, I got left on the registers alone, with a long line of annoyed customers because... who knows. Seriously. My second day on the job, I've got 14 people in line and no one to be seen. That went over well. Especially because they were all trying to hit the mega sale before it ended and the carts? They were overflowing. Thank heavens I am a quick learner because that was sort of like rolling your car onto the freeway in order to learn to drive a manual transmission...

No one appears to get along with each other, either, and they complain about their jobs in front of the customers. Hoo boy. This is going to be a treat, I can tell.

I can do this. Hell, I have teenagers, this ought to be a doodle.

(Does that make me a can-do optimist or one really dumb bunny?)


And last night, adding insult to ... well, insult since injury actually took the night off, I stepped onto my scale and my jaw dropped. I mean, I'd noticed my pants seemed a tad loose but.. had I REALLY dropped ten pounds? Oh frabjuous day, calloo callay I was SERIOUSLY chortling in my joy and I called the husband to witness. Uh right. The scale? It was sitting on one of those godforsaken SOCKS and not weighing accurately. I hadn't lost any weight at all. The socks get me again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What we have heah... is a FAILyuh to communicate

I don't normally fuss about work. But some days I really just want to kick the wall. There's another woman with whom I am having ongoing communication problems. I am trying NOT to have problems but dayum. It takes both persons to identify the issue and solve it and one of us? Ain't interested. She hears what she WANTS to hear and makes snap assumptions about nearly everything. And do not think she wants to share her sandbox, either...

dude. If she were a dog on Animal Planet? She'd be the really food-aggressive Chow mix that just ripped your fake arm apart for being near her food bowl.

She never says anything nasty, her words are carefully chosen. But her delivery and tone leave you thinking 'am I imagining things??'

I approached her today with a 7 Habits in mind - Seek first to understand, then to be understood - and carefully stated that it appeared we had very different communication styles that seemed to be causing some misunderstanding... could she please help me to see where something I might be doing could be bothering her?

Well. That? Was not well recieved. I tried. I really did. Not sure where to go next with it, and its beginning to drive me bats. Everything appears to be recieved as some sort of accusation. She used to be in management, or so I understand. So did I but I don't LIKE being a manager, I'd rather just fix problems. And so I chose to go into admin work and frankly? I'm very good at it.

But the perception I'm getting is that not only does she resent not being a manager, but she really hasn't got much respect for this job, nor anyone else who performs it.

I've run into that a lot... I'm not a scientist, not a broker, not a lawyer, not anyone who makes decisions that might be written about or discussed with awe. That's ok. I USED to have a Very Important Job with people reporting to me and a lot of stress and crises and budgets and all that.

But life is short. And I'm happy doing what I do so that Other Very Important People can accomplish their jobs. So we all win.

Except that its getting very frustrating to work alongside someone who speaks to you as though you're the poor cashier on her first day at McDs during the lunch rush... AND THAT PERSON HAS THE EXACT SAME JOB.

Point? I haven't got one. Just a rant to get it off my chest so I can get it out of my system and go in tomorrow and again try and make things work better.