Friday, January 25, 2008

Big Bad Wolf

I overheard some people talking recently about the possible tax rebates that are being considered by the Bush administration. One person, in particular thought that it was proof that Bush is a fine president, what with giving us money and all. The other wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about Bush, but was happy to get the money. It took everything I had to keep from yelling, “Blood Money!” But then I realized that if I did, I would be a hypocrite. Because if ol’ Dumbya sends me a check for $800 or $1600 or $1800, I’ve got carpet and trim and insulation and furniture to pay for, so I won’t wait a minute before cashing it. I’d like to say that I’d donate it, or burn it on the White House lawn in protest, but 1) it’s money I’ve paid in taxes, and 2) furniture.

So I’ll take the money if it comes but I’ll be damned if it will mesmerize me into thinking that Bush is doing something right. Because first of all, they are considering this rebate because the economy is in the shitter. And whose fault would that be? Well, let’s think back. During the last administration, the economy was in better shape than it had been in years. So what’s changed since then? Oh yeah – Georgie boy! So his handing out a tax rebate and expecting us to join in on the back patting is a little like expecting your grandma to shower you with praise you for having perfectly super-glued together the 12 place settings of her grandma’s china that you used for target practice.

And it does feel like blood money. You think it’s a coincidence that this is happening in an election year? An election year following years of lies? A wilting economy? Job after job being taken from the working class and sent overseas? The environment falling apart right before our eyes while the Bush administration sits back and denies the scientific proof right in front of them? Non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Thousands of troops killed? Millions of Americans living in poverty? Our president can barely speak English! Our vice president shot someone! What a better way to go out than to leave us citizens with a big, fat check in our hands. Coincidence? I think not. I realize that Bush can’t run again (thank god), but his republican cronies are shaking in their shoes, whispering, “They hate us – quick – throw money at them!” So while I’ll skip merrily to the bank, check in hand, there’s not a chance in hell that on the way, I’ll be thinking about what a great president and all around super cool guy Bush is.

Sure – I know that my vote for a democrat is likely a vote for higher taxes. I know it and I don’t care. Because there are a lot of other things that are more important to me and they’re worth paying for. If I’m shopping for a car, I know I can get an old clunker pretty cheap. But do I really to give up safety features in exchange for a better price? Or would I rather spend more and get something that will protect my family?

I could buy my prescription drugs online and save money, but I really don’t think I want to risk mr b’s health by taking a chance on d1ovan or lip1tor? No, I think I’ll spend the extra money for the extra vowels, thank you very much.

When we started the addition, we decided it was very important to us to use the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly products we can, and we know it would cost is. Tankless water heaters and bamboo floors are not cheap. But the long term effects on the environment are worth it, as are the long term saving in energy costs. Hell, even the third little pig understood that while using brick was more time-consuming and expensive, it was a hell of a lot better than straw or sticks.

If I’m willing to pay a little more for these thing, why not for a government that works? Anyone you ask will surely say that yes, they want to end poverty and yes, they want to increase jobs and yes they want to keep the earth clean and yes they think everyone deserves a hot meal and a warm bed and good medical care. But how many of those people are still around when they find out they have to pay for it? It’s funny how so many of those people that like to say that freedom isn’t free (it isn’t), don’t seem to understand that nothing else is, either.

Sure, I’d like to have more money in my pocket, but I look at the extra expense as the same getting the safer car, the medicine that works or the earth friendly house. I see it as keeping the big, bad wolf away.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not MY God

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


I was a freshman in college and away from home and out from under my mother’s control for the first time. After years of (what I now know was reasonable) rules and curfews and (maybe not so reasonable) suspicions and questions, the siren song of no curfew/no answering to anyone/no boss of me was irresistible. While I loved being a college student, going to class and learning new things, the freedom of being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and with whom I wanted was far more interesting and fun for me.

I started out going to parties on the weekend, then during the week, then every day. I was drinking and getting high and having a grand old time. Pretty soon I was missing classes and practices and not really giving a shit. I was basically doing just enough to pass my courses and stay on the diving team and majorette squad – nothing more.

I had a friend – Lamb – who lived on my hall. She was a pretty innocent type – a preacher’s daughter who grew up sheltered and somewhat naïve. We were different in a lit of ways, but we got along well and had fun together. She would go to parties and have a few beers, but that was about the extent of it. She knew, as freshman year went long, that we were growing apart – mainly because of our diverging paths. She worried about me a lot, though I didn’t know it at the time.

Eventually, a sorority formal was coming up and I needed a date. Coincidentally, I had recently notice that my best friend Milo was calling me more often “just to see how I was doing”, so I figured he’d be the perfect date. I asked him, expecting to have to convince him a little, but to my surprise, he agreed to go right away. When the formal rolled around, we went and had a great time, sharing a room with Lamb and her date. We danced and drank and hot tubbed and caught up on the past months spent apart. But that night, Milo said something to me that I will never forget. He told me that Lamb had called him the month before and told him that she was worried about me. She wanted his advice and his help to get through to me – to help me see what I was doing to myself. He told me that he cared about me and didn’t want to see me throw it all away for a party. He told me he worried about my safety. He told me I could turn to him (or Lamb) anytime if I needed him.

It was a shock, to say the least. I mean, it wasn’t a full-blown intervention, but it still got to me. At first, I was furious. I felt betrayed by Lamb, felt that she was a goody-two-shoes for ratting me out to Milo – she was just naïve – she didn’t know that I could handle my alcohol – one drink seemed like a big deal to her – she was a Reefer-Madness groupie that was afraid of what she didn’t know, etc. I felt violated, since she had clearly gone through my stuff to find him. I felt that her perception of my lifestyle was the problem, and not my actual lifestyle. But it didn’t take long for me to come around and realize that these two people loved me and wanted to help me. Maybe their perception was a little off the typical college attitude of what’s acceptable, but their feelings and the reasons behind them were not.

Milo drove over a hundred miles to see me in person and talk to me. He risked my wrath (which can be great – and he was aware of – 18 years of friendship tells you a lot about a person and we certainly had our share of arguments) to help me. he wasn’t risking our friendship because, truly, nothing could come between us, but I’m not sure if he knew that. But he did it because he cared.

And Lamb. I realized that my friend Lamb risked a lot to get Milo’s last name and where he went to college. I realized that she made long distance phone calls to get his number and call him. She risked being hung up on or considered to be a nut-job by calling up a stranger and talking to him about his best friend. Btu she was willing to do all that, and risk out friendship because she cared abut me.

The reason I’m telling you about this is because we are currently bombarded with Britney stories and I almost can’t believe I’m saying it, but I feel so bad for this girl. I was the first one to gossip and gleefully devour all there was to read about her life – her skankiness, her outfits, her famous virginity (and papal commendations), and her I am a Woman now statements. I made fun of her suddenly-growing boobs and her stupid hats and snakes and hair and boyfriends.

I wondered over her strange behavior, her marriage to her professional baby daddy, and her wedding itself was free-for-all (Pimp jogging suits? WTF? And also – hahahahaha). But when she was pregnant again so soon, then started driving with her babies not strapped in, and going out in public looking like an alcoholic after a three-day bender, and freaking out, and dropping her kids, and looking like she couldn’t stand up on her own, and shaving her head, and losing her shit I started to feel differently. I started to feel bad for her. Not only is she clearly suffering and in need of help, there are two little boys without a mom right now, and that is a tragedy.

I read her entry last night, and my first thought (other than 1: I agree and 2: damn, she’s so much more eloquent than I) was, “Where are Her People?” Where are the parents that supposedly love her? Where is the sister that at least at one point looked up to her? Are there grandparents? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? Doesn’t she have a Lamb and Milo? Anyone who gives a shit?

And that’s the saddest part of it. The fact that most of us would have the help and support we need (no – “Dr.” Phil does not count). The fact that we aren’t famous or rich or loved by millions and still, there would be 50 or 40 or 25 or even one person who do something. The fact that I know my “people” would shake me, or put me in front of a mirror and show me what I had become, or get me some real help, or help me with my kids, or escort me to court dates and doctor’s visits, they would do something. The fact that hers, it seems, will not.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"It's rough and tumble. It's wild and woolly. It's a blast."

I discovered the Crazy-ass Tom Cruise Scientology Rox! video today. Oh thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Internet! My nemesis - on film - looking even more crazy than his famous jumping of the couch. It’s the Best Day Ever! I mean, at least on Jump the Couch Day, you could understand – he was crazy in love! She was magnificent! We’ve all been a little coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs over a new relationship before, right? But this… magical!

Some of the highlights:

We are the authorities on the mind...we are the way to happiness. [Really? I thought it was money. I’ll take money.]

I think about those people every day that are depending on “us”. [I’m not sure who those people are…the homeless…the hungry…Britney Spears? If only he spoke actual non-batshit-crazy English, maybe I could understand.] It does make me feel like…man I got…I got…there’s more work…I need more help…you know, get those spectators and you’re in the playing field or out of the arena. [The Arena of Crazy, apparently]

Crush these guys! I've had it! Psychiatry doesn't work. No mercy! None! Go to guns! [Well, of course the crazy guy doesn’t believe in psychiatry. Psychiatry would ruin all of his fun.]

I do what I can…and I do it the way I do everything…HAHAHAHAHA…there's nothing part of the way for me…HAHAHAHAHAHA…it’s just whoosh…HAHAHAHAHA! [I’d have to agree with him on this one – there’s no half-way crazy for him, He is ALL IN. In the Crazy Arena.]

When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it…you're the only one who can really help. [So, the rest of you out there – good samaritans, doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMTs – just keep going. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway. Hey! I have an idea! Maybe Tom should give us all his phone number so we can call him in case of an accident.]

You can just see it – the look in their eyes…you know the ones that are doing it, you know, and you know the spectators, who are the ones that are going, ‘well it’s easy for you’ or ‘what am I doing’ and it’s just…that thing is us…I’ve cancelled that in my…area…HAHAHAHAHAHA! [WTF?? Your area? W?T?F?]

And my very favorite…

I’d like the world to be a different place. [OK, with you] I’d like to go on vacation…and go and romp and play and just…do that. [huh?] You know what I mean? [um…no] I mean…thhhhat’s what I want it to be…ok? [ooookay] That’s how I…you know…there’s times I’d like to do that …*insert thoughtful, emotional pause*…but I can’t…because…I know[???????] *intense, meaningful stare*...I know…[You know what?]…so……I.I.I…you know, but you…you just…I have to do something about it. [About what? Seriously – what do you know??]

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Girls' Weekend

I got my “pay it forward” gift from magpie today and Holy Shit that girl is talented. It is the cutest little bag you ever saw and I expect that everyone who sees me with it will a) ask me where I got it and then cry when they find out they can’t get one, b) try to buy it from me and cry when I refuse and c) suffer near crippling envy. It is that cute! Of course now I feel really, really bad that I got absolutely no response whatsoever and can’t technically pay it forward. But since I went out immediately and got the fixins for my craft (fully expecting my huge audience of approximately six - two of whom do not have their own blog and can’t participate - to push and shove and fight their way to get in on it), I refuse to let my goods and talent (hahahahaHA) go to waste and I will be paying it back to magpie (even though my little cutest bag ever is WAY better than anything I will be creating). If my efforts at craftiness don’t completely fail, I may just randomly send some out to my fives of readers just for fun anyway.

If I sound a bit cheerier today, that would be because I am back in the office. Which is a totally ass-backwards way to be feeling about the office versus home, but damn did I need to get out of the house. Mr b and the boy are heading off to scout camp this weekend – also known as the Weekend of No Underwear on the Floor, Pee on the Toilet Seat, Dishes in the Living Room, or Generally Disgusting Boy Stuff. I plan on going home tonight and cleaning up the house as much as I can, then waking up early and taking my little house-wrecker the hell out so she can’t destroy it again. I fully intend to wear that child the hell out, so when we come home, we can watch a movie and hopefully one of us (her) will fall asleep early so the other one (me) can drink wine, read books and make my fabulous (heh) crafty goodness.

As I was packing up the boy’s bag last night, mr b made a passing mention of “watching our money” this weekend.

Let me translate that for you: “Since I am going to be at camp and will be cold and wet and muddy and surrounded by kids and unable to drink or watch a hockey game, be forced to clean up after myself and participate in corny fun, I feel that you should not spend any money.”

My response? “OK.”

And again, let me translate: “I spent a week and a half at Christmas with the kids all over me 24 hours a day, then followed it up with three straight days of trying to work a full eight hours while also fighting off a climbing child who really wants the computer right now and a drink of milk right now and a snack right now and let's play the princess game right now, and I WANT POP! right now and let's put eye-shadow on the dog right now. Please understand that I don’t want to spend the next three days doing the same, less the working, but with the added ‘girl’s day? Is it girl’s day? Can we go shopping? Let’s go to lunch! Where’s dad? Where’s brother? Let’s go shopping!’ So excuuuuse me if I want to escape this house for a while and have lunch or see a movie or go to the museum, because I work, too and I need a break, too and since I don’t have any backup this weekend, this IS my break, so suck it. PS. Cry me a river about the scouts driving you crazy and the not getting to watch TV and any other damned thing because no matter how bad it gets, you have NO IDEA how bad it gets. Take Sunday, for example, when I took down Christmas and you took three naps. And besides, we all know you two will come back, walk in, dump your bags and I’ll have a big mess on my hands. PPS. You are not the boss of me. PPPPS. Love you!”


It’s a girls’ weekend and I fully intend to enjoy it (and drink the entire bottle of viognier Rapunzel got me for Christmas). Anything good on your weekend agenda?

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'll blame the profanity on the PMS, but some of you know better

I don’t know if it’s PMS or just my evil nature, but I am a bitch today. It was my second day of working from home and I’m about at my limits. My daycare provider’s mother died and she’s closed until Friday (the slight inconvenience is a trade-off that I gladly deal with to be sending my kids to a place where they are treated like family and loved as much as if they were with grandma). Luckily, I work for a company that gives me the option to work form home in such emergencies.

Working from home sounds like fun. And in a way, it is. I can sleep in (sadly, sleeping in these days means 6:00), I don’t have to get dressed, I don’t have to deal with the office asshole (aka The Cock, for those of you who have been around for a while). But in reality, it’s not so much fun. I always say I’m not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom, and to be totally honest, that’s probably true. But most of that opinion is base on my experiences of the occasional days when i work from home. Which isn’t really fair to me. I mean, I’ll admit – sometimes being home with a three year old can be about as pleasant as having explosive diarrhea. But being at home with a three-year old while you need to get 15 annual reports produced, get one manuscript submitted, find a complicated database that does not exist, regardless of how badly TPTB want it to, update all the information on professional meetings for the entire year, create a document tracking all changes in tax, legislation, prevalence and quitting data of smokers in the U.S. is like explosive diarrhea plus projectile vomiting. Which does not put one in a particularly good mood.

I called the dog asshole at least eleventy-five times today, along with dickhead, dicklick, cocksucker, fuckwad, and jackhole. I called two drivers idiot and asswipe, I called the school bus driver an anus-licking prick (I’ll give myself a pass on this one – he really is). I sat through gymnastics and karate thinking (but not saying out loud – I do have some self-control) about how everyone there was either: a bitch, an asshole, a fuckwad, unqualified for life, or the dumbest shit that ever shitted. I told a bag-boy at the grocery store, after he told me that the line was closed (even though the fucking light was on and after I unloaded half of my overflowing and hard to push race car shopping cart (another great in theory, bad in practice product - whoever invented them is an asshole), “I’m going to have to kill you now.”

And then I came home (and cleaned up the garbage that the asshole dickhead dicklick, cocksucker fuckwad jackhole dog tore up), hated everyone for a while longer, then cracked open a bottle of champagne left over from New Years. After drinking ¾ of it, I have decided it must be PMS because my asshole-meter is still going off. I think I have some viognier left and I’m all over that bitch. After all, I get to "sleep in" tomorrow, so what the fuck.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pregnancy Tests (no - I'm not - don't get excited)

I was just getting ready to post a long whiny pity party about how I have nothing to say, don’t know what to write about, I’m so miserable, blahblahblah, when I read her post on taking pregnancy tests. So I’ll share the rather non-exciting stories instead (anything’s better that whining).

With the boy, it took forever to get pregnant. Wait. Did I say forever? Because what I meant was a couple months. But they felt like forever. I simply expected it to happen as soon as we made the decision to try. Since I had very irregular cycles, it made the whole process difficult. I was never sure when I was ovulating or when my period was due. This meant I took pregnancy tests all the time. No time or place was sacred. I took them at home. In the morning. At night. In the bathroom at work. I had no limits whatsoever. I was, in a word, insane.

I had no idea the difficulties that other people had conceiving. To me, if it didn’t happen right away then there was something wrong. I was completely obsessed with imaginary symptoms. I was feeling a little nauseous – take a test. I was spotting – was that implantation bleeding? Take a test. I think my boobs hurt – take a test. Thank goodness it wasn’t the rabbit test, because there wouldn’t be a bunny alive today.

Finally, one morning before work, I decided to take yet another test. I was so used to them at this point, that I didn’t hover over it anxiously anymore. I went about my morning, getting something to drink and feeding the dog and cat. And when I came back into the bathroom, there it was. The positive test. Finally, after all this time (not) I was pregnant. Mr b’s very romantic reaction was to yell, “Get down with your bad self, mama!” I took the day off work and stayed home to celebrate.

With the girl, it was quite the opposite. When the boy was about three and a half, we decided to start thinking about having another. I went off the pill and we started “letting nature take it’s course”. We weren’t actively trying, but figured if it happened, it happened. Besides, it was so fast last time (I finally had a clue), that it would be no problem this time, right? Wrong. For 18 months we did it this way, until we decided to start counting. My cycles were regular now and I learned all about the signs of ovulation. We did everything we read about to increase our chances, to no avail.

I saw my doctor and she told us to give it a little longer, so we kept trying. More temperature taking and cervical mucous checking and counting and trying and praying. More negative tests (though I didn’t obsessively take them like last time – just once a month, unless my period beat me to the punch. I thought I was pregnant a million times, though. After having a child and being on the pill, my body changed. My menstrual symptoms changed. I would feel nauseous, my boobs would hurt, I’d have what felt like the weird early pregnancy cramping. I’d be sure I was pregnant until I found out I wasn’t.

After about a year of trying this way, I was starting to get really discouraged. I worried that my weight was the problem. I worried that my advanced age of 34 was the problem. I worried that it would never happen. I made an appointment to see my doctor and discuss options. The week of the appointment, I started getting sick. That day, I woke up with the flu – the knock you down and stomp on your head I can’t breathe and have a fever and I’m aching and kill me now flu. I dragged myself in to work because I was NOT missing my appointment and if I was driving all that way, I may as well hole up in my office.

At the time, my GP was right upstairs from my office, so I decided to stop up and get checked out. She was getting ready to write me a prescription when she said, “Wait a minute – you’ve been trying to get pregnant, right?” I said yes, but don’t worry, I wasn’t. It was the only month in almost three years that I didn’t have nay symptoms. I was definitely not pregnant, I lamented. But being a rational person, she decided to test my urine just in case before she gave me any drugs. Her face when she walked back in the room told me that it was the best flu I ever had. I went back to my office and the second I walked in, my friend Flip took one look at me and mentally compared me to the ass-dragging death creature that had walked out 25 minutes before and said, “You’re pregnant!”

The results:

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back to Reality

Ahh, back to the “real world”. Going back to work after the holidays I always a double-edged sword. On one hand, ughhh, no more sleeping in, no more lounging around in jammies, no more hot breakfasts and freely-flowing wine (And beer. And rum.). No more people sending gifts and cookies and home-made goodness. No more spending all my time with my beautiful, loving children. On the other hand, no more feeling like a lazy ass because I sleep too much, no more looking like a disgusting lazy ass in my jammies all day, no more sorta-almost hangovers, no more utter gluttony, what with the gifts and goodies. And no more spending 24 hours a day with my noisy, pain-in-the-butt kids.

Usually when I am working, I get up around 5:00 am or so, but this morning, I decided to sleep in a little. There was snow predicted and I figured the roads would be bad, which would slow me down anyway, so sleeping in until 5:30 would be no big deal. But at 5:00, the phone rang. And you know how it is – when the phone rings at some ungodly hour, it scares the crap out of you - you leap out of bed, run to get it wondering and worrying over who is sick, dead, or injured. So, I leap from the couch, fall over my own feet into the chair where the jackass dog is sleeping, which makes him completely lose his shit, we both tumble to the phone where I grab it and hear, “This is the Smalltown Area School District. We are operating on a two-hour delay. Thank you.”

Seriously? Seriously?? You are calling me at Dark O’Clock to give me information that will be plastered all over the no less than 6 local TV channels, six bajillion radio stations, and every TV and newspaper website within a 100-mile radius? Well, Fuck you very much, SASD! I could have slept that extra 30 minutes, turned on the TV to ANY channel and seen all 200+ delays and closings scroll across my screen for the next 4 hours if I wanted to. How fucking stupid would I have to be to miss that information? If only they put this much effort into teaching our kids something. I mean, these are the people that scheduled my son’s group music lesson at a time slot that falls 15 minutes before his bus arrives at school. The people who spend about seven of nine months teaching the kids how to take that asinine George W Bush test of bullshit and typos. The people who decided (briefly – before parent reaction warranted otherwise) that the kids were not allowed to speak at all in the halls or at lunch. So why am I surprised?

Anyway, I hope you all had a very nice holiday. Mine was pretty good overall. Other than the fact that we are still adding/renovating and my head is going to explode if we don’t finish soon, that is. I mean, if I thought we were crowded before Christmas, I was sadly mistaken. Because Now? Now we are crowded. I just can’t wait to at least get the kids' rooms done, so we can start putting stuff away. And for mr b to finish the trim-painting so we can disassemble the spray booth and I can start to turn the basement into the playroom that it is intended to be. Because right now, the new ping-pong table is taking up all the space and I really want to start moving toys down there. And speaking of ping-pong? It makes the dog lose his tiny little mind. As soon as he hears the first ping (or pong – whatever), he goes completely batshit and starts barking. It’s funny for about 3 minutes and then you want to stuff his own head up his ass. I only wish I had a photo of the time I had to tape his face shut (oh, shut up – it was only that blue painters tape – I knew it wouldn’t hurt or de-fur him. And on one last tangent – speaking on de-furring – I got a furminator and it rocks.

OK – so I want to know – what was your best gift? Your worst? The one you were most excited to give? Your biggest disappointment?

Mine are:

Best – well, I’d like to say my camera, but since I actually bought it myself, it probably doesn’t count. So I’d have to say that my camera case was probably the best gift, since it allowed me to carry around the camera without acting like some freak transporting a live, beating heart in my hands. Which is pretty accurate. I’d practically shove an old lady, a puppy and possibly the Baby Jesus out of my way to avoid hurting my preciousssss.

Worst – the cute but too-small clothes that my mom got me. Though I should be used to it by now .

Most excited to give – the boy’s drum set. I’m sure the day will come that I regret this one, though.

Biggest disappointment – I was all set to give the girl a smart-cycle. There were 3,964,278,817 of them in every store. Until I had a chance to shop without kids. Then, there were none for 200 miles around. Except the bastards selling them online for twice the price. Assholes.

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