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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Avoidance

I keep trying to avoid The Black Bag. In general I love organizing the things that go into The Black Bag. Recently, though, I have been putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. I don’t know why I am putting it off. Let’s see what’s been going on:

1. I go through The Black Bag during office hours. Instead, I have been blogging or twittering or reading blogs.
2. I go through The Black Bag at lunch. Response = ditto #1.
3. I go through The Black Bag in the evening. I have been cherishing time with The Boy in the evenings, even if it is just watching him play Wii games. And since the writers’ strike has ended and shows are back on, I guess I have not made time for The Black Bag.

I’m going to have to find time for The Black Bag and laundry very soon. Or else what? I’m not sure, but it can’t be good.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

From This Moment

CEO Boss and I interacted last week. I was like, That was nice, but whatev. But then we had another interaction today.

Here is what happened last week: I was walking out of the copy room looking down at what I had just copied and he walked by and I was a little startled. I said, “Hi.” And he said, “Jumpy much?” We laughed.

Then I went to my desk and dropped off my copies. I picked up my mug and went to the kitchen to get some coffee. When I turned the corner, he was right there and I was surprised again! I said, “Oh my gosh, you did it again!”

He asked me if I had ever seen the movie Mr. Deeds where the butler shows up everywhere and he says something like, “You underestimate my sneakiness.” We both laughed and went our separate ways.

Today, he went into Quiet Boss’ office, found that Quiet Boss was not there, wrote him a note on a sticky, left it on his desk, and walked out of Quiet Boss’ office.

“Is Quiet Boss going to be back?” He asked me.

“Yes.” I affirmed. He was satisfied with that answer and headed back to his office.

Then he stopped and looked at me again. “Today?” Obviously, he was joking.

I said, “Yes.” again and we both laughed.

We’re just a hilarious pair, aren’t we? All that laughing and silliness.

Seriously, though, it is so silly but I just feel like, Cool, I made a connection with someone who I view as very professional and serious. Also, he now appears to be more human, not just a robot who cares about making money. I’m reminded that he is a husband and a dad and a person who has feelings.

I think I put people like him up on too high of a pedestal. Sure, they should be respected. But not to the point where they are only thought of as business people/robots.

I remember that I could not believe it when I found out he and his family watch television shows that I like to watch, like American Idol or The Office. I think this way about celebrities and The President also. I think I heard that The President watches baseball and that floored me. Maybe because I think he has more important things to do that waste time watching television (which may be true in his case), I feel that way about CEO Boss as well.

So I look forward to having more “moments” with the higher-ups at the office, and being more comfortable around them. After all, they are just human beings like me.

People Watching

I like to people watch. One place I get to do this every week is at church. We sit near the back, and this allows us to see everyone who comes in. I can see who they are talking to, watch them look for family and friends, or watch them look for a place to sit. I am very curious about people (The Man calls it “nosy”). When I meet people, I like to ask them lots of questions. And I like to people watch.

On this particular Sunday, I see a dad walk in with his son and daughter. The service is about to begin; both a kid’s choir and the adult choir are on stage. The music has started, and people are settling down in their seats. This dad is looking around, not wanting to disturb anyone by being the last family standing. The kids begin to sing in their cute, squeaky way. He consults an usher, whispering into his ear. The usher shakes his head no, and the man looks around frantically one more time. Finally, he takes a seat with his kids, obviously defeated that he did not find whoever it was he was looking for.

He watches the kids sing and then he watches the adult choir sing. The kids are dismissed to children’s church and he sits alone. The adult choir sings their last song and exits the stage. Choir members slowly trickle into the sanctuary, tip toe to their seats, whispering hello to their spouses or friends.

One lady walks in and looks around. An usher spots her and walks right over to her, points across the room, and walks her over to where this man was sitting. She lights up at the sight of him, as if to say, “Oh, there you are!” and he does the same when he sees her. She sits down and they look at each other with questioning eyes, “Where were you?” He motions as if to say, “I was here the entire time.” She points up to the front, so he would know she was singing in the choir. They settle down and my attention goes back to the sermon.

As I watched all of this, I realized I was smiling. Because I was amused. She was already up on stage when he walked in. He and their kids were the only people standing and she did not notice him. He was obviously looking for her; I would imagine he knows that his wife sings in the choir, and he was watching the choir while they were signing. It either did not occur to him that she would be up there, or he did not see her up there, or both. I found it humorous that they could not find each other but were perhaps looking right at each other. It’s evidence that no matter how long you have been married, there is still miscommunication. This one appeared to be a small misunderstanding, but depending on what happened that morning before I saw what took place, and depending on their personality types, that could really piss off a person. Hopefully it did not bother either one of them and this incident was only for my enjoyment.

I felt better about The Man and our relationship. Not in a self-righteous, we’re-better-than-them way, but like, hey-we-do-that-too! way. It made me feel normal. And that is why I like to people watch. It (usually) makes me feel less crazy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Should I Quit?

It’s no secret that I. Hate. My. Job. You’re probably sick of hearing about it. I hate it with a passion. It’s like my job to hate my job. Why not leave then? Seems like a fairly simple solution to quite a horrible situation.

This quote describes my current feelings: “If you think you’re underpaid and unappreciated, chances are you aren’t giving 100 percent. Consciously or not, many employees try to ‘balance the scales’ to ensure that what they give the employer is equal to what the employer gives them. According to Louis V. Imundo, author of ‘The Effective Supervisor's Handbook,’ when the negatives of a job outweigh the positives, ‘employees may put less effort into their jobs, be absent more frequently, be careless or psychologically withdraw from work while being physically present.’”

Have I found a possible way out? Let's see.

My dad is currently running a successful business and I’m 99% sure he would let me come work for him. Here are the pros and cons.

Cons: I’ll do the cons first so that the last thing you read is the pros and you are left thinking of the positive things and are most likely to tell me what I want to hear, which is YES QUIT YOUR JOB AND GO WORK FOR YOUR DAD.

Con #1: Money not guaranteed. I would basically be an independent consultant, which means I would not receive the traditional paycheck. I receive money based on how many “deals” I make. That is a little scary for a person who has lived off of guaranteed salary for eleven years (ever since I started working). It is also scary right now because The Man has no guaranteed income.

Con #2: Working for family. I love my dad, but let’s face it; we both have our flaws and have certainly gotten on each other’s nerves in the past. I wouldn’t want to risk damaging our relationship.

Con #3: Health insurance goes away. My company currently provides health benefits for The Boy and me.

Con #4: No “vacation/sick” days. If I don’t work one day, I don’t get paid that day. The term “time is money” has an all new meaning.

Pros: Don’t forget – pay extra close attention to these.

Pro #1: If I make the kind of money my dad is saying I could make, I could make more money in twelve weeks than I grossed in all of 2007.

Pro #2: I could potentially work five hours a day instead of nine (eight hours, plus one hour for lunch), which would leave me time to pursue other things and give me time to discover my passion. This also would allow me more time to spend with my family, spend more time with myself, taking care of myself, which I am in desperate need of. This would also allow me more time and energy to spend volunteering, either in The Boy’s class, in the community, or at church.

Pro #3: Flexible schedule. I would be making appointments around my schedule. So if The Boy had something going on at school or needed to go to the doctor, I could take him without missing work. And although I may not have “official” sick time or vacation time, I would have the flexibility to take time off whenever I wanted to.

Pro #4: Being an independent consultant, I would not be working near my dad. I would be working out of my home, a safe distance from my father, so we could keep the necessary boundaries to maintain our relationship.

Pro #5: Although my employer provides insurance, they do not GIVE it to us. I have to pay quite a lot for the insurance I receive (deducted from my paycheck), and I am sure I could find a health insurance plan for our entire family at least for the same cost I am paying right now.

Pro #6: Being my own boss. I could only complain about MYSELF!!! I would become Female Boss, and I would drop the other Female Boss, Quiet Boss, Boss Man, CEO Boss, and the entire depressing environment at the office. Believe it or not, I am a fairly happy person, which is why it frustrates me to no end that I am unhappy every day.

Pro #7: Saving money. If I chose, I could save money on gas, on eating out food, and on my work clothing budget.

If I give my two week notice this Friday (May 2nd), I could start working for my dad on Monday, May 19th. The Man could theoretically hear from the company he interviewed with by then and know what’s going on with that. Until then, he is probably going to be working for my dad also.

Have I left out anything? What do you think?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Track #2

I think The Boy could be a singer/songwriter. He already has a band, made up of his classmates, each assigned their own instrument. The Boy put the band together, and of course he plays the drums. This was maybe up to eighteen months ago, so I think the band is actually broken up right now, due to a little diva snubbing her nose and leaving. Their name is/was The Stickers.

Back to being a singer/songwriter. He has also already laid down two tracks. The lyrics to the first track can be read here, and I have the privilege of documenting the second track. I proudly present to you: Marshmallows On A Plate.

Marshmallows On A Plate
Written and Recorded by: The Boy
Date: Sometime in April 2008

Five little marshmallows on a plate,
One got picked up and one got ate.

Four little marshmallows on a plate,
One got picked up and one got ate.

Three little marshmallows on a plate,
One got picked up and one got ate.

Two little marshmallows on a plate,
One got picked up and one got ate.

One little marshmallow on a plate,
One got picked up and one got ate.

He came up with that all by himself. Pretty talented I think. Oh, wait, my phone is ringing. It's probably Jive Records wanting to sign a deal. Later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To Add To My Resume: Always Smells Good

I don’t feel really great about coming to work anymore.

Female Boss has been surprisingly nice lately. Maybe because The Man got laid off? Or because I said I was so glad to have her back at work (which was a true statement, I was just kissing up)? Maybe I’m getting laid off and she feels bad for me? Or maybe it has nothing to do with me and she has just been in a better mood. I don’t know, but coming to work is easier in that sense.

More layoffs were announced last week. These people will have their last day on June 30th. One lady has worked here for TWENTY-TWO years. More than half of her life; she started when she was only seventeen.

These are the things that are going through my mind when I hear this news.

I’m reminded that I had “friends” who were laid off. Two people remained true friends. Another person, who I smashed down my usual brick wall for and overlooked her fatal flaw, and chose to pursue a friendship with outside of work, did not reciprocate. The pain of that resurfaces with the reminder that if she was not laid off, I could still be living under the (false) impression that we were actually friends (note to self: you may want to resolve those feelings…bring up during next therapy session).

When you lay off people, I guess you first lay off those who are not most important to your company. I know that the last two rounds of lay offs last year were particularly a big hit on the company and the remaining employees, but I don’t think the first two series were all that crucial. However, when you end up having to let go more people, those people are at more of a disadvantage. The people who were not as valuable to you have now gone out and found jobs; and the new people are left with sloppy second job offers, or perhaps none at all. If you truly valued people’s lives and well being, and appreciated their loyalty and work ethics, I would think you would do it all at once so that everyone had the chance to find new jobs at an equal pace, or that you would let go those most loyal and valuable in the beginning so that they could have a head start.

I am so sure that this is really naïve thinking. Naïve in that business just flat out can’t work that way, and in that CEO Boss doesn’t really care about the loyalty or value of the employees.

Of course, I am also sensitive to this situation because I am now dealing with the same issue in my own home. It’s like when people think, Oh cancer will never happen to me so I don’t need to apply sun block, or I’m going to live forever, who needs life insurance? I really thought that The Man was secure in his job. Because his employers told him incessantly that he was safe. And we believed them. That is why I don’t believe my job is protected either. Oh, you’re in commercial, you’re safe. Uh-uh. I don’t buy it and I don’t like hearing it. It might as well be a cheesy pick up line.

CEO Boss appeared to be in not the best mood at the beginning of last week. Then about Wednesday he comes in all chirpy again. Come to find out that more people were laid off. Are you happy that people are getting let go? Glad to have money coming in again? Do you care at all about how other people’s lives are being affected by your actions? Female Boss mentioned that he is probably trying his hardest to just keep the company up and running, and trying to keep it from shutting down. It’s not about making money right now. It’s a good point, and I try to have an understanding of that.

It is difficult though when I know so many of the things I know. This is where I know that I am still young in the business world. Because I see and hear how money is being made and spent elsewhere, personally, by the families who owns the company, which includes CEO Boss. In my head I know that this money is separate, but in my heart, I don’t want to see people loss their jobs and I calculate how long this expense could have kept so and so here. It all adds up, and I feel that jobs could have been saved. Even something like the company bowling party (which is also catered) scheduled in May – the cost of that might not seem like a large expense for the company, but I bet it could keep an employee around for a month, maybe two? Even if it couldn’t save an employee, by NOT having it, the appearance would be that the employers are cutting back in other places, not just in paychecks.

So Monday mornings are more difficult than ever; but for different reasons that before. I can’t decide which poison I prefer – the poorest morale I have ever seen in an office environment, or a nasty boss. Which would you choose?

The part I DO feel good about is that every morning I make the coffee and I use a creamer that is very fragrant. Many people walk past my desk every morning and I can count on at least one person mentioning “it always smells good.” Being the people pleaser that I am, it feels good to offer something positive to the people, no matter how small. And it’s better than the alternative.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WonderWalk

The Boy is participating in his first Walk A Thon! The charity is March of Dimes, and the walk is being put on by his preschool. Have you ever heard of anything more precious? Kids and babies helping other babies - those who have a disadvantage the second they come into this world. We are raising money for this cause, and when I set out a goal of $100, I did not think we would meet the goal. Oh, yea of little faith.

We exceeded our goal.

Thank you to R, the Ex Boss (who doesn't read this blog, but will also be receiving a very nice thank you card). You are such a special person to me and it really means a lot that you would contribute to this cause in The Boy's name.

Thank you to my aunt (who also doesn't read this blog, but ditto on the card), who donated $25. The Boy was so excited to receive your e-mail, and I thank you for supporting him in his new experience.

And last, but certainly NOT least, THANK YOU to my dear friends, Salty and Jenny, who are most likely to read this post (because I'll tell them to read it). You are so thoughtful and generous. I am very thankful to be able to count you as my true friends. Your contribution made him so excited to do this walk to be a hero for the babies. I will send you pictures of his determined look as he walks through his check points to save babies.

On a side note: I cannot wait for you to move out here already! The Boy is so excited to spend more time with you.

Just because I met my goal does not mean we have to be done. I am still accepting donations (until May 16th). You can donate online, and don't think for one second that what you have to offer isn't enough. Even one dollar is enough to contribute to the life of a newborn.

Thank you so much for your consideration. The March of Dimes has saved millions of babies from death or disability with lifesaving research and innovative prevention programs. The money we raise will support those efforts.



www.marchofdimesyouth.com

I Need Privacy

Is this a post about how Mommy needs some much deserved privacy? Nope. Because that’s useless to write. The Boy, however, feels that he deserves some privacy. To pee. Which literally takes five seconds. But now it takes five minutes. Because he has to ask for privacy, I have to leave the bathroom, he closes the door himself, and then he calls out to us, “Don’t come in, okay?” we must reply “Okay!” before the sentence even leaves his mouth otherwise he will come out and say, “HEY! Did you hear me? I need privacy, okay?!?” and then he will close the door again, finally go potty, flush, wash his hands, etc. Instead of just coming in the bathroom while I’m washing my face (with my eyes closed), and peeing. Like I haven’t spent hours studying every part of his body since he was an infant.

What truly rung humorous to me was the other morning we had to take really quick showers in the morning so The Boy and I were going to shower together (sorry Hunny Bear, I’m sure you’re gouging your eyes out now, reading this as a teen/young adult, but it’s true – you used to shower with your mother). He had to use the restroom before the shower. Which I appreciate; I don’t really like getting peed on in the shower. But he insisted that, instead of allowing me to get the shower ready while he took five seconds to urinate, we go through this process because he “needs privacy.” So I stepped out of the bathroom, patiently waited through the entire ordeal, and then we got in the shower together. Both naked. With no privacy. And I washed and saw all of his body, even the private parts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Garlic, White Shells, and Other Pregnancy Stories

I’m not going to lie to you. Pregnancy changes your body. It changes your body in ways you will never EVER be able to imagine. You could be a skinny toothpick, but your tummy will never be the same after it inflates to the size of a watermelon.

That’s obvious, though. Everyone knows that. That and the fact that there is no cure for stretch marks. I am here to share with you the less obvious notes on the potential aftermath of pregnancy.

I love garlic. I used to go to this restaurant just to eat the garlic fries, which is a misleading title for this appetizer because it was mostly a pile of a mix of garlic, salt, and parmesan, and the fries were thrown in as an afterthought. I could eat the garlic mixture with a spoon. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a late night snack. I used to eat roasted garlic straight from the cloves, a little bread to wash it down. I put garlic in everything I (once in a blue moon) cooked, and I was not concerned with the amount of garlic that might be in a dish I ordered at a restaurant. In fact, I may have ordered a side of garlic. You get it, right? I like garlic.

I still love it. However, I cannot eat it. I ate it all throughout pregnancy with no problems. After I had The Boy, I started to notice that I would get heartburn when I ate things that had garlic in them. I took a chance one time and ordered garlic fries – I thought I was going to have a heart attack that night because my chest was in such enormous pain. I have tried consuming it in very small amounts, thinking I could wean my body into accepting it. To no avail; there is no amount of garlic that my body finds tolerable. This week, our office went to a lunch together; where the lunch is predetermined and we do not order. The salad had a Caesar dressing which, I have come to find, has garlic in it. I did not care. I ate the entire salad. That was Wednesday at noon. I had indigestion for the rest of the day, and I tasted garlic in my mouth on Thursday morning. Mmmm, yummy.

Another thing that I liked to eat when we first got married was Pasta-Roni Shells With White Cheddar. Fancy, huh? We were just kids, I didn’t know how to cook or even how to experiment with cooking, and this was cheap and fast. The Man still loves it. I do not. It does not give me heartburn, there are no negative memories associated with it. I just don’t like it anymore. It repulses me. I used to feel really nauseous when The Man would make it and I could smell it. That part has gotten better. Now I think it smells good, but I hate the way it tastes. I think, Mmm, that smells good. I’ll just take a bite. If it smells this good, it has to taste even better, right? Wrong! Every six months to a year I’ll work up the nerve to taste it, and I have stopped having a repulsive reaction, but I still don’t like the way it tastes.

Finally, The Man and I had a fight when I was pregnant, while eating Taco Bell – did I mention we were just kids? And we liked cheap food? I vomited the food I had eaten from there – nachos do not taste very good coming back up, okay? Take note. I have not been able to smell or eat Taco Bell since the day of that fight.

Not food related, but pregnancy related – I have always been a very cold person. Not like a frigid b!&@$ or anything, actually cold in temperature. So much that my fingernails are often a bluish purple color, I was tested for poor circulation at one point, put on special vitamins, tested for thyroid and anemia, blah blah blah. I wear pants and jackets in the middle of summer (we live where it can get up to 115 degrees outside), and socks and sweats to bed every night, with lots of covers. So I get knocked up and all of a sudden I’m warm. I’m like, what’s this? My fingernails are pink! I can wear shorts and sandals for the majority of the year! I was in HEAVEN. I have The Boy and the garlic thing kicks in, I can’t eat Taco Bell, and I start to panic. Will my warmness go away? I like being warm. What can I do to keep it? One month, two months, six months, I’m still warm. Whew! I start to relax about it and focus on The Boy, since before that I was basically ignoring him. Eighteen months after The Boy is born, and I swear to you, it’s like I slept on a glacier in Antarctica that night. I woke up in the middle of the night, disturbed because I was not comfy in my skimpy sleep outfit, as I had become accustomed to. What was this? My feet are cold? My legs – cold! My hands – cold! It was all over. Back to the pants and jackets, covers, covers, and more covers. I was cold again. There was no explanation! I cried.

The Boy is five years old, and the only food thing I’m not upset about is Taco Bell. It’s strange that my body would not revert back to liking those food items, even after this long. And it’s bizarre that I would be all toasty warm for two years and then have everything go back to being cold in one night.

So if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, or are currently pregnant, enjoy the food you eat every day, because it could be the last time it goes down and doesn’t come back up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Hostess With The Mostess

If you couldn't already tell, I am at home tonight, with the desire to blog, and with access to my personal photos. Watch out.

I have mentioned twice now that I made these cupcakes and intended to take pictures of them. I made them again for Easter and snapped a few good shots. I made the "easy" version this time. Still not easy. I received a lot of compliments on them. I'm going to settle for buying real Hostess Cupcakes from now on. It was fun to experiment though.


Comfort Food

I LOVE macaroni and cheese. With an unnatural passion. To this day if my mom asks what I want her to make for a special dinner, that is what I will ask for.

I love all different variations of the dish. Boxed Kraft, from scratch, baked. It's ALL good. I made a baked recipe last month and it was delicious. I'm drooling right now thinking about it. I think I'll try the recipe again but this time use a grueye cheese.

Here are the pictures. And just to prove that I don't eat all carbs all the time, I threw in a picture of the asparagus that I served with it.



A Tribute To The Turn

I have a camera. I like it. I like to take pictures of strange things even though they may not come out as "artistic" as a professional photographer (also, I don't know how to use Photoshop), but I think the stuff I do is good and it's silly too, which makes me smile. And isn't that the most important part?

Here is my latest idea. Take a picture of the wheel at all the different point it makes during a turn. Please note: Do not try this while driving.

Enjoy:







Full Disclosure

We watched a show the other night and in the beginning one of the actor’s voices come on and says, “This show is taped in front of a live studio audience.”

Does anybody know why they do this? The first time I remember hearing this was on the show Coach.

It seems odd to have a disclosure of this nature. Did somebody sue a network because they thought they were listening to a laugh track, only to be disappointed to find out that they were hearing live laughter?

I can see it now. Grouchy Grampa sits up in his Barcalounger, turns up his hearing aid, and mumbles something to Gramma. Gramma cups her hand over her ear and squeaks, “Whaaaa?” Grampa turns to the side table and picks up his dentures. After firmly placing them his gummy mouth, he repeats himself, “Did you hear that? I think it was real laughter! I thought it was a recording all this time. Get me NBC on the phone, woman! I’m gonna sue!”

I mean seriously, what’s this about?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Non-Stop Talking

The Boy was non-stop with his talking this morning (enough to have me question his gender). Here is how the drive to school went:

This is The Boy talking: “When are we going to the snow again?What’s that place called?Oh yeah, Lake Tahoe.Is this number six?Do you have a snack?I’m hungry.I like the snow.Can you turn it up?Are we almost there?Why is Daddy staying home today?Don’t give me yucky tortillas anymore, okay Mom?Where’s my kitty?Can you please pick that up from the floor?I miss Lake Tahoe.Can we listen to this song eleven times?It’s 7:29!That means that 30 is next.T thinks that one hundred and ten comes after thirty-nine.But it doesn’t.He’s wrong.Can you cover me?Watch this!I like bacon.It smells sweet.Rembmer when you crashed at Wal-Mart?”

And on and on. And on. If you take a look, you will notice that most of these sentences end with a question mark. You will also notice that there is no space after the question mark for a response. When he first started to do this, I would annoy me to no end. But then I realized that he’s just talking to hear himself talk, and I let him talk.

Some days I love it. I love his curiosity and excitement about life. And some days I want to say BE QUIET. BECAUSE IF I HEAR ANOTHER SOUND COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH I’M GOING TO CHOKE MYSELF.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Driving With The Police

On the way to taking The Boy to school this morning, there was a police car driving in traffic. What annoys me most about this is that, at least in our town, people feel the need to drive five miles per hour BELOW the speed limit and, in no circumstance whatsoever, will one pass the police vehicle.

People, PLEASE!!! If you drive the speed limit, NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU. He’s probably just driving twenty miles per hour on the freeway to mess with you on purpose. He is busy doing his job, he is not concerned with the exact speed of each driver on the road. So just drive normally and nobody will get hurt.

Here is what happened this morning. I am in the right lane with a car in front of me, and the cop is in the left lane. He slows down because the car in front of him is turning left and he MUST SLOW DOWN or he will RUN INTO the car. The car in front of me, who has clear road for at least a mile in front of him, SLOWS DOWN ALSO. ALMOST TO A STOP. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. WTF?!? If I wasn’t paying attention, I could have run right into the back of him. What was the purpose of that? You think this cop is going to pull you over because you passed him when he was clearly waiting for someone to turn? The other car turns, so the cop speeds up to a little below the speed limit, and the car in front of me speeds up to less than a little below the speed limit, so as not to pass the police vehicle, LEST HE GET PULLED OVER FOR DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT.

When people do this, it makes me think that there is something else going on. Why do they want to hide behind the police car? If, by some off chance, the policeman is at all interested in the random 1982 beat up green Honda Accord driving next to him, and happens runs the license plate number, is he going to find out more than just, hey – that guy is driving the speed limit? Maybe he will then be required to pull you over because you are driving a stolen vehicle? Or your tags are expired? Do you have outstanding parking tickets? Are you are an illegal alien? What other reason could there be for avoiding driving in front of a police car?

Wit Escapes Her

On Monday, I threw some literary vomit onto a blank document in Word. I knew it was garbage when I wrote it. I was out of sorts, and I knew there was no way any of that could be re-written to be interesting or resemble the tolerable writing I normally churn out. So I posted it anyway.

Since then, I have pretty much felt the same way. Uninspired, or forgetting the events of something funny that The Boy said or did. I have taken this time as an opportunity to shut up and catch up on reading the million other blogs I love, and have found myself coming up with some fairly witty comments. To those of you who have received a comment from me this week, you should feel honored and flattered. Honored because you are in receipt of the cleverest thoughts my brain was able to come up with this week, and flattered because you were able to rouse such a response through your writing and experiences.

In Case You Get Bored

Darling, I know you are at home all day today without a car, so in case you get bored, I thought you might be interested in staving off cancer. Good luck.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WonderWalk

WonderWalk is a unique walking event for children. It's a mini-walk, modeled after WalkAmerica, the March of Dimes' largest and most successful fundraising event. Children get donations for the March of Dimes from friends and relatives. Then, on WonderWalk Day, they take a walk around their playground.

By participating in the event, children learn about the value of volunteering to help others and come to understand more about children with birth defects and babies born too soon.

If you are able, please write your name and address on an envelope, place your contribution amount (even $1 can help!) in the envelope (checks should be made payable to the March of Dimes), and give to me. You can also donate online here.

The Boy's walk will take place on Friday, May 16th at 9:30 a.m. I will be walking with him. There will be check points that he will walk through at the playground at his school. He is so excited to "Be a SUPERHERO for babies born too soon."

Thank you so much for your consideration. The March of Dimes has saved millions of babies from death or disability with lifesaving research and innovative prevention programs. The money we raise will support those efforts.

Thank you for your support!



www.marchofdimesyouth.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jail Time

The other day The Man politely beeped the car horn at the lady driving the car in front of him as the traffic light had turned green but she failed to notice because she was talking on her cell phone. The Boy asked The Man why he honked the horn and The Man explained. Then the following conversation took place:

“Dad, is talking on the phone when you are driving against the rules?”

“Yes.”

“Well I hope she goes to jail!” The Boy has the same amount of compassion towards bad drivers as I do.

“Yeah, me too!” Okay, he gets some of it from The Man.

“Because when you go to jail, you have to read your favorite book over and over again.”

I haven’t read my favorite book in years, nor do I anticipate having any time in the near future to read it. I guess all I needed to do this entire time was commit a crime. I want to make up for lost reading time, though, so it should probably at least be a felony.

Check It

On the way home last night, The Man and I were being silly in the front seat and The Boy was having none of it. He insisted that we play The Quiet Game, and I lost right away. This resulted in The Boy giving me a “check.” Checks are the demerit system used at his school. I kept trying to get The Man in trouble, but to no avail, it only resulted in more checks for myself. By the time we got home I had five checks and The Boy was very disappointed in me.

Life Plan

Last night we went to our friends’ house for dinner. I love their house. It’s truly a home, a place where neatness is not necessary, and comfort is key. I feel good there. I know how they parent their children, and that their house is child proof, so I feel at ease letting The Boy run off with the kids, which leaves lots of adult time.

I learned something new about this couple last night. I learned how they met and it is so nontraditional. The wife said that she did not like their story, she wishes it were more traditional. So many people have traditional stories (which is why they are called traditional, duh), and I think that their story really shows their commitment to each other and their choice to love each other. It was very sweet.

The Boy came into the dining room where we were sitting. He wanted to ask a question, but I noticed some dark spots on his fuzzy blonde head.

I asked, “What is that on your head?”

“I don’t know.” Was his reply (of course).

“It looks like someone drew on your head!”

“Oh yeah. V did it.”

I turned to their little girl, who is the same age as The Boy. “V, why did you draw on The Boy’s head?”

V’s innocent response, “I wanted him to have polka dot hair.”

I didn’t even bother trying to contain my laughter.

The Boy has expressed to us his plan for life. He is going to marry V and live with her in Disneyland. Ahhhh, I wish that could be true.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Funniest Thing

This is seriously one of the funniest and truest things I have read in a very long time. I found it here.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

I’m On A Roll (A BLOGroll)!!!

My dearest friend (okay, I’ve never met her in person, and I only know of her from reading her blog for two months, but still) Catherine, has me on her blogroll! I never asked Catherine to put me on her blogroll, she did it of her own free will. Amazing.

What I find really wonderful is that Catherine comments on my posts (listen up you lurkers; I know you’re there so start commenting already), and she appears to enjoy my writing. Coming from someone who is actually a good writer (check out her blog here); I am very flattered that she not only reads my blog, but also comments on it, AND she has it on her blogroll.

So Catherine, all my love to you today, my BFF, or person I hardly know but appreciate dearly.

Living On Severance: Day One

Today has been so much better than last Monday. I had a terrific weekend, which involved a cake with asparagus on it (more on that later, photos included), The Boy’s first soccer game (repeat last parenthetical statement), and hockey playoffs with friends (which ended poorly, the playoffs, not the friends). I transferred half of The Man’s severance from savings to checking and looking at our budget, things are going to be okay for the next two weeks. I also completed his first unemployment form so that we may start collecting unemployment benefits beginning the last week of April. I’m just really wishing I was at home with him right now instead of here.

I’m dreadfully tired because I did not sleep well last night. The Man sneezed yesterday morning and hurt his back. Did I mention he turned 30 last week? A little old, much? To be fair, though, it was a reinjury. Anyway, I was afraid of hurting him by moving too much in bed, which led to a poor night’s sleep.

The Man cursed himself. He said, “Since I’m going to be at home, I want to stay on top of those dishes.” Instead of them piling up like they normally do during our busy weeks, it was his intention to keep the sink clear and put the dishes in the dishwasher every time dishes were added to the sink. But since he verbalized it, of course it did not happen. The sink magically reproduced dirty dishes overnight and in addition to being very busy this weekend, he has now injured himself. But he has all day today to do them, so good luck to him!

I recently read a tweet on Twitter that most people are boring, or something to that affect. Yes, perhaps this is true. I certainly do not find anything exciting about the life I am leading. But I’m not writing to excite anyone else. I am writing to leave something for The Boy to read. And it may bore him, too. At least he will know that he is loved dearly.

I do not understand this comment from this tweeter. Twitter is supposed to be short, simple, and answering the question, “What are you doing right now?” How interesting can that be? That’s the fun of it! Getting to know what people are doing in their normal lives. To me, that IS interesting. Because I’m a nosy people watcher. That’s the POINT of Twitter.

Does this person think that their life is so interesting? If so, why would they even bother being part of a social community such as Twitter or read any other blogs for that matter? I should be so blessed as to have them grace my feeds on Bloglines? If their life is so non-boring and full of excitement, why even bother mentioning how boring we are? If you had a life, you wouldn’t need to feel the need to put us boring folk down. You are only showing your true colors and it has now been revealed that you are in fact the person who does not have an exciting life, but a boring one, perhaps a life that is unsatisfactory to you, and the only way to make yourself feel better is to call out all of those who are just trying to learn from each other and try to pretend that you are better than we are. How sad for you.

Anyway, on to the hockey playoffs. The refs sucked. They ruined it. We were the home team, and I’m sorry but anyone getting favorites should be the dang home team. In the last period, it was tied, 2 to 2. We scored in like the last two minutes, supposedly giving our team a one point lead. But the ref blew the whistle and said that the whistle was blown before the goal was made. So we did not get our point. The other team had done something wrong and a player had to go into the penalty box. Can’t we just decline the penalty and take the goal? No? THEN, the other team turned around and SCORED, with like forty seconds left, giving THEM a one point lead. Needless to say, we did not win the game, and I hope the refs waited until the arena was empty to leave, and if they were smart they had police escort them to their vehicles. Because I know I was ready to go down there myself and kick some stupid ref booty, so I’m sure there were others ready to go with me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Why This Bad? I Just Don't Get It.

I thought I was pretty tame. I guess it will be longer until I let The Boy look at my blog.



P.S. Just so you know, the text is supposed to go in that film box, I don't know why it's doing that. Perhaps this site is not as accurate as one might first think...

I Just Can't Fight It

It wasn’t long ago that The Boy said “surprise” this way – “purprise!” I loved it. Now he says it the regular way (tears). Also, he can now actually KEEP a secret, so something can actually be a surprise.

Only five months ago, he couldn’t keep a secret. Here was a common scenario:

Mommy and The Boy, sitting on the couch downstairs, while Daddy is upstairs getting dressed. Mommy whisper, “Hey, dude, Mommy got this new Star Wars toy for Dad. Don’t tell him, k?”

The Boy whispers back, “Okay Mommy.”

Then The Boy runs upstairs and tells Daddy, “Mommy got you a Star Wars toy.”

That sucked. But now he can keep a secret. He will still tell you that there is a surprise, but he won’t tell you what it is.

My birthday is tomorrow, and The Boy planned, ALL BY HIS CUTE LITTLE SELF, to surprise me. He told The Man exactly what he wanted to do for me and they are busy doing it right now. I cannot tell you how excited I am. I have not been this excited for a surprise in a very very very long time.

Website Review: Twitter


Twitter is my newest obsession. I don’t love it more than blogging, but probably about the same. I love to blog, but on days when I am not in the mood, Twittering is just right. And my tweets show up on my blog, too, so my peeps (well, just one peep, actually) can see what I’m up to.

“Micro-blogging” is what it’s called. You just type in your random thoughts, ideas, feelings, what you are doing, and you have to do it in 140 characters or less. If you find other people on Twitter, either people you know in real life, or authors of other blogs you like to read, then you can “Follow” them and their tweets will show up on your main Twitter page. Then you can read what everyone is up to.

If you want to see what EVERYONE in the entire world is up to, just go to the Public Timeline and you will truly see what everyone in the Twitter world is saying.

Follow me on Twitter!

*Please note that I have no affiliation with Netflix, nor have they asked me to promote their site. In fact, they do not know that I am writing this review and I hope I wasn't supposed to ask permission first!

However, if you do want to pay me to review a product or service; I would be happy to do it! Send me an e-mail at rubialala at gmail dot com.

Website Review: Netflix


Netflix is so much better than the Blockbuster stores. Everything is done by mail so I don’t have to go into any store. I can do everything online, which is what is most convenient for our family. We signed up to have two movies out at a time. I like this because then The Man can get something that he likes and I can get something that I like. Or we can agree on something and get something else for The Boy. It’s a good price, we aren’t overwhelmed by having a million (okay, three) movies at our house at one time, but one would not be enough. Those are all options, though, so Netflix is great for offering flexible options for the versatile families that are out there.

I rent workout videos before I buy them. There are so many cheesy, useless workout DVDs out there. By renting them I know if I like the host and if the workout works for me. Also, it’s a great way to have variety in my workout. I never looked at Blockbuster, mainly because I did not know if they had workout videos, but you could do this with them, too I suppose.

I can put a movie that I’ve watched over the weekend into the mail on Monday, and I will get my next movie in the mail on Wednesday.

The greatest thing is that Netflix has a queue where it keeps my brain. Whenever we would go to Blockbuster, I would leave my brain at home. Seriously, who has room up there to remember all of the movies I have ever been interested in seeing? Unless I keep a written list and carry it with me where ever I go on the off chance we might go to Blockbuster (P.S. TOTALLY something my mom would do. She actually might do that. Also something I might do if I weren’t so lazy and technologically inclined). With Netflix, you can save movies into your queue so you never forget that you wanted to see that movie (at one point in your life). You can also rearrange them so that if you are in fact not in the mood to see the horror movie that is currently at the top of your queue, then you can change the numbers so that you can instead have a romantic comedy come to the house for date weekend.

One warning about your queue: If you share your username and password with other people in your family, they will be able to manipulate the queue, so you should set some ground rules, like check with The Wife before you change the movie queue, lest anyone get upset about not receiving the movie she was expecting.

There are a lot of other options on Netflix that I have not mentioned because we do not use those features. One of them is that each member of your family can have a “sub account” where if you are permitted to have three movies out at one time, then you control one movie, husband controls another movie, and teenage son controls last movie. That way you each have your own queue (and avoid above mentioned situation).

*Please note that I have no affiliation with Netflix, nor have they asked me to promote their site. In fact, they do not know that I am writing this review and I hope I wasn't supposed to ask permission first!

However, if you do want to pay me to review a product or service; I would be happy to do it! Send me an e-mail at rubialala at gmail dot com.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Girls Talk A Lot

The Boy mentions occasionally that girls talk a lot and boys do not. After watching The Wiggles this morning, he says, “Dad? Is Captain Feathersword a boy?” Dad replied yes and then asked The Boy why he asked him that. His reply: “Because he talks a lot.”

Daydreaming

We’re driving home from our first soccer practice last night and The Boy did really well. He scored a “goal” in the practice game we had. He was very excited, and also wide awake. The Boy says, “I just had a dream. I was dreaming that I made five goals. It’s a commercial right now; I’ll tell you what happens when the commercial is over.” Then he whispers some things that I cannot hear and then he is quiet for a minute. I look back at him and ask him, “Did you make another goal?” “Yes,” he replies, “Now I have six.”

Not My Bed

I slept on the same twin mattress from as long as I can remember until I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 18. I was not permitted to take my bed with me when I moved out (a story for another time), so I had to purchase a new bed. I bought a full mattress set and I have slept on that bed for the last ten years. Over the last ten years, that mattress has gone through a marriage, a child, and a child jumping on it. It was pretty beat. But it was comfortable and I liked it. It was broken and lumpy, but it was mine and I slept really well on it.

The Man’s parents are moving. They gave us a nice bedroom set (real wood, not veneer), including a basically brand new mattress set. All of the furniture matches, something I haven’t had since I had my white furniture set when I was little living at home. It was very nice of them to give it to us, and I am grateful. We sold my bed at the garage sale.

This new bed is not my bed. My body is rejecting it, like it would reject a kidney or bad sushi. I don’t sleep well on it, and although we simultaneously received some bad news that could potentially affect my sleep patterns, I’m pretty sure it’s the bed. It’s too hard, which is probably good for support, but my bones and muscles are not used to it, and I wake up sore and tired every day.

I want my old bed back; my lumpy, broken mattress that was mine for ten years. I’m too old to make this kind of adjustment. I’m tempted to let The Boy jump on the new bed (which was a new rule we made – no jumping on the new bed), just to break it in a little.

Because this is not my bed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hallway of Awkwardness

My office has a reception desk in the lobby where one would check in and then a waiting area to wait in after checking in. It’s really nice and comfortable. Then there is a very long hallway, perhaps 50 feet long by 8 or 10 feet wide. There are openings along the hallway which lead to other hallways or conference rooms. At the end of the main hallway are two double doors, one of which is kept open during business hours. What’s behind those two doors is referred to as “Executive Offices.” The first desk, a reception type desk, is my desk.

That hallway sucks. Whenever I leave my desk to go use the restroom or go the mailroom or go pick up someone in the lobby, I will undoubtedly have to walk by a co-worker in this hallway of awkwardness. The hallway is so long that you cannot just smile and say, “Hi. How are you? I’m good thanks.” No. There is so much more time left before you either pass each other or turn out of the hallway to go your separate ways. What do you do with that time? Shift your eyes away? Pretend to look through whatever documents are in your hands? Continue keeping eye contact, potentially making your co-worker uncomfortable?

If we ever move into a new office building, one that I assume we will design or have a hand in designing, I am going to recommend not doing that. I will instead recommend hallways that zig zag back and forth. Who cares if it takes up more room and is less efficient? It will be the least uncomfortable for the employees who must walk the hallway every day. And after all, isn’t that the most important thing?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Laid Off Dad

Not to steal the term “Laid Off Dad” from the official Laid Off Dad, but The Man was laid off. Yup. His 30th birthday was on Thursday and he got laid off on Friday. Happy Birthday. Nothing makes you feel older than being 30 and unemployed, eh?

I see many Mom/Wife Blogs refer to their husbands by the work they do. If I did that, The Man would be The Architect. And to be fair, the architectural economy sucks right now, ESPECIALLY where we live. Our housing situation has put our city on the map. Before this year, I bet hardly anyone heard of our city. Nobody is building houses; tract or residential. He actually did have work to do, but the company wasn’t getting paid for that work.

I’m going to go through the stages of grief as a result of this. I’m still in between the shock stage (officially called denial I guess) and the anger stage. Shocked that The Man doesn’t have a job. I thought for sure that I would be the one to be laid off. Or fired. I always think I’m getting fired. And the thing is that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. As an admin, I can work almost anywhere, in any field. As an architect, especially one who has performed residential for his entire career, his options are currently limited. So I’m shocked, or in denial, that this is happening.

Anger because I see the things that his company did and I feel like cursing at them until I die. What the *@#& you mother *@#&ing @$$holes?!? Why did you keep those *@#&ing STUPID@$$ interns around so long? You could have fired them a long time ago and kept The Man around with that money! Why did you hire a new employee in December if you hadn’t been getting paid on jobs since November? Why the *@#& did you buy BRAND NEW *@#&ing COMPUTERS for the office in January?!? I *@#&ing HATE YOU. Why did you buy lunch for everyone in the office every damn Friday? Morale? You know what builds morale – PEOPLE KEEPING THEIR JOBS. Why did you share that you spend NINETY-FIVE THOUSAND – that’s right THOUSAND - *@#&ing DOLLARS ON YOU BACK YARD?!? That could have bought groceries for our house for a *@#&ing lifetime you %!& damn prick. Why do you brag to everyone how much you pay for that son of #%$*@ “au pair” – I hope your kids are *@#&ed up for life and drain you of every damn penny your worth in therapy because you didn’t parent them yourself. And by the way – they aren’t even cute and your stories about them are stupid. You both just bought BRAND NEW *@#&ing COMPANY CARS?!? And you get them detailed every damn week?!? Your crazy bi-polar wife works here – why don’t you fire HER, damn it? SHE DOESN’T NEED THE %!& damn MONEY, WE DO! Oh, you poor rich bastards; you might have to shut down your precious company in 12 to 18 months. I hope you do. I hope you never work again and become homeless. *@#& YOU! So I’m angry.

I don’t usually do the bargaining thing. I don’t really feel like that gets me anywhere.

I’m always depressed so this just adds to it. I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to buy anything. I just want to sit on my behind, watch television, and eat cake ALL DAY EVERY DAY UNTIL I DIE. This just intensifies that feeling. It was nice to be distracted this weekend by the garage sale and all the moving, but the depression set in first thing this morning.

I guess I felt a small twinge of acceptance. I looked at our budget, worked some stuff out, and then I just sighed. Like, well, I guess I can’t really do anything about it, so I guess we’ll just figure something out and make it work.

Not to take anything away from what The Man is going through, I know that this is hard on him and I feel really bad for him, but he can write about that on his own blog. But this is really hard for me. I try so hard to control everything and take care of everything for our family. His only job is to make the money. And do the dishes and take out the garbage. But now I have to relinquish some control to him. I can’t look for a job for him – I e-mailed him a bunch of stuff from CareerBuilder, but I can’t make him read it. If I didn’t have a job, though, I would have complete control of my job search and all the things I did while I had time off.

Another example is that he took The Boy to a follow up doctor’s appointment this morning. Normally, I would take The Boy. So I wrote a list of questions that I had wanted to ask his doctor; and I’m like walking him through everything like he’s a child and doesn’t know how to go to the doctor. He was so patient with me and I really appreciate that because I’m sure he was thinking, “Shut up, lady. I know how to take my own kid to the doctor’s office.” But instead he realized what I was going through and let me get it out. Instead, I should be realizing what he is going through and let him be an adult instead of making him feel like less of a man by treating him like he doesn’t know what’s going on if he doesn’t have me there. So that’s the goal I guess. Instead of doing everything myself, I’m going to try to let him take over stuff so that he can show me how awesome he is. And maybe I’ll like it? Yes, I can see it now. Honey, here’s my list for the grocery store, the ticket to pick up the dry cleaning, please vacuum our bedroom, and I’d like something Mexican for dinner tonight. Kisses!

Too Old For This

We moved a lot of stuff this weekend. And we moved it in unconventional ways.

The Man’s parents are moving. That was their big news. This actually was big news because I thought they would die in this house. And then we would have to burn it down because there is not a chance that we were going to go through all their stuff. SO MUCH STUFF. I cannot describe the amount of stuff they have and they are unwilling to part with it despite the fact that they cannot move it and will never use it again. I really cannot describe it. They belong on Oprah or something. So I guess we’ll have to burn down their new place after they die.

Anyway, they gave us a nice bedroom set for our room, a big boy bed for The Boy, and two bar stools. Let me pause here and say that everything we took from them is solid oak or mahogany. This is important to know for two reasons. One – it’s heavy stuff. Two – The Man’s father wouldn’t shut up about it the entire weekend. All weekend it was, “This is the real thing. No veneer. No, you can’t buy stuff like this anymore. There’s no veneer on this. You can tell it’s good because it’s lasted so long. No veneer on this, it’s real oak.” Blah blah. My only requirement for free furniture is that it’s free. I don’t care about anything else. It could have the words “THIS IS VENEER” scratched into all of it for all I care. I felt like making him a sign like those no parking signs with a red circle and a line across the front of the “P” only instead of a “P” I’d put the word “VENEER” in there. I get it. You think veneer sucks.

To add to the fact that this stuff was very heavy, it is also awkward to move things into our house because it has two stories. The first story is not a problem. But the second floor is more difficult to maneuver. Mostly because the stairs are in the back of the house, in an enclosed hallway, and has a landing, which creates a difficult L shape.

Our new bed was not a problem because it came apart and The Man just carried the pieces up himself. The dresser went up the stairs fine, no tricky movements, just heavy and big. The Boy’s bed created the problem. It is one large piece and it has a head and foot built into it, so it makes a long “U” shape. We tried to make the turn on the landing and it was wedged. We tried to stand it up straight on the landing and it was wedged. The Man came up with the genius idea to hoist it up over the second floor balcony and take it in through the master bedroom balcony door. Crazy? Yes. Did it work? Yes. My dad came to help and I am shocked that the bed did not fall and shatter into a million pieces. We got it in the door and then tried to get it from our room into The Boy’s room. Do you know what happened? It was wedged in the hallway. They had to stand it up on its end in the hall without hitting the hall light on the ceiling and the thermostat on the wall and take it in the tall way through The Boy’s bedroom door. It worked. I didn’t think it would. The Boy only had one new piece of furniture, but I was more excited about that piece than any of the others, just because it took so much work to get it in there.

I am proud of us though because normally a project like this would result in several fights, pretty bad ones, where we would be angry with each other all weekend. And this weekend, I only yelled one time, and it was because my finger was smashed into a wall. So even though I cursed at The Man, it wasn’t really directed at him.

And my body is spent. I have bruises and places where muscles are sore where I didn’t even know muscles existed. The Man is the same way. Ten years ago when we moved me into an upstairs apartment with my roommate, our bodies were fine. And then when we moved me again, into my own place approximately THREE MONTHS later, our bodies were fine again. When we moved into our condo, I was pregnant and didn’t have to do a dang thing, and The Man and his friends did all the work. NO PROBLEM with his body. So why now, only five and a half years later, would it be such a big deal?!? What happened in five years that we can no longer request our bodies to perform physically without the consequence of pain and soreness?

Getting old sucks.

SURPRISE!

Our friends J and M had a Cinco de Mayo party at their home in 2002. We came over and oohed and aahed at their house. It’s an old home with fascinating architectural details, like a carved wooden handrail on the staircase, and a pink tile bathroom, including a pink toilet.

They served so many lovely dishes that night, and also a ton of wine and margaritas. All of it was so yummy. The girls all got very very drunk and the boys laughed at all of the stupid things the girls said and did.

I only remember having two or three margaritas, which would normally be plenty for me to get good ‘n’ drunk, but not enough for me to get sick. But I did. I spent most of the evening with my head in J and M’s pink toilet, while my friend sat in the bathtub next to me, occasionally holding my hair back and patting me with a wet washcloth, and the rest of the time holding her own stomach and vomiting down the bathtub drain.

I will tell you one of the many stupid things I did that night. J and M had some neighbors (who I must mention were Caucasian) come over and they stayed for a short time and left early in the evening. After having one too many margaritas, I thought, “I want to go see M’s neighbors.” So I stumbled out the front door, and walked to the house directly next door to J and M’s house. I walked into the house; I didn’t EVEN KNOCK ON THE DOOR, and I was like “Are so-and-so here?” The family (who I must mention were African-American) said “No, you’ve got the wrong house.” They said it so simply, as though I had dialed the wrong number on the phone, and not as though some drunken woman was breaking and entering into their house in the middle of the night. The Man was super upset, and I felt like a child as he reprimanded me. I was acting like a child though, except for I ever saw a child that drunk, I would totally feel the need to call CPS. Anyway, now I think it’s funny although I’m not sure The Man is there yet. Also, it turns out the people lived down the street and around a corner. Apparently, the term “neighbor” is used very casually these days and can mean “living anywhere within a five block radius.”

Eventually, The Man drags me out to the car, and we drove home my friend who had been sitting next to me in the bathtub. I think we took some plastic bags with us in case we needed them. And I think my friend did need them. I also think she threw up on the sidewalk in front of her house when she got out of the car.

Life went on, but I never felt right again after that party. I wondered what they put in those margaritas and why I wasn’t able to hold my liquor (classy, huh?) like usual.

When summer hits our city, it’s like the sun snuck up one night and kissed the city and when we wake up the next morning, it’s as though all signs of spring are gone and only the heat from the sun’s fiery lips remains. When this happens, I often get sick to my stomach. Until my body gets used to the heat, it's in a state of shock.

So between the margaritas and summer hitting us like a nuclear bomb, I thought I had figured out what was wrong with me.

May is ending, and I have not been feeling well for about four weeks, so I start to wonder if I could be pregnant. Someone may have even suggested it to me. There were two other girls in the office that were already pregnant. The Man and I had scares before where I would be late, but I was never pregnant. I had no problem going to the store and getting a pregnancy test, as I had done many times before, because I knew it was going to be negative. Besides, there were two girls already pregnant, there was no way I was pregnant, too. It was going to be negative, just like always.

You knew it wasn’t going to be negative.

I bought the kind that has two tests in it. I always did that, just to be sure. Getting two negatives always felt much better than getting one negative and wondering if I somehow did it wrong, or that one test was defective. I took it first thing Sunday morning (June 2nd to be exact), before we went to church or anything. Normally, the one line shows up and I impatiently wait my three minutes or whatever amount of time the box says to make sure the other line doesn’t show up. When it doesn’t show up, I heave a sigh of relief, throw out the test, and go on with my life.

This is not to say that I did not want children. I wanted to have kids in high school for goodness’ sake. I have always loved babies and kids. I loved baby-sitting (P.S. it’s totally NOT the same), and I wanted to have three kids. The Man and I agreed on names and everything. We just didn’t feel ready at that time in our lives (FYI – you’re NEVER ready, okay?).

This time on the pregnancy test, the second line, indicating a positive, showed up immediately. I ran into the bedroom and showed the little stick that was about to change our lives to The Man.

“It’s positive.” I said. My face was white, my voice was shaky, and so were my hands.

“Are you sure?” There was surprise in his voice, but The Man was calm.

“Yes.” I replied. “Wait. The instructions say to wait three minutes. Maybe it will go away.”

Yeah, that second line did not go away. I waited the three minutes though, staring at the test the entire time. I’m not sure I even blinked.

We got ready for church and I was in shock. The Man was fine. After all this time of me begging for babies and his constant reply of, “No, we aren’t ready yet,” he was the one who was fine with it and I was the one who was scared out of my mind. I called my friend from church, the one who sat next to me in the bathtub at the party. She was so excited and then I started to get excited. I was excited! I didn’t tell anyone else until after the doctor’s appointment.

I went to the doctor and he confirmed what I already knew to be true. It was June 5th.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Birthday Wishes

It’s The Man’s birthday today! Happy 30th Birthday, love! I want to blog to you but I also want to keep in mind that the intention of this blog is for The Boy to read it one day. Sure, he’ll be bored of reading my posts complaining of work all the time, but it is my hope that posts like these will capture his attention (perhaps his girlfriend/wife’s attention as well), and he can say, “Awww, how cute. Mom and Dad were so in love.” Therefore, I will not be saying things like, you are so hot and I want to get on that, because I think that would gross him out, and rightfully so.

Darling, the first time we met, my knees actually went weak. I’m not sure I have told you that before today. I saw you at the mall (writing that makes me feel very ‘80s, I’m not sure why, it wasn’t in the ‘80s). You were with D and I was with L. We stopped and chatted for a moment and when we parted ways I leaned into L because my knees were weak and I said, “That guy is SO cute.” I should have known right then and there that we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together. No boy had ever made me weak in the knees before you.

Do you remember our date at Lyon’s? I’m not sure we were even engaged yet, but we sat in a booth and ate and talked about what we would name our three children. That’s right. We wanted three children. Ha! We were so young and so naïve. I’m really sad that we didn’t get to use the other names we picked out, but at least I can hold the memory of picking them out with you forever in my heart.

It certainly has not always been easy, mostly because I’m not a very easy person to live with. But you put up with me so well. I don’t know how you do it, but I love you for it. I don’t know why you love me at all, but I consider myself so blessed to have you willfully pour your love on me.

Even though we aren’t always happy living here, I’m so glad your parents moved here, and that my parents moved here. If one of them hadn’t, we never would have met, and that just would not have been okay with me.

Happy Birthday. I hope that it is a great day for you even though we are not doing anything extraordinary.

Our anniversary is in July. Stay tuned for more memories.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stickers From Mickey

I used to have an account with DisneyMovieClub. Until I got sick of paying shipping for movies I forgot to decline and they were sent to me anyway. I sent them back and was refunded for the movie, but you still have to pay for shipping. So I quit.

They are trying to get me back. They sent a package in the mail the other day with all kinds of incentives to rejoin. Of course I felt the temptation so I burned it all immediately. Except for the stickers.

It’s a strip of two rows of the main Disney characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto. When The Boy saw them, he was so excited. He immediately pulled one off the sheet and placed it on his hand. I think if he had access to the Krazy Glue, he would have permanently glued it to his hand. We have this calendar system set up for positive reinforcement and when he has a good day, he gets to put a sticker on the calendar for that day. Since he was so excited about these stickers, I suggested that he use one of them on the calendar that day. He became very serious, and solemnly informed me that these stickers were very special and must be saved for special occasions. Got it - they are not to be used recklessly on the calendar where they are permanently attached; only to be placed temporarily on the sticky sweaty hands of a five year old boy.

I asked him what he would use the stickers for then. He said that Mickey sent him these stickers since we are going to Disneyland this year. He said that we should save them for our trip (which is in three and a half months), take them to Disneyland, show them to Mickey, say thank you for sending them to him, and then share them with his Disney friends. Some kids might change their minds or forget and use the stickers during the next three months, but I am totally sure that this will not be the case here. He will absolutely wait over one hundred days to execute this plan. If I were to get out those stickers in a month, he would reprimand me, and if I tried to leave the house for Disneyland without them, again, another scolding is sure to be headed my way.

This is a kid who decided before Halloween 2006 what he was going to be for Halloween 2007 and then stuck to it. In 2006 he also decided what he was going to be for Halloween 2008 and I believe that if we can find the costume, he will follow through on that as well. Stickers are small beans.

Instant Replay

The Boy has recently become aware of instant replay. I guess he has seen enough sports at the arena and on television to know what it is and its purpose. He has started doing his own form of instant replays. He will do something he thinks is cool, whether it is a jump off the couch stunt or a move one of his Pokemon did during their battles, and then he’ll say, “Mom, watch the instant replay.” Then he goes to an imaginary television up towards some corner of the room we are in and “adjusts” the knobs on the “television,” a similar act to that of a bartender turning up the volume on the television in the high corner of your local sports bar. Then he insists that I look at this invisible television while he reenacts whatever cool move he has just done. The first time I tried to watch him perform his instant replay, but got really upset and insisted that I watch it on the “television” screen. So if I didn’t catch it the first time, I’m not ever going to see it, due to the fact that I am scrutinizing the air at his insistence.