Friday, June 09, 2006 

Gotta launder my karma

Wow, I have been MIA for a while. You probably thought that whole cow scenario did me in, didn'tcha! A bovine was indeed found in enough time to save the day and with the exception of wet weather, the event was a success.

Since I last posted, that extra work that I spoke woefully of and had convinced myself would be my undoing turned out to be not as taxing and free-time murdering as I thought. Not yet anyway, and the entire process of hiring an assistant practically happened overnight and the person who was hired is precisely the kind of person I had hoped to find. Yeah, so that's all been good.

In personal news, I've been dealing with some behind-the-scenes stuff that I really worried over but it too has also turned out to be not as bad as I thought. One situation in particular has been almost a blessing in disguise, and though I choose not to divulge the particulars, I know everything is gonna be alright.

STILTS is out of seventh grade and is gonna be big MAN on campus now boyeee. He pulled up a particularly dismal math grade was proud of his accomplishment, as was I and his dad. My only concern is: WHATTHEHELLIMGOINGTODOWITHHIMFORTHENEXTSEVENTYONEDAYSUNTIL

Oh yeah, something else to report. I also turned another year older while I was away. The event played itself out in such a cute, comical way too, I just have to share it with you. You don't mind do you? Good!

Since mid-May I have been having thoughts like, "Oh my birthday shouldn't be so bad even though it falls on a Monday and I'll probably have to work friends will keep my spirits up and tell me funny was to cope with growing older and send me loving, funny cards, and it'll be fine.

It'll be fine.

My boss told me the Friday before that he wouldn't be here that day because he was taking his pregnant wife to the beach that whole weekend. AND, my assistant had asked for the day off weeks in advance so she could volunteer at a charity golf tournament.

So the day arrives and I wake to a homemade banner strung across the dining room doorway, which was hung in place after I had gone to bed. Sweet! Yay, my family loves me. I get dressed and go to work in an uneventful fashion and discover that my boss IS working despite what he had told me a few days earlier. It seems his wife is feeling lousy so the trip was cancelled. And that was the basis of our routine morning conversation before he disappeared back to his office.

Fast forward an hour or two and I get a surprise visit from a semi-relation who drops off a card and gift, and right after that flowers are delivered from my sweet and why-did-you-have-to-retire-come-back-we-need-you old boss and his wife. Two other people who work in the building have gone in together on a birthday card and present it to me with their best wishes and hey, things aren't so bad, right!?

Having heard the commotion, my boss comes down stairs and says IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, "Who got the presents and flowers? Are they for me?"

I raised my eyebrows and smiled sweetly at him (still stupidly harboring the thought that he DOES know what the day is and is just playing dumb so he can give me a card when everyone else does) and said, "No, they're for me...for my birthday."

Instantly his face turns to that funny ass look of dumbfoundedness before he utters the following, "So why are you working?"

I think I winced at him. I know my face contorted and I must've looked like I just stepped barefooted in cat furball throwup or like I just got a whiff of tar or eau d' skunk or farts out of Piper when she eats crap that STILTS sneaks to her.

And unfortunately, before I had the chance to remind him that he was supposed to be enjoying this time at the coast with sand between his toes with his pregnant wife, he heads back upstairs and calls down the bannister, "Oops, your present will be belated!"

Whatever. What. ever. I'm just gonna laugh. I'm just gonna breathe and laugh.

Lunchtime rolls around and I've checked my email and cellphone voicemail and answering machine at home. Hmmm, nothing much except for a bunch of spam and a couple of pre-recorded calls at home urging me to vote for such and such candidate in the primary elections tomorrow. Good thing I brought a bag of lettuce to work and ooooooh, I think there's still some reduced fat Triscuits under my desk! Wheeeeeee! Such a treat.

During lunch, I start a mental checklist. Have I forgotten anyone's birthday? No, I can say I have not dropped that ball in awhile. I mean, SURE, I've pansied out sort of by sending some Hallmarked e-cards, but they're nice to get and MANY times I send a real paper card and/or gift, but I have not Alzheimered away any of my friend's birthdays in a long time. I want them to know that I love them and that I am happy they are here on this planet by GOD.

By the time I leave for the day, I've found out that dinner plans have been scrapped because half of the people interested in eating away my goddamned celebration aren't feeling very good. Which is fine because I can remember a very recent time people who weren't feeling good forced themselves to go to dinner on a special occasion. It was an extremely uncomfortable situation and I wasn't even one of the people in pain!!

I call STILTS and ask him what he wants for dinner and he asks if I'll get him a Subway sandwich, and being the loving mother I am, I go and wait in line on a Monday night, in my neighborhood Subway, for 25 minutes because it seems EVERYONE else in the vicinity has decided that they want fresh delicious sandwiches tonight too. Any OTHER night, it would have been empty...empty I tell ya because I have been there on any OTHER night and it has been empty. EMPTY I tell ya!

Fine. Laugh. Breathe. Pull over and have a short cry in front of Walgreen's.

Then I remind myself that maybe there will be mailed cards waiting for me at home. Yeah, maybe people who love me actually took the time to shop for pretty colored paper and write amusing anecdotes for my pleasure on this one special day out of the whole friggin year that's supposed to be mine.

I get there and deliver the sandwich and go look for the mail...hmmm.

"STILTS, where's the mail?"

"I put it where you told me to always put it."

"Oh, is that all there was, cause I only found the bill for my gas card and that high school reunion reminder crap."

"That's what you got Mom."

My grandpa, BLESS HIS SOUL, loved to tell me tales about his youth or the horrors of being a Marine in Iwo Jima, tales about being a sodajerk, working for the railroad and then as a cop and then a detective and how he always paid cash for anything and never fell into the credit trap. Tales that I ended up hearing from him over and over and over. Tales that if I didn't think he'd beat the crap out of me in a loving way because I was showing off which was something only HE could do goddammit, I could tell him because I knew them so well. And after 2 or more hours of listening to these tales he would say, "And to cut a long story short, I'll leave you with that."

And to cut my story short, only 1 out of 6 friends (people classified as non-work-related, non-relation and non-semi-relation) remembered my birthday.

I'm thinking I should really count myself blessed and fortunate because I DID receive lovely wishes telling me how much I'm thought of from my ex-boss, co-workers, a few semi-relations, my painful parents, Piper, Woogey, Nosey, Dizzy, STILTS and STILTS' dad.

And while the day wasn't completely a Samantha Baker, I'm just trying not to wince.

Monday, March 20, 2006 

It's the final countdown


I've got one week to find a mellow heifer for a two day stint in a trailer fashioned as a mobile dairy.

Who said this job wasn't fun?!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 

Don't want to be your monkey wrench

Hi internet! How are you?

I really had every intention of posting way before now. Honest.

There I was, trying to be organized, trying to stay on top of this major project at work that ends in 14 days, trying to balance living, sleeping, teenager rearing.....and BLAM!

I get handed MORE work at work, and of a completely different nature.

I knew it was coming. I had fair warning. It's just that an agreement was made for this work to begin in the summer, AFTER the major project was completed and there was plenty of available time to prepare for the additional responsibilities.

Oh nonononono. Nope, plans changed. We do not want to wait for you to have available time to implement this new aspect of your job. It must be done NOW...for no good reason. AND you must still keep on top of the major project that's over in 14 days too.

But's sort of hard to be one person doing the jobs of at least 3 people. I don't want to put a bad light on the organization with poor quality work. Are you sure we can't work something else out?

Sure thing! We'll hire more help.

Whew....that's a relief! Thanks a bunch, I'm sorry I even raised an eyebrow. Gosh, I feel so silly!

Oh, no problem - not to worry. Just write the classified listing and do the hiring too. Everything's fine!

Huh? Write the classified listing AND hire the extra help? Great.....MORE work!

Sooooo.............there it is, my life right now. Banana anyone?

Friday, February 24, 2006 


I'm running away.

For the weekend.

And not even the entire weekend, just Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon.

Heading out to lovely Santa Barbara, home of ring-tailed lemurs, a Jerry Seinfeld sighting*, cast-off cardigans and Spiderman boxer-wearing English Bulldogs.

I'm taking lots of pix so hopefully I'll have enough fun fodder for next week!

I hope you all have a nice weekend too. Tah tah for now.

* One of several brushes with famous folks I plan to blog about in the future!

Thursday, February 23, 2006 

Melancholy and the infinite sadness

Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of my Grandfather's passing.

It's hard to comprehend that so many days have gone by since I last heard his voice calling me. He'd say, "Missy! Are you givin' 'em Hell? Don't let em get you down, Tiger!" He always told me I had more going for me in my little finger than most people had in their whole lives. What can you say to a biased Grandparent?

It's been a tough year for all of us, especially my Mom and her two sisters. I know sometimes when the phone rings, she hopes to hear either his voice or my Grandmother's on the other end.

Both of my Grandmothers passed away three and a half years ago. My Dad's Mother in late summer and my Mom's Mother in late November.

I never really knew my Dad's Father. He was always kind of a family mystery to me until a few years ago. My Dad never really talked about him much, but as he gets older he starts retelling past experiences and memories, which I appreciate.

I love thinking about my Grandparents. The memories I have of them comfort me...particular things each of them would say, like my Grandma M calling me "Sugarplum" or Grandma N loving to indulge in crushed saltine crackers and milk. Somtimes these memories leave me smiling and other times, well...they leave my eyes red and puffy from welled-up tears flowing down my cheeks because I know all I have of them now are memories.

Loss is an overwhelming feeling to deal with. I don't care how stabile your emotions are, loss is heartbreaking. I really hope family members, pets and friends who have left this Earth have gone on to somewhere wonderful. I don't know that I care to label that place specifically, but imagining them happy and healthy is much easier to handle than thinking that their spirits ended with their last breaths. When I cry, it's because I'm feeling selfish that they aren't here for me anymore.

And I miss them more than I have tears to shed.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 

Lips like sugar, sugar kisses

Yes, my lips like sugar. Hey, my entire body likes it! I guess it would be safe to say that I LOVE sugar. And with yesterday being Valentine's Day, it was just one more excuse to ingest MORE SUGAR!

I thought it might be difficult to attempt a sugarless day. I thought I might get a cookie or 2, or a box of conversation hearts. I had hoped that no one would forget that I cannot consume chocolate because of my affliction condition.

Yeah, let's just say it was all pretty much over when my boss brought in a huge red heart box BRIMMING with QUALITY chocolates that his pregnant wife received. She's experiencing extreme morning sickness and told him to get the vile thing out of the house.

And it really didn't help when my Mom called to tell me she had made fudge for STILTS.

C'est la vie!

In other news: I need a new pillow.

I don't know if ANYONE else in the world has as much trouble with pillows as I do, but DAMN IT! I can NEVER find a pillow that stays lofty without murdering the outer cartilage of my ears. For a long time now, I've been accustomed to sleeping with 2 pillows so that I wouldn't have an aching neck. Being a side sleeper, my ears end up being pressure points and need to be cushioned.

The kind of pillow arrangement that suits me best is to have a not-too-thick but moderately firm pillow on the bottom, and a lofty and super soft pillow on the top. That way, I have the height for my neck but my ears don't feel like burning embers either! My problems isn't usually with the bottom pillow as much as it is with the top. If the pillow is soft enough, it's either far too thick or far too thin, and I've even tried making my own from the innards of those hard to find softies. It's a cumbersome task that winds up with the looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man just blew up all over the windows and the floors.

I realize this is probably a very lame rant. I know you're probably thinking that pillows are the least of ANYONE's worries. I agree. It should be that way. Lord how I WISH it were that way.

And as long as I'm wishing, I wish that I didn't have an entire mouth full of sweet teeth either!!

Monday, February 13, 2006 

It's logical to me

Once a weekend, STILTS and I wind up praying to our gods of commerce at our favorite holy shrine, Target.

I don't know what it is about that place. Why I do not feel complete without visiting at least ONCE a week, why I cannot go there and buy the true necessities ONLY, and leave those red tagged clearance items ALONE! If you read any number of blogs, you'll almost always find others with the addiction.

Anyway, we were there yesterday afternoon because a few of STILT'S relatives gave him Target gift cards for his birthday last week. He was raring to use them on music, PSP or PS2 games, or those clever tshirts with annoyingly witty phrases. So we're cruising the aisles, me trying to help him shop and ignore the India marketplace items that have gone on clearance, and him trying to decide what he wanted.

Thirty minutes, two complete sweeps of the store and an empty shopping cart later - I ask, "So. Are you going to - you know - buy anything?"

He skewered his mouth over to the side and wrinkled his nose and let out a deep sigh. " I don't know. Nothing looks worth it."

"You mean now that you have gift cards to spend instead of MY money, nothing looks 'worth it'?"

My I'm-getting-perturbed eyebrow raise kicks in.

"When you're broke you manage to find lots of stuff you just HAVE to HAVE! You're totally sure, there's nothing at all you want now?"

"Nuh uh, sorry."

"Fine, let's grab some Desani and go."

We get through the small market section and head over to the check out lines and end up right next to the boxes of sports, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and other trading cards.

"Oooh, wait a minute Mom! Let me look at these," he declares. I pull the cart out of line to avoid a mass pile-up and wait. some. more.

A few moments later, it looks as though he's found something worthy of purchasing. It's a box of NFL trading cards, something like 64 of them for $19.99. He's really happy and pleased and as he starts walking over, his brow furrows and his mouth gets that scrunched look again.

"Awww MAN!"

"What is it, what's wrong?"

"The box says you can't open it."

"What?" I'm not sure I heard him correctly.

"It says on the box, DO NOT OPEN!" he groaned, completely flabbergasted.

"Let me see it," I say as I take the box from him. And sure enough in black letters with a bright yellow sunburst to grab your attention, it reads: 'Bonus trading card box. Do not open or separate.'

"Oh. It just means they don't want people in the stores opening the box and selling the packs individually - the packs are supposed to be kept together. It's fine, you can buy it."

Complete relief washed over him and he said, "I thought if I bought the box, I'd never be able to open it to see the cards!"