Go To School

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Except I can spell. I really can.

I have been looking for a position that utilizes my skills as an administrative assistant for a long time.  The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be anything available.  I was starting to feel a little self-conscious.  Is it my age?  My lack of work experience these past few years as I was home raising my child?  Or the fact that most admin positions I applied for required at least an Associates Degree?

My parents always said my nonchalant attitude about school would bite me in the ass.  I can still hear their voices — “You really should try to do better in school, you’ll be sorry one day.”  “You are wrong and I don’t care” was my generic response.  I was having way too much fun cutting class, getting into trouble and well, having fun.  Who needs an education?  It turns out I needed an education.

I feel like I am limited to what I can do because of my lack of education.  (Unlike Paul simon, my lack of education is hurting me some.  Too bad I can’t sing or take good pictures.)  Hence, I have spent the last 15 years shoving the education thing down the kids throat.  I made a game of it.  Up until her first day of pre-school I made her believe it was The Most Fun Ever.  Going to school to learn was going to be better than playing a game of Cherry-O’s.  Me, the girl who bragged if she got anything higher than a “D” on a test, was telling her 4 year old that school is better than a ride at Disney World.

And she actually believed me.  She takes school pretty seriously.  As for me, I know it’s not too late.  My bestie — mid-forty something — just graduated from Nursing School.  I am in awe of her.  She is my hero.  But I shall live vicariously through her.  Because even though I may preach it, I do not want to practice it.  For me, I have missed the boat.  For me, school is not a ride at Disney World.

So, I found a job.  It is not an admin job.  I’ve kinda given up on that for now.  I’m doing something I haven’t done in close to 30 years.  And it’s called Retail.  Stay tuned and I’ll tell you more about it.  Just so you know, that’s why I haven’t been blogging.  Because I’m exhausted.  So go to school kids.  You will need that education.  I get the feeling you will need it for everything.  And I mean everything.

Car Phones, Tape Recorders & Card Catalogs

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My first “cell” phone looked something like this

When the kid starts complaining about something that makes her life difficult, I have to bite my tongue.  I have to refrain from acting like my mother and not bore her with the angst I dealt with as a teen.  So I’ll bore you instead.  Tell me if you can relate.  I know you can.

  • Me:  One bathroom for 5 people.  Her:  Three bathrooms for 3 people.  That means there is a toilet for each ass.  No schedules.  No waiting.  Life should be good based just on this alone.
  • Our song download consisted of a tape recorder, a radio, a quiet room and a lot of time.
  • We only had 3 remote controls in my house.  They were called Mo, Ed and Mark.  On the up side, we never ran out of batteries.
  • Our DVR/TiVo was whoever you were watching TV with.  “What’d they say?” has been replaced by “Rewind that.”
  • My first car phone was the size of a small suitcase, weighed as much as a toddler and did nothing but make and receive phone calls.  It was called a car phone because that’s where it stayed.  In the car.  I was major cool.  Really.  I was.
  • Funk & Wagnalls and the Card Catalog were our “go to” guys for information.
  • People smoked in restaurants.  But at least we got our choice of the “smoking” or “non-smoking” section.  It was super fun when the “non-smoking” section started at the booth right behind you.
  • When we got sick of Pac-man, there was always Pong.
  • If I wanted to go anywhere, I relied on public transportation, an ex-boyfriend with a car, or hitchhiking.  I could have walked, but that method was used in the generation before me.
  • We took a typing class, with real typewriters complete with carbon paper.  Mrs. Darling would smack the back of our hands with a wooden ruler if we so much as peeked at our fingers.  The “Hunt & Peck” method?  There would have been a lot of blood spilled.
  • We sat for hours in class learning how to write in cursive.  Apparently that was a friggin’ waste of time.
  • I got to babysit 2, 3 and sometimes even 4 kids at once.  And all for a dollar an hour.  At least it was easy to do the math.
  • There was no iTunes.  What I did have was $6 of my babysitting money that only took 2 days to earn and this thing called A Record Store where they sold albums made of vinyl.

And the next time you are bored?  Go catch some fireflies.  Or better yet, make a crank call.  Oh wait.  I forgot.  You don’t know how to use a phone.

 

Death of a Grouper

Remember when I posted this on my Grouper post:

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That was on January 22.  Almost 4 months ago.  Since then I have completely changed my eating habits.  That picture actually makes me sick.  It just doesn’t float my boat anymore.

I’m kinda proud of myself.  And to say I’m shocked would be the understatement of the year.  Because when I said I was a grouper, I meant it.  In every sense of the word.  I was literally a bottom feeder.

The ultimate test was this:  I went out to dinner with DH the other night and he ordered desert.  I took half a bite because he made me.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m notorious for caving under peer pressure.  It did not taste good.  For once, I actually ate less than hubby.

As far as the children of Ethiopia go?  I’m sorry kids.  If I could be promised it would make it to you without spoiling, I’d send it over.  But from now on, unless it’s low-fat and healthy, that leftover crap is going straight into the trash.  And I got to this place without a stitch of therapy.  Go figure.

We cannot predict the future.  Anything can happen.  But what I can control, I will.  Honestly, I would like to live to see the kid get married and have children.  Yes, I am admitting it.  I’d like to be a grandmother one day.  And not one that is overweight and wrought with medical problems.  Thank you very much.

“A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” is so true on so many levels.  So choose wisely my friends.  It’s a matter of life and death.  But it’s okay to splurge once in a while.  In fact, I encourage it.  Go for oysters and wine.  Then exercise those suckers right off.  Wink wink…

To Pee or Not To Pee, That Is the Question

MjAxMi0zM2ViZDU4MzEwZjlkYTc3I love reading the local news stories.  Especially about stupid arrests that have been made.   A house was raided recently in a neighboring town.  What do you think they found?  Not cocaine.  Not marijuana.  Human urine.  300 gallons of it.  Huh.  I wonder if these containers were found by the bed.  Or the couch.  If so, I totally can relate. I have the same “Too Lazy To Get Up and Go To The Bathroom” disease.

If I had a dollar for every time I just walked right on by the bathroom when I had to pee because I was too lazy to actually go, I’d be able to self-fund my own lobotomy.  You know, take out the “lazy”?  It just doesn’t make any sense.  Why would I go and get all comfy on the couch to only have to get up sooner or later anyway.  Inevitably the urge gets too strong to wait any longer when I had the opportunity literally at my fingertips minutes ago.  That right there is piss-poor planning at its finest.  (Don’t pardon the pun.  I meant to say that.)  Sometimes I convince myself that if I wait long enough, I will empty TWO bladder-fulls so that I don’t have to get up TWICE.

Same thing is true when you wake up at 5 in the morning and you have to go so bad you are at risk of embarrassing yourself, seeing visions of the future dance through your head.   But you don’t get up.  You lay awake thinking that you really ought to get up.  Wasting precious moments of blissful sleep.  I have even layed there imagining myself walking to the bathroom.  Levitation may work for David Blaine but it sure doesn’t work for me.  I know this because I have tried.

My parting words to you:  just pee man.  Now as for taking my own advice?  I’ll try.  And the guy/woman with the bottles of urine?  What’s the big deal? In fact, thanks for the idea.

Medieval Torture?

Inflict torture on our bodies.  That’s what we women do.  All in the name of Beauty.  Yesterday, as I was sitting in The Threader’s chair, with tears running down my face, little hairs itching my nose and a strong urge to punch the threading broad in the face and take her stupid floss and shove it where the sun don’t shine, I started wondering why we do these things to ourselves.  After I was finished tormenting myself, I walked around looking like I tried to set fire to my face:

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(There I go looking like Droopy again.  It’s uncanny, isn’t it?)

Then I got to thinking of all the other things we do for beauty.

Bikini Wax.  I did that.  Once.  About 16 years ago.  On the floor of the living room of my best friend’s apartment.  With 2 towels.  One in my mouth to prevent someone from calling the cops.  And one underneath me so when I bled to death, at least her carpet would be saved.  In retrospect, I probably should have gone to a professional.  It was likely equivalent to asking a butcher to cut my hair (sorry P, I know you tried).  And you women who go full-out and do that brazilian wax number?  If I wore a hat, I’d tip it to you.  You are some brave chicks.  There isn’t enough Holy Water in Jerusalem to get me to do that EVER.

Hair Coloring.  All those chemicals that get rubbed into our scalps.  I won’t highlight my hair but once or twice a year because I’m afraid of developing a brain tumor.  My stylist thinks I’m nuts.  But I remember when Jackie O died.  Everyone kept saying it was because she colored her hair too many times.  That totally freaked me out.  I’d rather walk around looking like Lillian Munster.

Fake Nails.  We ingest more chemicals during that process.  That shit seems so toxic to me.  Yes, I used to go get fake nails put on back before I was married.  But now I’m scared to death of all that.  I’m good with my nubs.  Besides, I can’t really hurt anyone, particularly The Threader, with what I have rockin’ at the end of my phalanges.

Botox, boob jobs, nips, tucks.  It’s endless.  All for what?  So we can look good, of course.  People don’t want to look at our hairy faces, sagging foreheads or breasts that wobble to and fro’.  What’s wrong with embracing our natural beauty?  Apparently, this chick doesn’t agree.  She looks much better now, don’t you think?

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Her “before” picture is to the right, believe it or not.  She sure was ugly once.

Picasso Is In the House

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I love DH’s hair. I always wanted a man with a ‘fro.

I have saved enough of the kids’ art and school work to paper every wall and ceiling in our house, with enough left over for the neighbor.  I have a large Rubbermaid bin for every single year from pre-school through 5th grade.  Why only through 5th grade?  I’ll get to that.

I just have to preface what I am about to say with this:  I absolutely adore her stick figure people with a head, arms and legs.  Even if they don’t have a body.  I love them even more in spite of it.  And her elephant with the trunk coming out of its eye.  Priceless.  I will cherish them forever.

I was completely obsessed about making sure her homework, teachers notes, report cards and art was filed away in the correct bin.  Everything.  If something wasn’t dated, I would break out in a major sweat and have to down a fifth of scotch to calm my nerves.

But all that changed a few years ago when my mother gave me a small cardboard box.  What it contained was some artwork and odds and ends from my childhood.  She was smart enough to pick and choose the best of my work and toss the rest.  If she had showed up on my doorstep with 15 plastic bins, I would have had her arrested for trespassing.

That is why the kid’s middle school bin is light.  Bin.  Singular.  Because when DH and I go into retirement and move to some little place down south or travel the world, where will I house it all?  I won’t.  I’ll most likely give it to her as my mother gave mine to me.  At the rate I was going, I would have had to rent a U-Haul to get it all to her house.  I’m sure that would go over as well as a monk farting in church.

So, if you are going to take my advice and downsize, hear this: while tossing some of your children’s artwork, make sure you remove it from the house.  Like into the next town.  While she/he is away at summer camp.  Because I got caught.  She melted down so badly I needed a mop.  Then she claimed I didn’t love her any more.  Trying to do damage control with an 8 year old is not fun.  And the disposed artwork?  You will find it in bin #6.   Dial 1-800-UHAUL for a good time.

In the Bush

I have bushy eyebrows. Bushy to the point where a weed wacker is in order.  They are thick and dark. Even though I am naturally blonde.

My mother was kind enough to hand these furry beasts down to me.  Here is her senior class picture:

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I know.  They don’t look bad.  That’s because she shaved them completely off and this is the regrowth.  If you look closely, you can see the bald, uneven spots.  She was also blind in one eye that day.  She says that was the start of a lifetime of migraines.  Or she slipped with the razor.

Here I am at my bushiest:

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My hair looks dark because I am 8 months pregnant.  I also had pin straight hair before her conception. So now in addition to straightening, I have to dye to achieve the ‘before” look.

Not too bad from this vantage point.  But on closer inspection you would have noticed that they are growing up, down and all around.  My mother pointed that out to me about 14 years ago.  She should talk.

So, I started tweezing.  I plucked the freaking hell out of those bush balls.   I didn’t pluck them all the way off, but I may as well have.   They were baldy, sparse and they didn’t match.

My plucking turned to waxing which turned to threading.  No, threading does not entail people threading fake eyebrows on, which is what I thought it was when I first heard the word.  It involves 2 pieces of floss-like string.  This string is twisted and used to pluck out a line of hair.  The pain ranks right up there with scrubbing your face with an acid wash.  I choose to thread because believe it or not, it’s less abrasive than waxing.  I don’t walk around looking like I have diaper rash on my face for 5 days with threading, like I did when I waxed.

Anyway, I went too far those years ago.  I see women in Hollywood with beautifully shaped eyebrows and know I will never have them.  Because I plucked my hair follicles to the point of murder. I am green with eyebrow envy.

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I would just about sell my first born for these babies. Just about.

You know where my brow follicles seem to have appeared?  Anywhere between my neck and nose.  If I catch myself in the sunlight looking in the mirror, I am praying for some tweezers.  Isn’t it funny how as we age the hair on our head thins, but the hair on our face, chin and neck thickens?  Yes.  And I’m laughing all the way to the electrolysis.

Drive With Care

My next car.  You can't fix what's already broken.
My next car.

DH and I have different views on how you should care for a car.  For me, it’s 4 wheels with a roof that gets me from point A to point B.  I don’t mind if it dents, scratches or buckles.  I will wedge myself into a parking spot with barely room to exit (I proved so here) if it means taking less steps to get to my destination.

My husband believes in caring for your car as if it were a new baby.  Gently parking it in what I refer to as “the nosebleed section” of the parking lot.  If I wanted to walk that far, I would have left the car at home.  I know he’s doing the correct thing.  For resale value, treating your car with kid gloves is the way to go.  But I intend to drive my car into the ground.  So I’m cool with it.

Did I mention that I am married to the Car Whisperer?  His dent radar goes off every time I have a mishap.  And I have a mishap often.  I have hit those stupid cement pillars in underground parking lots (who puts those things there anyway?), I have run over mailboxes, deer heads and nails.  I’ve backed up into bushes and down embankments (that only happened once and my driveway was icy so don’t judge me).

Once I completely didn’t see a large carcass of I-don’t-know-what in the middle of the road.  It literally scraped against the undercarriage of my car.  That stench stayed with us until we traded her in.  Anyone who has had the pleasure of coming into my driveway knows that there is a huge rock to the left of it.  I have even hit that and blown out a tire.  I think my husband has given up.  My next car will most likely be a leftover from the demolition derby, I’m afraid.

But don’t be frightened to drive with me.  I have less accidents and traffic tickets than most.  In fact, I really am an excellent driver.  Just ask the deer I hit.

Frugal and Proud

Yes, I do this too.
Yes, I do this too.

I am frugal.  No, let me rephrase.  I am cheap.  I am the type of person who cringes when DH takes more than 1 paper towel to dry his hands.  I sit there and watch him while he grabs at the roll and just keeps pulling on it while 3, 4 and 5 sheets go by.  He could be talking to me, but I don’t hear him because I am dying inside.  Staring at the diminishing roll.  Biting my nails.  Wondering when he’s going to stop.  I could say it’s because I’m worried about the environment.  But that would be a lie.  It’s because with every sheet, I see money being thrown out the window.

When I reach the end of a shampoo or lotion bottle, I will set it upside down and use every loving drop of it. I will stick my finger in there and swipe at whatever is left.  Bang the bottle on the countertop to get every last drip to come out.  And I mean EVERY.LAST.DRIP.  My favorite game is to guess how many more uses I can get out of a container before I have to open a new one.

We know a woman who has been a friend of the family for forever.  She is an older version of me in more ways than one.  She cuts her shampoo bottles in half so that she can use every bit.  Everyone thinks it’s funny.  Me?  I think it’s the best idea since, like…ever.  I got four more shampoos out of my last bottle because of her.  I’ll have to thank her next time I see her.

I refuse to buy anything that isn’t on sale.  Even though the sign says “4 for a dollar”, I will buy one because that’s all I need at the moment.  I would prefer to buy store brand, but DH seems to know the difference so I can’t.  It kills me.

Yet, somehow I manage to spend every penny I have in my wallet.  I could start the week with $100 and in two days, it’s gone.  Don’t ask me.  I guess I am what you would call an oxymoron.  Oh well.  So, who wants to go out for lunch?  You buying?

I Love You, I Love You Not.

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Remember when we were kids and we had to do a “research” paper on George Washington?  You ran to the living room shelf in hopes that your mom bought enough groceries that week to score the W-Z of the Funk & Wagnall Encyclopedia set so you could read up on the old goat.  It took her a year to acquire the entire set.  Only for it to be obsolete by the end of 7th grade.  We had to eat a lot of spaghetti and sloppy joe’s to stay updated.

Basically everyone in your class turned in the same paper.  Plagiarism wasn’t allowed back then either, so we took the most important facts from the 5 paragraphs we had available to us, flipped the words around and wrote something down.  If we were lucky, either mom drove us or we rode our bikes over to the library for a little more in-depth research.  Those lucky kids received an automatic “A.”

Technology today definitely has its pros and cons.  One pro is that our kids have the world at their fingertips when it comes to research.  We get to save on gas by not having to drive them across town to the library.  If I didn’t have our weekly jaunt to the library when the kid was little, I’m not sure she would even know how the place works.  Remember the Dewey Decimal System?  I believe that is as defunct as the free grocery store encyclopedia.

Unknown-3Another pro about technology is when we are able to settle a bet.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a disagreement with DH about who that special guest star is on a rerun of “Charlie’s Angels.”  And putting an end to the argument in a matter of seconds with the flick of some fingers.  It’s awesome.

What I absolutely do not like about today’s technology is our lack of privacy.  News about one person can travel faster than Road Runner on speed.  It’s also not so good if you are trying to self-diagnose yourself.  Once I was sure I had Barrett’s Esophagus when really I just had too many jalapenos in my tacos.  Just stick to a real doctor.  Chances are you are going to live.

That’s basically how I feel about it all in a nutshell.  Okay, I gotta go.  I have to go Tweet about what I’m doing right now.  Oh, and Facebook some photos of myself.