Category Archives: Random stuff

The Most Expensive Place On Earth

Just recently, despite my better judgement, I purchased a Disney vacation for my family* and if this doesn’t buy their unconditional love, I don’t know what will. Disney is EXPENSIVE. And I get it, you can’t put a price tag on these kind of family memories blah blah blah – but you can actually, you can put a big price tag on it.

I don’t mean to sound jaded but Holy Moly I have spent the last week or so ruminating about all of the other things I could have used this money for instead. Here is a list I compiled on my way in to work this morning:

  • Lasik eye surgery for me and a frind
  • A quarter of my remaining student loan debt
  • A top of the line John Deere riding lawn mower
  • 6 nights in Paris (France, not Epcot)
  • slightly used pair of jet skis
  • A Hot Tub
  • A 3D Printer
  • A baby grand piano
  • 80″ Plasma TV
  • New vinyl replacement windows that will keep my house warm
  • A lifetime subscription to the wine of the month club (for me and a friend)
  • Three years of monthly maid service
  • Full spelunking equipment
  • A Camel
  • A Vespa
  • 1/2  years tuition at the cheapest public university in  PA

Like I said, I’m not jaded – I love my family and now they have no excuse but to love me back.

*This is a surprise, no one tell Lucy

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Would You Like Some Fries With That?

I recently finished reading a book written by a highly successful person (no spoilers, but I’m sure you’ll figure out who it was in my year end book review) who devoted a whole chapter to the jobs she suffered through before she became a highly successful person and I thought ‘hey, I’m a highly successful person (practically a household name) whose suffered a lot I should do the same.’ So, without further ado here you go (I’m going to link to this page for any potential future employers):

My first job was as a very glamorous chamber maid at a very run down motel by my house in Raymond Maine. At the time I was 14 and limited to working at places I could walk to – it was either the motel or a candle pin bowling alley – man I wanted to work at that bowling alley! The job was terrible, the motel was un-airconditioned, mildewy and run by a creepy old pervert. And because I was only 14 I was scrubbing toilets for student wages which at the time was just about $2.00 an hour. I was paid under the table but my creepy old boss still deducted taxes from what I earned. I worked there one season, left when the motel closed in September and never went back. The last time I drove by it, it had been completely renovated, expanded and gotten a pool. There definitely was no pool when I worked there, it was the kind of place you only stayed in if your car broke down on the way to somewhere better and you had no other options (it was not unlike the Bates motel). My boss used to open up the guest rooms before I got there in the morning and pocket all of the tip money people would leave for me. I really hated that guy.

 

That year I turned 15 and got my first car, I promptly drove it to the local McDonald’s (I needed $ for car insurance) and was hired immediately. I worked primarily the early morning breakfast shift up front behind the registers. It wasn’t a terrible job – I never once had to clean a toilet, scrub a 30-year-old shower curtain clean or get groped from behind. But it was HOT, it was excruciatingly HOT in there, I doubt it was air conditioned and if it was it probably wouldn’t have mattered since I was always given the register right next to the fryer. I was also greasy ALL the time. My biggest take away from this job was that my boss, who was a young and relatively attractive woman had a colostomy bag. I remember learning that and trying hard to stop myself from complaining about stupid things. My feet always hurt.

 

I spent the next summer at McDonald’s but once school started again I decided I needed a change. I left McDonald’s and upgraded to the high class world of Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin smelled a lot better than McDonald’s, didn’t leave me nearly as greasy and allowed me to eat all the free munchkins I wanted. The one big downside to DD was that my boss was a dick, a total old school asshole who didn’t like the way I filled 2 jelly donuts with one hand and complained that I wasn’t pouring coffee the right way (is there a wrong way to pour coffee? Apparently there is…). One day, without ceremony he fired me for eating a munchkin behind the counter (this was a big no-no we had to go into the back room to eat on the clock). This is the one and only job I have ever been fired from – it was totally worth it even though I don’t have any recollection of eating anything on camera, I as happy to get out of there.

 

In order not to lose my car and insurance the day after I left Dunkin Donuts I went right back to McDonald’s, they welcomed me back with open arms (who else was willing to be there at 5:00am on a Saturday?) as far as I recall I worked there the rest of the way through high school.

 

I had a few other gigs, that weren’t real long-term jobs. I spent a few days every year taking inventory at a local hardware store, I have vivid memories of sitting on an overturned bucket counting loose screws until I thought my head would explode. I spent a few months shelving children’s book at my local public library (by far the best job I have EVER had). I spent a month one summer living outside Los Angeles CA and working in the HR department of a fortune 500 company – I was so out of my element there I remember not being able to figure out which was the copy machine and which was the fax machine, but I liked that job I worked at a desk and got a paid lunch hour – HOUR. And occasionally I babysit, but I was terrible at it, I couldn’t relate to children, I didn’t know the first thing about caring for babies and I was super irresponsible – actually I’d like to publicly apologize to anyone I might have babysat for, I hope I did not emotionally scar your children too bad and I’m sorry for making long distance calls and eating all of your frosting.

 

When I got to college I wasn’t planning on working  but beer isn’t free and I found that pocket-money comes in very handy when you are a freshman making poor lifestyle choices. I presented myself to the on-campus pizza place and was hired right away. I was given a name tag and a register front and center. I liked that job, I actually liked it better than most of my classes and my attendance there was better than in most of the lecture halls. I met a lot of friends there probably because I was always grossly under-charging my fellow students. I have no idea how much money I lost that place through my shenanigans but for a brief period of time I was a big hit in a small circle of people. I remember when one day when I was tasked with scooping cream cheese in to small containers to wrap up with the bagels – the cream cheese came in a 5 gallon tub and after an hour of handling it I was so disgusted that it was years before I would eat it again. That place had the best curly fries.

 

After I left school and moved to California I spent my first Christmas season there working for a high-end luggage/gift shop upstairs next to Neiman Marcus in the fashion valley mall. I was hired strictly as their cashier which was perfect because the store sold $5,000 briefcases and Mont Blanc pens that would retail for twice that. I was WAY out of my comfort zone and I remember having some culture shock at the ridiculous things  rich people spent their money on.

 

My next full-time gig was at a low-end gift shop (Coach House gifts?) if the Christmas job had been the Sakes of the gift world my new job was somewhere between a DollarTree and a poorly stocked hallmark store. We sold cheap plastic and resin bobbles and knick-knacks that nobody wanted and nobody needed. The job was easy because hardly anyone ever went in there. the majority of my work day I spent giving my socially awkward boss dating and fashion advice. Fortunately for me he thought I was valuable enough that when I threatened to quit because it took me two buses and almost 2 hours to get to the mall (I only lived 3 miles away) he started driving me to and from work – looking back now I realize he may have been doing that for other reasons…

 

I eventually left the gift store and spent some time doing odd jobs – I worked for a few weeks telemarketing (selling pens and promotional items over the phone) I was terrible at that job. I spent exactly one day working for Boston market (sill waiting to get paid) and I spent a few weeks working for a small business out of someones garage. I was making cold calls selling… something? I don’t remember, I do remember that my ‘desk’ was an ironing board and I was paid in cash – there is a good possibility that that was not a legitimate business.

 

Eventually I was hired to work the sales counter at a local hair salon, once again I was inside and had a steady schedule. My boss, who was a real asshole never called me by my name, he referred to me as ‘girl’. As in “Girl – go restock the bathroom. Girl – order some more Paul Mitchell!” it was humiliating but at the time he was paying me more than his competitors would, the salon was a 2 minute walk from my apartment and for the first time in a long time my hair looked rally good, I was willing to put up with a lot of crap.

 

when I couldn’t take the salon anymore, I turned my boss in to the CA labor bureau for back overtime he never paid me and with the money that I got from that settlement I was able to spend an entire summer doing nothing but sitting by the pool and reading cheap sci fi novels. I guess I should be grateful that I won in the end.

 

after my settlement money was all gone I decided it was time to buckle down and try to find a real job. I bought a nice dress, and heavy resume paper (it was the 90’s I was still sending resumes through the mail). I managed to land a job at a small lien sale office, I started in the mailroom, posting and dragging (literally) 1000’s of letters to the post office everyday. I learned patience standing in long post office line (before there were smart phones to keep you entertained). Thanks to an incident of embezzlement and a dramatic mid-day arrest I was quickly promoted ‘up front’ to work data entry. I felt like I had finally made it – I got to SIT down at mt OWN desk, I had a telephone and health insurance and a 401K, it was amazing. It was a real job but it was also a double-edged sword, I worked with awesome people and had a regular schedule but I routinely got yelled at by angry and upset customers and at one point we had to install a buzzer on the door because of numerous death threats. It was at this time that I decided I needed to go back to college.

 

I worked at that little office for four years while I got my associates degree and then part of my bachelors degree in the evenings. The day I left was both a huge relief (no more angry customers!) but also incredibly sad –  I worked with my two best friends and I wasn’t leaving them for another job but to move 2,600 miles away.

 

I relocated to Philadelphia and quickly got hired at a full service brokerage firm which was surprising to me because I thought I was interviewing at a temp office. I walked into that job knowing nothing of investing or money management or anything financial (I hadn’t had a savings account since before I started driving). I quickly discovered hat no one cared, I was just a pretty face to answer the phone and fetch coffee – I did that for six years.

 

While answering the phone at the firm I also got a part-time job at Barnes and Nobel, mostly to support my book addiction but also to get cheap coffee  and because it was 3 blocks from my apartment and I spent most of my time there anyway. All the money I made at the bookstore went directly back to the bookstore (I was a great investment for that place). I rally loved working there and working two jobs wasn’t a big deal when I was single and had plenty of time on my hands but eventually I met my future husband and a started missing shifts. We moved in together and I realized that being a secretary and a part-time bookseller was unsustainable. I had been studying for my series 7 (brokers exam) and I had serious plans to take over my bosses portfolio when he retired but a very brutal and honest conversation with senior management one day reminded me  that I would only ever be a pretty face to them and nothing more. I quit my job the next day.

 

I decided to go back to school and get my masters degree so that I would never have to work two jobs again; I managed to score a job at the University I planned on attending to eliminate that pesky tuition burden.

 

And that is where I’m leaving you my friends – the rest is BORING and very adult and due to litigation concerns I can’t talk about much of it. Let’s just say I ended  up where I wanted to start out – surrounded by books.

Everything* You Want To Know

I’ve had something of writers block/struggles with appropriate content with this site for the past few months and that’s why I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus. I’ve been trying to come up with something not politically driven but still doesn’t dismiss what’s going on in the world today. It’s a difficult conundrum and not one that I am equipped to rectify, but because I have a couple of things to say I thought I would interview myself again, I feel like the last time this happened it was moderately successful and perhaps it can be so again, who knows, I’m making all of this up as I go along:

Interviewer: “good morning, how are you today”

Me: “Good, thanks for asking”

Interviewer: “Perhaps you could fill us in on what’s been happening with you for the past couple months?”

Me: “Sure, I’ve been doing the regular things, you know going to work, trying to successfully get Lucy through Winter and first grade, taking care of my Father, protesting the current administration,  joining weight watchers to lose my “Holiday-I-Want-To-Eat-All-The-Things” weight. Yesterday I celebrated the 13th anniversary of when I met my husband…”

Interviewer: “That sounds like a lot of things, could you elaborate on how Lucy is doing?”

Me: “She’s great, she tells me things like “Mom, I don’t find dinner to be entertaining enough, I think the reason that I take so long to eat is because I’m super bored.” And one day when I spent the entire day in my pajamas (tucked modestly underneath my clothes), she told me “Mom, you really need to start taking better care of yourself, you aren’t setting a very good example” But despite all of this and the fact that she can sound like a middle-aged school principle when she talks she’s still very much a little girl, she likes to watch cartoons, play with her dolls and build snowmen, she decided that she wanted to take a break from chapter books and go back to reading picture books at night. Her very favorite things are piggy back rides and tickle time.”

Interviewer: “She is growing up so fast! How are you dealing with that?”

Me: “Oh phantom interviewer it scares me shitless. Honestly I try not to think more than a day or two ahead or I just start to lose my mind. There are playdates that she goes to on her own and I know that soon those will turn into evenings out with friends, teenage sleepovers, dates, etc. How can I keep her safe and let her go at the same time? How do I adequately capture this time in her life so that both of us remember it? What happens when I don’t have the answers she’s looking for anymore, who will she turn to then? How can I get something legally binding drafted so that she is obligated to let me live with her in my old age like we’ve talked about so many times? In short I’m a hot mess about all of this”

Interviewer:  “Speaking of hot messes, do you want to briefly describe your recent political activism and how you are feeling about what’s going on?”

Me: “Sure, I went to Washington for the Women’s March in January because I am very afraid of what is going on and the potential that it has to not only disrupt our current way of life but if not handled properly to war and destruction. The march made me feel hopeful but also completely helpless because while it showed a lot of people believe what I believe I don’t think it changed the minds or attitudes of anyone making the decisions.”

Interviewer: “What are your biggest concerns?”

Me: “I have many big concerns, the safety of my family is always at the forefront and the current diplomatic ‘agenda’ is certainly worrisome, I am afraid that we have someone dealing with people and situations they are ill-equipped to deal with and with a temperament that does not lend itself to diplomacy. I am worried that the earth is reaching an environmental tipping point and that as human beings we need to change our way of living with and thinking about nature and we have an administration that seems to think that is a dumb idea and has not only put a media blackout on the EPA but also deleted the Whitehouse website on climate change. Not to mention the travel ban that seems not only arbitrary and malicious, but doesn’t even serve the problem that it seemingly addresses. I could go on and on…”

Interviewer: “Let’ stop there. At the end of the day are you hoping that the current administration fails?”

Me: “No – absolutely not. I hope that I am wrong about everything, I hope that in four years I am generally surprised and can say ‘wow that went ok’. Failure for them means failure for us and ultimately we are all in it together whether we like it or not.”

Interviewer: “Switching topics, how’s your new year’s weight watchers goals working out”

Me: “Really good – I’ve managed to lose my extra Christmas weight and then some. I don’t really like to talk about my struggles to lose weight – I mean it’s pretty personal and also really boring to those reading about it, but it’s something a lot of us have to deal with. I do find weight watchers to be the best tool out there, if you do what you are supposed to do it will work. Sure there are nights that I come home and  polish off a bottle of sauvignon blanc before heading to bed, and I did eat most of a plate of bar nachos last night for dinner but if you manage to have more good days than bad days than it will work out. I have a trip coming up and my biggest motivation is not to look fat in all of my pictures.”

Interviewer: “Thanks for that, of course now I want some wine… So what else would you like to talk about, your Dad? Your anniversary”

Me: “There isn’t a lot I want to say about my Dad – it isn’t an ideal situation and I struggle daily to find a good balance of how much time and mental anguish I devote to him. My biggest wish is that an adult would swoop in and handle everything but you know what? I’m not sure I know any adults just people my age pretending that we know what we are doing. My husband, on the other hand is great – it’s been 13 years now and there is only 3 or 4 things I would really like to change about him (I can say that – he never read this blog ((that’s probably one of the things I would change)). But honestly I couldn’t have picked a better partner or father for my child, he’s great and even when I’m feeling frustrated I can remember that. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Interviewer: “You haven’t mentioned anything about work”

Me: “You are right, the truth is I’m not really supposed to talk about my work. That makes it sound scary and mysterious, but it’s not. I have a great job that I like very much – I work with people who are awesome and not at all crazy. I have a certain freedom to learn and do things that I want but at the same time a good support system to catch me if I fall. I can’t complain and I probably can’t really elaborate. Let’s just say ‘work is good’.”

Interviewer: “That all sounds very positive, with everything going on with you right now is there anything you feel you are dropping the ball on?

Me: “ That is an excellent question. Beyond the regular stuff like flossing my teeth and moisturizing I have been terribly remiss about a few things. One of them is my Christmas thank you cards. I send out thank you cards every year but this year I haven’t and if we are being honest I probably won’t get to it so really quick I’d like to thank the following people – My Mom, Lucy loves the jeans you got her, the flower embroidery has finally turned her attitude towards jeans positive which is super helpful because its cold and otherwise she just wants to wear shorts and skirts all the time. Also, the timeshare in August is going to be great and we are all very much looking forward to that trip. To my Mother-In-Law – you out did yourself AGAIN this year, Lucy is over the moon in love with her American Girl Doll, her hatchimal and everything else you got her, your sheer generosity always leaves me at a loss for words. To my sister in law Jessica – do not ever EVER buy us poo-pouri again, Jason uses this ALL the time and 6 – 7 spritzes more than recommended. Our bathroom constantly sells like lemons and poop (I love you but please… no more). To my sister Beth and my friend Stacy thank you for adding to our lego collection, I have almost become immune to the pain of stepping on them. And to everyone else (friends and family)– thank you for everything! I promise to have my act together better next year.

Interviewer: “Wow, ok. Can you tell us what your plans are for this website?”

Me: “yes, I really really want to get the funny back. I think now, more than ever people need that. I’ve been writing a lot of boring/technical things for my job which has taken over my tone and I need to work on leaving that in my office. I recently wrote a post about women who wear sensible shoes (a good friend asked for this) so look for that soon. I’m also working on a post of craft projects to do with dog hair. I have SO MUCH  dog hair in my house right now… I hope that I will soon resume regular posts.

Interviewer: “thanks so much for answering all if my questions. Any parting words? ”

Me: “Buck up everyone,  there’s only 25 days to daylight savings, I truly believe we will all feel better when we see the sun more.”

Peace out.

 *Probably not everything

Why My Current Job is Better Than my Last One

There are a number of reasons why my current job is better than my last one, many of them involve the absence of spreadsheets and budget preperation. My new job surrounds me with books and let’s me write and publish articles about things I’m only vaguely familiar with. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to be managing an audit and I am only required to attend one meeting a month – a meeting which is more often than not cancelled.

Yes, there are many reasons to like my new job more but I think the best thing so far has to be the Christmas party (obviously the most important factor regarding any employment opportunities). Last year, despite working at a non profit, we spent a relatively large amount of money renting out a karaoke bar. This might seem fun to some of you but to me it was akin to he 7th level of hell. First of all the space was too small for our group, making forced social interactions unavoidable, alcohol was limited to one drink a person and we ran out of food before I could make it through the buffet line. Last year I huddled on a corner stool at the end of the bar and spent the afternoon worrying how to factor the expense in to my year-end budget.

This year my employer is hosting a ‘holiday luncheon’ that you can attend (or not) and that you can bring your family to (or not) it’s located in a large area with lots of food and when you are done eating and being antisocial you can leave for the day. And the best part about it? I already scheduled that day off. Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ to your coworkers like taking vacation time away from them!

Obligatory Election Post

On the eve of the election I have been surprised by many things but one of the most surprising is how everyone on the internet seems to be writing a political post on their personal blogs. Seriously, I read two* this morning alone. Posts from people that don’t work for news organizations and write mostly about the novels they are in the middle of or their cats.

This got me thinking – OMG am I supposed to be writing my own political statement here at Sticky Jam Hands? It hardly seems the right platform but ALL. THIS. PEER. PREASSURE!

A girl can only take so much – but because I know I’m not going to change anyone’s mind about anything and we are so super emotionally charged about all of this and because it has basically ruined TV and Radio for the past nine months I’m going to use this opportunity to list a few things that would be worse to endure for three quarters of a year than political elections. This way I can check the box next to –Political blogging and you can all breathe a sigh of relief that we aren’t dealing with these things instead.

In no particular order, my list of 9 things worse than the election:

  • Stabbing myself in the eye  (for nine months)
  • Battling a yeast infection (for nine months)
  • Watching Gilbert Godfry talking (for nine months)
  • Having that dream where all of your teeth fall out (repeatedly for nine months)
  • Attempting to call an IT support line to explain a problem you only just barely understand (for nine months)
  • Trying to fill out a home mortgage request application (for nine months)
  • Contracting a horrible flesh eating disease (every day for nine months)
  • Being hungover on an airplane (for nine months)
  • Child Birth (for nine months)

Feel free to add your own list item in the comments below. Happy voting everyone!

*Clearly an accurate representation of the internet as a whole

He’s the King

Fine Art
Fine Art

Not long after completing my “Lost Years “series I hosted an out of town guest who was present during several of my lost years. While in my house he remarked that it was sad “Velvet Elvis” wasn’t featured in any of my entries. Velvet Elvis, for those of you not in the know is a classic art – Elvis painted on velvet (big surprise there); Elvis has hung in every house/apartment/condo that I have lived in since I was a teenager.

I agreed it seemed a terrible omission and promised that I would write Velvet Elvis’s story in his own featured blogpost.

TaDa

Velvet Elvis came to me because my Mother is crazy*, and being crazy she has unusual relationships with other crazy people that for a period of time in the late 1980’s involved purchasing cheap gag gifts to give out periodically. My Mother bought Velvet Elvis on the corner of Rt 302 and 115 out of the back of some guys van for less than $5.00, for a few years it was passed from hand to hand during staff parties and birthdays. For some reason my 13 year old self fell in love with Velvet Elvis and was unnaturally overjoyed when my Mother received him back as a re-gifted gift a few years after her initial purchase.

When he returned to us, I put my foot down and begged my Mom not to get rid of him; I hung him instead in my bedroom next to my celebrity posters that I had carefully cut from the pages of 16 and Bop magazines. It remained there, a veritable ‘Where’s Waldo’ of incongruous items until I was 18 and my parents decided to hold a garage sale while I was out of town. I returned to find all of my childhood toys gone, many treasures lost and Velvet Elvis missing.

OMG

I frantically ran around asking everyone at the sale or that had attended the sale what befell my beloved fine art. I discovered that it had been purchase by our paperboy, Aaron who lived down the road from us for some ridiculous amount like a quarter.

The thought of my beloved Elvis in the hands of this non appreciating pre-teen was too much for me, I marched directly to his house and asked under no certain terms how much it would cost to buy Elvis back – since he was a reasonable and sensible kid he asked me for $10 – which I gladly gave him fully accepting the fact that I had been ripped off.

When I moved out of my parents’ house, the day after high school graduation, Velvet Elvis was securely packed in the trunk of my car, when I moved into my Freshman Dorm room he was the first thing that I hung up and even when I lived in a dilapidated crack house** in Vineland NJ after my first year of college and had most of my possessions stolen Velvet Elvis survived and made his way back to me.

The day I boarded the Sunset Limited to move to CA I showed up at Amtrak’s 30th street station with two steamer trunks and a suitcase only to be informed that I could have a maximum of one bag with me – I quickly repacked, taking only my favorite summertime clothes and of course… Velvet Elvis.

When I finally did arrive in San Diego I immediately hung him up next to futon mattress on the floor that served as my bed and knew that everything was going to be okay.  Over the next seven years as I moved around the San Diego area I lost and gained many possessions but Velvet Elvis always had a spot of prominence wherever I found myself to be.

When I moved back east he lived for a while in and around Rittenhouse Square and then when my future husband and I moved in together I hung him directly opposite our front door, I did this because Elvis deserved a good view, but also to see if I had made the right decision to move in with my then very new boyfriend. To his credit Jason never batted an eye at Elvis being front and center and he even made a point to hang him prominently in our first house we bought together.

Today, Velvet Elvis resides in our vastly underutilized family room. But I have big plans to take this room back from the dog who has had free range of it for OVER A YEAR now and redecorate using Elvis as the main focal point.  If only I could contact someone at HGTV to help me figure out how to do this.

*It’s okay, my Mom knows I love her, and she also knows that she’s crazy.

**Completely unbeknownst to me when I moved in.

Another yearly renewal and Lucy’s firm grasp on female anatomy

Hello and welcome to autumn – today I paid for another year of Sticky Jam Hands to exist so I’m here to write my annual ‘I don’t really have anything to say but I need to get my money’s worth’ post.

Lucy started gymnastics class on Tuesday and she really liked it – in fact she loved it (she corrected me emphatically on that point). Being a new gym Mom I did a couple things wrong, like I didn’t pull her hair back tight enough and by the end of class it was all in her face. Also I told her she needed to wear underwear under her leotard. You are not supposed to wear underwear under your leotard – apparently. But at one point during class her friend Emily (who is in the know and going commando) asked Lucy why she had on underwear to which Lucy replied” You HAVE to wear underwear Emily, otherwise everyone can see your VAGINA!”

This last weekend we had our monthly craft night – it was the only craft night I’ve been to in four months because apparently I go away every third weekend of the month. We made pickles and you can read about it here: https://artistryinalcohol.wordpress.com (a girl can’t have too many blogs, you know).

I was recently given a column to write in my company’s weekly newsletter and I was really excited about it until I submitted my first article to my boss and she sent it back with 90% of the funny red lined out and the comment, “do you think we have a sense of humor? Cause we don’t” and I wanted to write back to her and say “but we should! That’s why I’m here!” but instead I made the edits she suggested and a small part of me died inside. I’m a little less excited about this now.

 

A List of my Latest Failures

This list is not by all means all inclusive – who has time to list ALL of my failures, even the most recent ones? No, this list is for the twelve of you – my loyal readers who think that I am just sitting back somewhere drinking Mai Tais and ignoring Sticky Jam Hands completely. This is not true – I think about it ALL the time it’s like the 2nd child that I’ll never have, I want to nurture it and fill it with only the best quality stuff, I don’t want it to get all fat and bloated with shitty writing that springs forward from me even when I try to squash it.

The list below encompasses all of the entries that I have started and wisely deleted before anyone else except Pinky could see them (Pinky is the name of my laptop – she is pink – I am very clever):

  1. “If I Were in Charge” This was a post based on what would happen if all of your dream came true and I was suddenly in charge and could makeup all of the rules. I thought it would be funny – certainly the first paragraph was really good but then the entire thing devolved into ways that we need to help the environment. I mean I know I have some strong feelings on the way we misspend our resources but come on – get off your soap box you know? I eventually deleted this post and saved some of the good parts in a word document – I feel like its material I can use if I ever go back to undergraduate school and I need to stay up late lecturing my fellow co-eds on how we can save the world.
  2.  “With no Benefit” this was a post I wrote in my head on Sunday night as I was throwing up over the side of my bed thanks to a stomach bug that Lucy picked up somewhere and selflessly shared with me – the entire thing was about how vomiting was completely unfair if not preceded with a night of black out drunk drinking – it was also a reflection of the strength of willpower that people must have to be bulimic*. Anyway – this entire thing was pretty funny but was not set down in paper so when I finally did manage to stop dry heaving and pass out the entire thing was deleted from my mental cashe file. This sadly, is what happens to a lot of my writing – it’s not really written anywhere and thus can be lost as soon as something shiny enters my field of vision.
  3.  “Dear David” This was an open letter to David Sedaris after I read his book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls – this book was fucking funny as was my letter to him telling him so – but then I thought ‘I don’t really wasn’t to pigeon hole myself here’ – next thing you know Sticky Jam Hands just becomes an entire website devoted to letters to Authors that never read them – maybe I’ll still finish this but wait 3 or 4 months to post it – maybe I’ll completely forget and move on, Maybe I’ll decide to write to Laurie Notaro because I just finished her latest book – it’s a nail biter my friends, stay tuned!
  4.  “Down With Facebook” – I’ve been working on this post for like 2 months now ever since I decided to delete the app from my phone – it’s kinds like a follow up to Facebook is An Asshole and in it I ranted on and on about inappropriate postings (starving dogs and children that die in frighteningly bizarre and terrible ways) there are things in this world I would rather just not be aware of – you know? This post went on and on and for the majority of the time I was writing it I was only occasionally going in to Facebook on the sly – you know to see what my memories for the day are – but then a friend of mine from High School was about to have a baby – a good friend who is my age and whom I’m terribly jealous of and I started checking first thing every morning to see if he was born yet (he was born yesterday) and now I feel like I have no choice but to reinstall the app so that I can keep up with baby pictures – oh and also all of the obligatory ‘back to school photos’ oh and so I can post about how yesterday on the train I sat next to a girl dressed in leggings, a long sleeve flannel shirt and over the knee boots – I so wanted to take a picture of her with the caption “Too Soon!” and post that shit – I mean come on it was 86 degrees outside!

So there is it – at least four unpostable entries that I won’t subject you to. Please feel free to send me subject topics that you would like me to go on and on about!

*I’m in no way condoning eating disorders – I am sure they are really really bad – I’m just saying that I have always admired people’s willpower to stick with something that makes you feel so terrible.

The Ven Diagram of my Life Just Got a Little Bit Closer

There was a time in my life when I was always the last to leave a party, you know in my early twenties when I habitually woke up the next morning wondering if I needed to make new friends or if it was okay to check my voicemail. It wasn’t irresponsibility but a need to live every day like it was my last. I had some existential crises when I was a freshman in college wherein this became my mantra and I took it literally – why go to Psychology? If this really is my last day I’ll be so pissed that I went to class… This literal reasoning was a large part of my withdrawal from college, subsequent move to the west coast and well pretty much the next seven years.

And there ensued almost a decade of poor decision making and short term goals whose failure was easily justified away.

I’m not saying that everything that happened in my twenties was bad or unscrupulous but I sure am glad that the internet wasn’t widespread in the 90’s and that Facebook didn’t exist, there was good and there was bad and there were a lot of parties wherein I was the last to leave.

In my thirties I unintentionally became responsible and started making a concerted effort to NOT be the last person at the party. In my forties I spend most of my evenings in yoga pants, preferring to spend my free time with my family and close friends, I enjoy afternoon wine and being in bed by 11:00. Maybe I’m old but I’m past the point of trying to impress anyone and I have to get up early in the morning.

Last weekend I was invited to a ‘swanky cocktail party’ and I hesitated slightly about even going when I found out it started at 7:00. Started at 7:00, also it was at my gym, my gym where people see me nearly every day sweaty in a sports bra. I’m okay spending the morning without make up, sweaty with these people because the only way they exist in my world is inside this gym. I wasn’t thrilled integrating any of these people into my world as people and not just ‘gym people’. But I figured it was fine because I’m not 20 anymore and the plan was to have a drink or two, be home by 9:00 continuing to keep my ‘life’ and my ‘gym life’ separate.

The best laid plans and all that…

There were two problems with this plan 1.) Stacy and 2.) my inability to make small talk with people I don’t really know without 750ml of wine inside me. The evening began slow and at some point got WAY out of control. Stacy whom I love dearly is much more the devil on my shoulder than the angel on the other side, she is… an instigator. When I suggested that perhaps we shouldn’t be the last to leave the party she just laughed at me and suggested that I start sobering up by drinking a light beer. I drank like 6 light beers before we were finally ushered out and the lights were shut off behind us.

At this point it was clearly not the end of the evening but the start of round two – we headed to a local dive bar where I had on good authority heard you could get drafts of Yeungling for $2.00.

So the evening digressed into a messy, incoherent haze of stale beer and cigarette smoke. But that’s not the point of this post. Is there a point? Why yes there is!

The point is that after a rough Sunday where I nearly threw up at a 6 years olds birthday party I had to show up Monday morning and face the ‘gym people’ as people who now knew whatever the hell I decided to divulge after a box of wine and a twelve pack of miller lite – it’s been two days and I haven’t managed to make eye contact with any of them.

Because Home Goods is a black hole of things I really want but don’t truly need

Things I meant to do during my stint on unemployment:

  • Go to the dermatologist
  • Organize the laundry room
  • Teach the dog to walk on a leash without pulling
  • Learn new healthy dinner recipes my whole family would love

Things I actually did do while on unemployment:

  • Find good people who were willing and able to drink wine with me at noon
  • Institute mandatory cuddle time for the first 15 minutes after coming home from kindergarten
  • Learn how to do Romanian deadlifts with a 45-pound kettle bell
  • Vacuum so much I actually broke the vacuum cleaner

Things I feel like I would do if I didn’t ever have to go back to work:

  • Become an alcoholic
  • Barricade myself in the office and write a novel I would be too terrified to actually share with anyone and would only be discovered after my death with a lot of tear stains and spelling errors
  • Committ our wifi pssword to memmory
  • Empty the litter box more often (this ones questionable, I might just teach the cat to use the toilet)

Things I’m looking forward to about going back to work:

  • Less pressure to have a clean house
  • Actually having a reason to drink in the evening
  • Not having to avoid eye contact with people who commiserate with me about how hard their jobs are
  • Less free time to spend at Home Goods

 

Updates From the Couchside – Final Edition

I’ve written before about my struggles with being a grown up. Lord knows I certainly do not feel like one, I drop Lucy off at Kindergarten and I half expect to get yelled at as I’m leaving the school for ducking out of class.

This post will mark the end of my couchside chats- I officially got “the call” yesterday and will be starting a new career next Tuesday. Ugh, I’m not really sure I’m ready to go back to work – I’ve gotten quite used to being at home, making sure that we don’t all drown in dog hair and we don’t eat popcorn for dinner. I’m going to have to open my side of the closet for the first time in 3 months and put on something office-worthy.

I am still working out and now that I’m being held accountable to what I eat and how much I drink I found there is a direct correlation between the amount of wine I imbibe and how often I write these posts – I was doing a lot of writing (and drinking!) prior to my initiation into fit tribe, now that I spend my days sober I fell less inclined to be creative, once the other day I found myself doing push-ups on the stairs. Push-ups in the middle of the day with no one towering over me threatening me with heavy blunt force objects. WTF is happening to me? I need to figure out how to channel my inner Hemmingway without doing it through booze and general poor decision making.

There’s been a lot of adult-ish family drama going on, nothing makes you feel more mature than fighting with your siblings about important things. It seemed so much easier to settle disputes when we were younger and could just pin each other to the floor until someone yelled uncle or cried so loud that our Mother stepped in.

And that my friends is how I’m playing the grown up this week – not drinking, going to work and dealing with situations that I’m ill equipped to handle. Someone pass the wine…

 

 

Updates from the Couchside, Vol. V

I’m still waiting for a start date for the job I supposedly landed.  I say supposedly because they called me some time ago and said, “Hi, we’d like to offer you a job” and I said, “Great!” and then they said, “Ok, we’ll be in touch, don’t call us we’ll call you…” and now it’s been about two and a half weeks. I hope they call soon; I bought new shoes so I need an office to wear them to.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how can fit “going into work” in my surprisingly busy unemployed schedule. Seriously, I have learned to fill up my days without wasting time watching TV or napping. Sure there is the occasional afternoon where I enjoy a cocktail at 3:00pm but for the most part I’m pretty productive.

I have continued to work out every morning and I’ve even managed to do a burpee or two but I still hate them, oh how I hate them.  I’ve even lost a couple pounds but in the true spirit of self-destructiveness I am planning a weekend getaway this weekend where I’ll probably undue almost all of the work that I have made. Do what you know, you know?

I’ve learned how to make quinoa, I’m pretty sure this means I’m a hipster now. I should probably look into getting new frames for my glasses.

Wherein I talk about exercise. Yes, exercise.

Six days ago I decided to sign up for a 14-day trial at a local fit tribe center, not a gym but one of those places where they only have group classes closely monitored by personal trainers, the kind of gym where it’s impossible to phone it in. Unlike the last time I joined a gym and I just spent my lunch hours watching Sex and the City while I walked on the tread mill for 30 minutes, barely ever breaking a sweat. No, this place makes me sweaty and doesn’t allow me to sit down when I get tired.

It’s the perfect kick in the ass I need to get myself back into my jeans, not my skinny jeans, I mean back in my jeans period. Apparently two months of sitting at my kitchen table sending out resumes has made me even more flabby and out of shape that I normally am, and quite frankly that’s really saying something.

So, I went every day this past week. Every day! Two mornings I was even awake and dressed at 5:30 to attend the 6:00 class. Anyone who knows me knows that this is unusual behavior. Usually the only time I’m up that early is to either go to the airport or because I drank too much the night before and forgot to take water to bed with me.

So I really feel like I’ve thrown myself into this whole exercise thing and the problem is that I haven’t lost any weight. Sure there was the day that I came home from the class so hungry that I ate an entire bag of Cadbury mini eggs while I waited for the cheese on my sandwich to melt but come on a pound or two would be super motivational now. You know?

For this reason, I’ve gotten pretty discouraged, honestly just getting up at 5:30 let alone doing anything I think deserves a reward in itself. But I did feel somewhat vindicated yesterday while we were cooling down in class I was able to do a push up. This might not seem remarkable but the last time I remember being able to do a push up I’m pretty sure I was in junior high. And not only that, I did the first one so successfully that I tried it again – I did four more before it was time to move on to burpees, which I can’t do – burpees are ridiculous.

By next Friday I better be able to do a burpee – or five.

excerise

Updates from the Couchside, Vol IV

Yesterday I scheduled a mammogram, for myself  (not as a favor to my grandmother or anything),  it’s weird to be this old. Last night I had dinner with someone 30 years older than I am, she told me I didn’t know anything, that I was just a baby. I sure hope she’s right – in 30 years I hope to know a whole lot more than I know now. Also, I suppose I’ll have 30 more mammograms under my belt, or boobs I guess. I don’t know a lot about what’s involved but I’m pretty sure it focuses on the boobs.

Also, yesterday I may or may not have received a job offer, I got an email that seems very positive but I won’t get excited about anything until I have an offer letter in my hand, signed by somebody with a real pen and everything. If anyone is still hoping to offer me large sums of money to stay at home and continue my couchside updates – now is the time to contact me.

Today I attempted to change our beds over from winter to summer mode (duvets replaced by freshly laundered bed spreads). I spent 4 hours this morning tearing the house apart for the sheets for Lucy’s bed – you know the requisite white ones with the tiny pink roses on them. How can I lose an entire set of sheets? It’s not like I take them out for drives or anything, I’m pretty sure I never left them at chick fil a. I finally gave up and went out and bought new sheets (spending money like I really did get the job… seems like an excellent way to jinx myself)*. I have the new sheets in the washer right now and I’m just sitting here waiting for the old ones to surface – I feel like this should happen before the sun sets tonight.

It was supposed to rain today, like rain rain – I sent Lucy to school this morning in rain boots, a raincoat, carrying an umbrella… The sun has been out since lunch time and not a single drop has fallen – I’m going to start dressing her like this everyday!

*As does just writing about it here

Updates from the Couchside, vol II

I have been spending a considerable amount of time watching the election coverage on TV, much more than the FDA would recommend (I’m guessing). Probably more than some professional political analysts have been.  It has turned me into the person that yells at their television. I’m not proud of this, I’m just telling you that if you happen to walk by my house in the middle of the day and hear yelling just keep walking.

I’m starting to lose hope that HGTV is going to call and offer my the 2016 HGTV dream home, I wonder if I should write some sort of essay to them “Why I would like the HGTV dream home” in 500 words or less.  I’m sure they would appreciate getting mail from me, I mean – who wouldn’t?

Wednesday I went sandal shopping for Lucy because its nearly springtime, and today it snowed and I guess it’s my fault. Sorry y’all. (I just said y’all).

Spring break is quickly approaching and that means bathing suit time. Bathing suit time in March seems UNFAIR. My soft Pillsbury dough body isn’t ready for this, in order to do something about it I’ve been sitting around thinking about how I should do something about.

That , my friends, is that.

dough boy
This is a real image I stole off the internet

 

A Case for the Uniform

Yesterday was my first post-layoff job interview. The email confirmation I received from them gave me the time and address of the meeting as well as reminder that it is a ‘casual office’.

Hm, this means I can’t wear a suit. But how casual is casual? I assumed that they would be in jeans, but I can’t wear jeans. Maybe black pants? Ok, except that my black pants need to be ironed and I don’t do that very well.

Ok, so a dress, but which one? A ‘casual’ dress? Those make me look like I’m headed to a party or out for date night. A business dress? It’s practically the same as a suit but without the jacket.

Ugh! Why are you messing with my head! I tried on 7 dresses and one skirt, two different colored tights and three pair of shoes.

In the end I had about 2 and a half minutes to get out of the house and grabbed the first dress I had tried on, threw on my coat and tried not to obsess over it.

My meeting was with two women both in jeans, I confessed that I had changed about 5 times to be casual but not too casual and they also confessed that they were pretty dressed up, but they didn’t want to dress up too much because they had told me they were casual.

If I get this job, I’m pretty sure it will be because of our shared fixation on fashion. This seems like as a good a reason to hire me as any, right?

Footnote to this story: Last night I had a dream that I got this job and showed up this first day in a t-shirt, just a t-shirt, no pants, no underwear. It was not a long t-shirt. No one seemed to notice.

tshirt

Why Facebook is an Asshole

Remember when Facebook was a fun and entertaining place where you could log in and see pictures of your high school classmates, find out who just had a baby or who didn’t and spent their Christmas break in Hawaii?

Yeah I remember that Facebook, before I had a smart phone and I would log in one time a day and oh and ah over baby and/or puppy pictures and feel pretty good that even in my most introverted moods I was still connecting with humanity and hadn’t yet completely fallen off the grid.

Slowey and with what seems like ever increasing frequency my feed has become a virtual marketplace. Honestly, if RoseGal offers to send me a seemingly beautiful ball gown made out of 14 carat gold for  $1.75 in USD one more time I’m going to scream. This shit drives me crazy, I don’t go on to Facebook to shop, I go on it to stalk old boyfriends and research potential dog walkers.

But the sponsored ads are just a small part of the problem, inspirational quotes and inspiring message also drive me nuts. Honestly WordPorn mostly just makes me feel like my relationships aren’t deep enough or spiritual enough. Instead of making me feel better most often these quotes just make me feel more shallow and superficial. Thanks to Facebook I now know that I am not living up to my potential. Awesome.

But what I hate more than anything else that happens on the internet (yes, that’s the ENTIRE internet) is when photos/ articles of sick and dying children pop up and I’m told that if I don’t repost or like it than I’m a terrible person. Yesterday I was happily scrolling through ads for Wayfair.com and Oil of Olay and I came across a picture of a girl about Lucy’s age with a giant tumor in her chest and under it is large letters were “IF YOU SCROLL PAST THIS YOU ARE HEARTLESS”. OMG – Facebook? Why? First of all, I can’t possibly read articles about sick children, I don’t think any Mother can. Things like this ruin my entire day – just seeing headlines of things like this ruin my whole day.

So here’s the deal Facebook – I can’t save every starving animal, I can’t cure all of the sick children out there. Not sharing all of these stories, doesn’t make me heartless it makes me aware that my friends also don’t want to feel your passive aggressive guilt trip. We ALL know that terrible things are happening in the world, but there are terrible things happening in our own lives and our own communities and I think we all try very hard to help solve the problems we can and help the people we know, but to make us feel bad about things we can’t help makes you heartless not me and not my friends.

Despite all of this I still log in about 14,867 times a day (don’t judge me, I don’t have a job) its my link to the world outside my living room. If only I had enough technical skills to create some kind of anti-facebook where there would be rules about this sort of thing.

Rant over.

Now Seems Like a Perfect Time to Have Mid-Life Crises

I’ve been unemployed for six days now  and I’ve spent the majority of those days wondering aimlessly through out my house doing laundry and taking antibiotics to get rid of the massive sinus infection that I have. (Try not to be jealous my life is GLAMOROUS).

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do, but every time I broach that subject my brain kinda shuts down a little, like it changes the station and there’s nothing but static up there, I keep asking it questions and all I get is some kind of emergency feed back loop.

Yesterday I had a job interview. Today I can’t seem to do anything more than play Words With Friends and doodle. I’m wondering if this is a downward trajectory where 4 days from now I’m laying in the fetal position, drinking gin through a straw on the floor of my shower or if it’s some kind of yo-yo and tomorrow I’ll actually fold the laundry and type up a list of references.

I kind of hope its the later but the former does take a lot of pressure off me to accomplish anything, just once I would like someone to utter the words, “Becca… she insisted on getting out of bed today.”

Stay tuned.

 

Update from the Couchside  

The upside of being unemployed:

  • Acme at 8:00 on Tuesday morning is a beautiful place, only old people and stock boys. You can be in and out in 20 minutes without once ever waiting in line.
  • Unlimited internet trolling time
  • No need to wear anything but yoga pants
  • 3:00 Happy hour
  • Relaxed grooming requirements

 

The downside of being unemployed:

  • No one is around to stop you from making an entire batch of blueberry pancakes and then eating them all yourself while you watch an uninterrupted stream of house hunter episodes on HGTV.
  • Unlimited internet trolling time
  • Trying to figure out how to reprogram the digital thermostat so that it’s not 55 degrees in the house during the day.
  • No good reason not to take every single facebook quiz that pops up on your feed.

I Really Hope I’m Not the Only One

This week I am learning all about depreciation schedules and vacation accruals and so many accounting things that make me want to run my hands through my hair and put my head down on my desk. I don’t think there’s anything that makes you feel more adult than trying to manage an audit (Maybe performing surgery, I imagine doctors feel very adult all the time, but as anyone who has seen me handle a butter knife before knows I was never cut out to be a doctor) Also, I’m not really good at adulting either (about as good as I am with knives). I have a tenuous grasp (at best) on what I’m supposed to know as it relates to my professional career. And as a Mom I just fake that I know what I’m doing and stay grateful that Lucy is still too young to have caught on.

I am a giant faker, but I don’t think this comes as much of a surprise to those close to me. I don’t think anyone has ever uttered the words “Let’s go ask Becca, she really has her shit together.” And you know what, I am totally okay with that. There are people that are expected to know things and be in charge and then there are those of us whose parents are just glad that our decisions in our early 20’s didn’t land us in some sex trafficking fiasco.

Sometimes I get home from work at night so bewildered by what is going on that I have trouble processing Lucy’s Kindergarten homework, “if you have three friends on the playground and two more show up how many friends do you have to play with” whoa, back up a minute how did you get to the playground?

This makes me wonder how many of us just wonder around all day, going through the motions of adulting hoping that no one calls on us to explain the reasoning for what we are doing. In my dealings with humanity in general, I imagine that this is most of us – glassy eyed, questioning how we got so far in life without falling down a well or accidently ingesting something that poisons us.

It makes me a little sad that our civilization has evolved in to a place where most of us are too scared, anxious or reticent to be the silly, light hearted, playful people really want to be, at least until we get home at night and change into our sweat pants and allow the real us to come out.

Maybe instead of adding rules to the handbook of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles we should use our collective efforts to build some kind of giant adult size bouncy house where we can spend our days having fun and connecting with each other the right way.

We only live once people, go forth and build that bouncy house.

 

 

Suburbia, Salad Gravy and Sister Cousins

I’ve lived a lot of places, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of everywhere. On the edge of the pacific ocean, once in the back of a Ford Gran Torino station wagon (still roomier than some of my apartments).  When my husband and I made the decision to leave our quiet corner of the city and move to the suburbs the idea was fraught with many unknowns but the biggest question we asked ourselves was “are the sort of people that can make friends in a mild manner neighborhood of the suburbs?”

No, we are not the kind of people able to make friends with mild manner suburban neighbors.

Fortunately for us we haven’t encountered any mild manner suburban neighbors.  Two years into our tenure in the burbs and I have discovered these common misconceptions:

  • Walking your dog after work is really just an excuse to initiate an impromptu happy hour, “Hey, how was your day? Want a beer, I have one here in my pocket.” “Oh, this? No this coffee cup is full of Chardonnay…”
  •  It’s cool if everyone has access to your house. “Oh you need honey, sure I’m not home but just let yourself in, it’s in the pantry. Use the big one, not the small organic kind – see you later. I’ll stop by with a cup of chardonnay!”
  • You need to get something done, just invite all the neighborhood kids over. Nothing gives you free time like having your kid engaged in play with other kids. Need to make dinner? Write a blog post? Go to the bathroom by yourself? Just call your neighbors!

~

A few weeks ago I had to suit up, stay late at work and attend a board meeting for my job.  The meeting went late and dinner was ordered. A LOT of dinner, so much so that by the time I left there was an entire catering tray of salad that was never even opened.

I took the salad and an unopened container of balsamic vinaigrette dressing and on my way home dropped it off to a pregnant homeless woman who I knew would be sitting outside of the WaWa on the way back to my car.

I presented her with the salad and she seemed very grateful and then I brought out the dressing and she said, “What the hell is that? Gravy!?!” and I said “Yup, it’s the latest thing, salad gravy and it’s delicious!”

~

Also a  few weeks ago one of my best friends (Jess) adopted a baby girl. It’s a huge deal that has been years in the making and I couldn’t be happier for them. Lucy has followed the development and the idea of adoption with equal parts fascination and confusion.

A few days after getting the baby, I was putting Lucy to bed at night and she asked if I could please give her a sister, I explained (for the eleventy hundredth time) that simply wasn’t going to happen and she responded by asking if her cousin Emmy could come live with us and be her sister. I told her that I would ask Emmy’s Mom but I was pretty sure that the answer would be “no.” Lucy asked why and I responded with, “Because people don’t just give away their kids honey”. She looked at my and stated very matter of factly, “well, that women did for Jess.”

Touché Lucy, touché.

 

What not to get me for Christmas

The last post that I wrote really got me to thinking about things that I hate. Not regular things like terrorism or cancer or trying to call your insurance company to get conformation about what your policy covers (that shit is terrible). I mean the seemingly everyday things that most normal people have no problem with. Here are my top choices in no particular order:

SOUP: Why do people consider soup food? To me soup is just a hot beverage, and if I want a hot beverage I’ll drink coffee thank you very much. But seriously, there are millions of people out there that “eat” soup as a meal. Personally I like to chew my meals and if I’m going to invest in the calories (and some soups are calorie laden) I want to chew them. I know most of you are thinking, what about when you are sick? No, not even then, the entire point of getting sick is to lose weight (Isn’t it?) so why fill up on stupid empty soup calories? East some dry toast, go back to bed and when you are better you can have some coffee (coffee= warm caffeinated soup in a cup!)

VESTS: I hate vests, and I don’t mean the kind that men (and sometimes women) wear under a nicely tailored three piece suit. No, I’m referring here to vests that people wear to keep themselves warm, fleece or down vests, anything meant as “outerwear”. First they just look stupid, they made you bulky in the places you don’t want to be bulky. But besides being aesthetically unpleasing they are also useless. Physiologically speaking* when a person gets cold they feel it most in their extremities, don’t your fingers gets cold before your boobs? Why wear a garment that is only going to keep your boobs warm, not your hands, and as a bonus make you look fat in the process? Vests, I hate you, get sleeves and turn yourself into a coat.

THE MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY LINCOLN COMMERCIALS: Not only is this like the definition of pretentious actor buyout, but the sound of his voice makes me illogically angry. Also his face, there is something super irritating about his smug stupid face. When his commercials come on I feel a deep seated rage well up from somewhere deep inside me, I can’t explain it, this is just the way it is. Matthew Mcconaughey, you are right it isn’t about hugging trees, it’s about getting you off of my TV. Also your last name is ridiculously hard to spell. Go away.

How is this cool?
How is this cool?
  • I am not a doctor, I’m really not even sure what physiologically means

Wherein I Seem Angry for no Reason

WTF is up with Fall? And by that I mean when did the season of autumn become an event? Did I miss something? My daughter has had her face painted EVERY weekend since Labor Day.

When I was a kid we each got a pumpkin for carving, we hung some Indian corn on our door, we spent one day trick or treating and then we hunkered down and waited for Christmas. Now it seems that suddenly the entire months of September, October and November have become a giant pumpkin eating hayride of harvest festivities.

And what really makes me stay up at night* is what came first, did I miss some kind of universal change in humanity when sometime in the mid aughts everyone woke up craving pumpkin flavored pastries and the opportunity to pick their own apples? Or did one group of farmers accidently plant so many pumpkins** one year that they were forced to conspire with bakeries and Starbucks across the country to get rid of their product?

Either way it happened I am fascinated by it and how everyone seems to be on board. Nary a weekend has gone by where someone hasn’t texted me with “you want to go pick some apples on Saturday?” and the thing is I like to go apple picking, I like being out in an orchard when the trees are turning and the smell of apple ciders in the air and all of that, but it’s really easy to pick apples ( I mean on a small scale, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it for a living) while meandering down rows of loaded apple trees dropping those within easy arms reach inside of a paper Trader Joe’s bag I can gather enough apples to get my family of three through the winter in about 10-15 minutes. So why do I need to go apple picking every single weekend? Maybe I can set up some kind of 2nd run apple stand for people who are too lazy to get in their cars and drive to an orchard to lift up their arms? I don’t know maybe I’m on to something here, but I feel like the people who invented grocery stores might have already figured out this business model.

Also, while we are on the subject of seasonal festivals, why just fall? Why not have spring festivals and summer festivals and maybe one smack dab in the middle of Winter, I feel like that would really help people get through February if the entire month was devoted to “Mid Winter Fiesta!” we could use the old apples that never gotten eat from all of the apple picking in fall to make mulled apple cider, or maybe we could just throw them at snowmen as we primal scream to let out our frustration that its only fucking February (with sparklers, cause nothing says Mid Winter Fiesta like apple chucking and sparklers).

*This is a lie, nothing keeps me up at night (except maybe an ill timed double espresso) I’m so tired that by 10:00 rolls around I couldn’t stay awake even if the house caught on fire and I was forced to leave. I’d probably just stay in bed shouting “tell me family I love them!”

** This is easier than you would think. Watermelon and pumpkin vines look a lot alike. This past spring I planted both of them in my garden and around the first of August my husband excitedly told me one day that our first watermelon was growing big and nearly ready to be picked. A few weeks later he picked and (fortunately) before cutting into it examined the underside and realized that it was orange, it wasn’t a watermelon at all but a not-yet-ripe pumpkin. See, if it can happen to us it can happen to anyone.

Sometimes its hard to tell
Watermelon Pumpkin

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Weeknight Dinners

I was on the train yesterday and witnessed a heated discussion between what I believe to be a Jehovah’s Witness and some seemingly random Christian fellow, their conversation went like this:

JW: “Well, what do you think Jesus’s role was?”

SRCF: “He was a great teacher”

JW: “Teacher huh? TEACHER? Not the SON OF GOD? Or the MESSIAH?”

SRCF: “Why are you getting so upset?

JW:” Because you don’t know ANYTHING! Teacher my ass!”

At which point it was time for me to get off the train. I seriously considered staying on to see how this played out, but it was the end of the day and the 30 minute walk it would have taken to get home from the next stop simply didn’t seem worth it.

Does anyone else find this puzzling the sheer vehemence of the Jehovah’s Witness and the comparison between Jesus being a good teacher and her ass? I have known several Jehovah’s Witnesses in my lifetime and I have always found them to be rather calm and soothing people

I guess sometimes you’ve just got to spend a lot of time on a crowded suburban rail line to find out what’s what – yo.

~

I don’t cook a lot, a few years ago my husband simply took over the duty as house chef (I pretend to think that this was more to give me a break rather than to not have to eat my cooking any longer). But sometimes I still manage to throw a meal together, a meal that doesn’t consist of hot dogs and tater tots.

Usually when I do this I try to prepare the entire meal in as few dishes as possible. If doable I only use one dish, I just throw many things into a skillet; add some wine for it to cook in and viola. I do this not because I am lazy but to make clean up easier for my husband, cause I’m a giver.

When I make these ‘skillet’ concoctions Lucy always wants to know what it is so I name them all “Mommy’s dinner surprise”.

These dinners come in many different forms with many different flavors; it’s like a little food surprise after a long day at school or work.

Last night I got a text from my husband before I even left work telling me to not worry about dinner because he was going to take care of it.

I said, “are you sure? I could make another surprise?” His response, “Oh sweetie, we don’t have enough hot sauce left to get through another dinner surprise…”

And that, my friends, is how you get out of cooking dinner for your family.

skillet meal

 

This one is ALL over the place

Hey, it’s that time again where I have to pay for another year of my domain name and therefore begin to feel guilty about spending that money on something I’m barely using.

For those of you who know me well I think you’ll excuse my absences on this website, there’s been a lot of shit going down recently. For those of you who don’t know me well – you should call more and then you’d totally get it. And for you random people in Germany that follow me to either help improve your English (not the best platform, btw, my grammar is terrible) or are attempting to live vicariously through an American suburbanite (again, not the best platform, you should really find someone able to stay up past 9:30 in the evening and actually you know, does stuff). You Germans just have to trust that there is a lot of shit going down, shit that I’m not going to post on the internets.

See, the last paragraph was an English teacher’s worst nightmare (I do not think a comma means what you think it means) excerpts from The Syntax Princess Bride – you know the movie where Buttercup and Wesley fall in love over perfect sentence structure… ah, I love that movie.

Oh my god, what am I writing about?

I have many annoying habits (ask my husband!) One of them is that I leave half drunken (dranken?) cups of water/coffee/wine laying all over the house, so many in fact that sometimes I run an entire dishwasher load of nothing more than found glasses. But sometimes I never even drink them, sometimes I will pour a cup of coffee and heat it up in the microwave only to find it hours (days?) later sitting there neglected, probably scared of the dark and wondering how long it will be before it gets to hang out with its coffee cup friends again. Sometimes if I remember how long it had been since I first attempted to heat up that cup of coffee I will do it again, the chances of me drinking it improve with each consecutive reheat. Something like first attempt = 30% success rate, 2nd attempt = 50% success rate, 3rd (and always final attempt) = 90% success rate. Typically if I have vested enough time to reheat the coffee three times than it’s almost a guarantee that I really need/want it and I’m probably standing right next to the microwave tapping my foot doing my best Homer Simpson impression – “30 seconds! But I’m tired now!”

This cycle of incomplete tasking extends to other things as well, take laundry for instance – I’m not sure how I’m expected to NOT ignore clothes that are two flights of stairs down in a dark subterranean room. Sure if I’m doing multiple loads and there is a waiting line of laundry to get in to the dryer than I‘m all about getting it out of there but the last load? That can sit for up to six days before its time to start the process all over again.

All of this might seem like incoherent babbling but I’m getting to my point and that is that the coffee and the laundry are like a metaphor for this website, I click out of this website to browse Etsy or buy bulk pig ears on Amazon and next thing you know 10-15 days later I do a search for how to remove unknown sticky craft supplies from my daughters school uniform and Google brings up stickjamhands.com and viola it’s like opening up the dryer… What I need is some sort of annoying dinging reminder.

Actually what I need is pie, pie and coffee. I should go check the microwave…

 

Anniversary Gifts, Kindergarten Woes and Mental Health Disorders

Last weekend marked my seventh wedding anniversary – yes, for those of you reading that attended this social event of the season it was seven years ago we made you drive down a long windy dirt road in the middle of nowhere Maine. For seven years my husband has had the privilege of putting up with me every day. Traditionally the seventh anniversary is copper… ugh copper. To begin with I am a terrible gift giver (honestly, terrible) but throw a material like copper at me and I might as well just write you a check and call it a day.

I would like to offer up this suggestion – let’s update the traditional wedding anniversary gift schedule – instead of paper, wood, iron, copper route I would like to suggest something a little more modern (go with me on this):

Year One:  “The Princess Bride” theme anniversary – anything remotely related to the movie (or book) will do.

Year Two: bathroom renovations, for this anniversary you will need to call a contractor to install a double sink in your en suite (or build you one if it doesn’t already exist)

Year Three: Separate vacations, for your third year you are both allowed to take a long 4 day weekend away from eachother.

Year Four: Weekly cleaning services. For the fourth year, you pull together all of your gift giving resources and sink that money into someone who will clean your house for you.

Year Five: “The Star Wars” anniversary, anything remotely related to any of the movies (the ORIGINAL three) will do

Year Six: If you have children your sixth anniversary present should be sending them to their grandparents for a week. One whole week – kid free – happy anniversary.

Year Seven: King size bed.

Year Eight: Job switch – for your eighth anniversary each of you gets to spend one day at the others job, this way you can FINALLY understand all the venting at the end of the day

Year Nine: craft projects – for your ninth anniversary you both get to graphically show your love using nothing more than macaroni noodles, cardboard, glue and glitter.

Year Ten: Diamonds, diamonds for everyone.

~

Next week my little baby girl will start kindergarten and I’m all flummoxed by this, how did it happen? Did we enter some kind of wormhole? Did I waste her early childhood by forcing her to hang out with disinterested daycare workers? How do we build a time machine and go back in time?

Lucy is ambivalent about the whole thing, she’s worried more that she has to wear a uniform than she is about attending ‘big girl’ school, she excited that she gets and iPad and that her friend Grace is going to be in her class but I guess that is the difference between someone standing on the precipice of something as opposed to someone looking back at it from the other side. I am excited for her and the experiences and adventures that she will have the older she gets, I am also terrified of said experiences that she will have. Ugh, parenting.

~

Sometimes when I am bored at work* and think that I should spend more time writing on my blog (only I can’t because of the stupid ridiculously high firewall in my office) I read other people’s blogs instead – clearly the agency I work for is cool with me spending my days reading about other people’s experiences on Tinder (Oh my god – check that out) or stay at home parenting. But through all of my time reading pieces of other people’s lives I can’t help but notice that there is a high rate of serious depression going on with bloggers around the world. I notice that some of my favorite writers are always saying things like “I was in a funk last week” or “I was too depressed to get off the couch”. Now, don’t get me wrong depression is a terrible thing and those that struggle with it really struggle with it but it makes me realize that it is yet another barrier to me never quitting my day job to become a famous writer. Yes, that’s right to get what I really want from life I need to suffer from a debilitating psychiatric disease. If only I had to struggle to get out of bed every day and cope with my life… if only.

 

It’s sad really, I have so much potential.

 

*If we work together – I’ve never been bored at work, ever.

 

 

Apparently it’s called Solipsism

Oh look – I have a blog! I’d like to say that I haven’t been around because I’ve been diligently and single mindedly focused on my soon to be published book, but this would be a giant lie. The reason I haven’t been around is due entirely to laziness and procrastination, two areas I excel in above most others… Couple this with the fact that I can’t get to this website through my new employers firewall and it spells disaster for getting anything done.

So… how are you?

I’m good. I recently I attended a professional baseball game something I enjoy going to every five to seven years mostly to sit in the sun and drink ridiculously overpriced  beer, but also to keep me humble. Let me back up…. You see I have always imagined that despite physics and science in general that the universe and most everything in it has pretty much revolved around me. Well, that makes me sound like an asshole, let me start over – as a kid I assumed that everything that went on around me was somewhat holographic and since I was the only thing I knew to be 100% without-a-doubt real than I must exist in the center of my own universe. (I was a very philosophical preschooler). Unaware that Descartes formulated this same thought in the 15th century* I thought I was remarkably ahead of my time.

For most of the time this theory holds true – how do I know that people and events actually exist when I’m not there to observe them? I’ve always been present at everything I’ve witnessed. This isn’t a ruling manifesto of my life – it’s just something that helps especially in face of tragic events, I can somehow deal with thousands of people dying in earthquakes half a world away from me because there is a part of me that doesn’t really believe that they exist at all.

But my theory gets pretty debunked when I’m at baseball games. My baseball game attention span is approximately 3 minutes 17 seconds long. After that I have to scan the crowd for people I know, post selfies on facebook or go find the ladies room to make way for more ridiculously overpriced beer. But you know what’s amazing? When I’m in line for the ladies room and out of sight of the game, it still continues to play, people still cheer and boo and points are scored or not scored as the case may be. It amazes me every time that the players know how to keep going even when my mind isn’t focused on them.

Baseball games remind me of the time I was (probably) about 12 or 13 and home sick from school and I turned on the TV only to see Sesame street and I thought, “how is this still on, I stopped watching this years ago…” huh.

So, if you random internet reader, are anything like me (the master of your own unique universe) I would highly recommend an outing to an event that are not that interested in (this works well for all professional sports, as well as parades or Operas) to keep yourself in perspective.

You’re welcome.

*I actually just learned that this is true, thanks Internets for no longer making me feel alone. 

Pre Schooler’s Course Catalog

With a nod to our friends at The Ugly Volvo I have decided to write my own Pre Schooler course catalog, these are the classes we will be offering this semester:

 

SLOW DINNER 501: MWF 6:00-7:30

Think you took a long time sucking down toddler food? Think again! In this course we will teach you how to take forever to eat your dinner. We will bring in a world renowned chef and cook you a delicious and wholesome meal – if you finish it in less than 90 minutes, you fail.

 

GETTING OUT OF BED 20 TIMES 101: TR 8:00-10:00

This course is offered in conjunction with another class entitled “How to ask the most ridiculously inane questions – especially late at night.” We will focus on teaching you how to sit in bed and holler for your parents so loud that the neighbors across the street will be able to hear you, we will also teach you how to sneak out of your room at least 10 times before you fall asleep.

 

GAMES ON PHONES 206: S 11:00-3:00

This course is designed to introduce you to the world of stupid kid games available to you on your parent’s phone. Want to dress up a Unicorn? Or Make a Fish fart? We can do that. For this class the final exam will involve seating you in the back of your Parent’s car and asking repeatedly if you can play a game on the their phone – the longer you can keep it up for, the higher your grade will be.

 

WHINING 701: MWF 5:00-7:00

This is a Graduate level course, where we will hone your whining skills to the level of professional. We will concentrate on peak times of the day, like directly after your parents get home from work.

 

SUDDEN MOOD CHANGES 101: S ALL DAY

This course is designed to teach you to go from ecstatically happy to unbearably miserable in the blink of an eye. We will also help you to recognize that the reason for these sudden mood changes is all the fault of your parents and we will show you ways to blame them for making you unhappy.

 

SOAP IN PULBIC BATHROOMS 201: F 6:00-7:00

Don’t have to go to the bathroom? Of course you do! You don’t know what color soap might be in there! Sign up for this class and we will explore all the different kinds of soap dispensers available in restaurants and stores in your area.

Because I look really good in flannel pajama bottoms

I returned to work today after a glorious thirteen day break, below are some statistics I compiled in those thirteen days:

  • It takes approximately five days off in a row to digress to my adolescent self where I stay up until 1:00 in the morning and sleep until 10:00am
  • If left alone without the pressure to entertain or be anywhere on time it takes approximately 27 minutes for our house to go from clean and ‘organized’ to complete chaos and disorder.
  • Without the burden of work or commitments I could easily spend eight hours a day coloring in princess coloring books.
  • I may be an alcoholic – this is less of a statistic and more of a general understanding of myself based of the ridiculously large quantities of wine I have consumed in the past two weeks.
  • In the past thirteen days I believe I have taken four showers and one bath (that’s a 38% bathing rate)

I have exactly 17 hours left to work at my current job (more on that later) and besides shredding all of the paper on my desk and forwarding client inquires to my new replacement I’m kinda at a loss for what to do. I have extensively researched the new HGTV dream home – I have rearranged some furniture in my head to make it perfect for my family when we move in there – I have decided which window I will set my easel up against… Come on HGTV – if you pick me to win I will totally change this blog to be all about living as a hermit in my Martha’s Vineyard dream home and spending my days drinking wine and painting the ocean… everyone would want to read that, am I right?

White Girl Problems

I have some kind of universal balance where I am not allowed to have all my shit together at once. I have a system of losing things, important thing you know like wallets, keys, driver licenses, my husbands social security card… Honestly, I’m surprised that I’ve managed to hold on to Lucy for four years and not leave her on the top of the paper towel dispenser in Chilis.

Several months ago I lost my work ID, the ID I need to get in to my building, to go to the gym, to do just about anything in or around campus. I didn’t really worry about it at the time, I go days without ever leaving my desk and who wants to shell out $20 for a replacement card if they don’t have to?

The only problem is that I get to work really early, like before almost everyone and in order to get in the building I wold loiter hooker-style outside until someone more responsible came along and opened the door so I could sneak in behind them. This went on for some time until I realized that I took the train with a vice president of something-or-other that also worked in my building and if I walked from the  station with him I could guarantee myself entry.

This worked well until he realized that I was shadowing him the three blocks to work, on purpose. Being a nice and reasonable fellow he began walking with me which meant that I now needed to make small talk with a vice president of something-or -other at 7:15 in the morning – every day. Ugh, I wont even talk to my husband at 7:15 in the morning – I only grunt and push him out of the way of the coffee maker…

Several weeks went by and I realized that I had to finally give up the $20 to regain my freedom in the morning and so one day I went to the ID office and received a new card with a truly shitty picture of me on it (think autistic child molester). I thanked the 17year old co-op as I wondered what it would take to change jobs with him and my hand to god not five minutes later I discover that I had lost my monthly train pass, my $135 monthly train pass.

I was so annoyed with myself for losing my pass and with SEPTA for charging me $135 to ride on a loud, hot, crowded. uncomfortable train for an hour everyday that I decided not to replace my card but to start driving to work instead. I figured if I get in to the city early enough I won’t have to pay for parking and somehow between all the free parking and the really good gas mileage I get I might end up even or maybe a little bit a head by month end.

And it went well – I realized that because of my hours its actually less time in the car than in the train and I don’t have to pay to park my car at the station and I can leave work and go directly to pre school without any delays.

Maybe I got cocky, who knows but just a few days after realizing that maybe I don’t need a train pass I was getting out of my car one morning and my phone mysteriously jumped out my of suit pocket and landed on the cement sidewalk instantly shattering in three places.

I swear to all of you it was like some kind of cosmic miracle – I never touched the phone, it sits in that pocket all the time and has never once jumped for no reason.

The good news now is that I believe I have once again regained stasis – I can get myself into work (and I suppose the gym if I ever find out where it is) but I can only see about 17% of my phone screen. Maybe if I get my phone fixed I can trip and fall and throw our garage door opener into the creek behind our house…