Thursday, September 27, 2007

All Funked Up

September weather is as confusing as puberty. Is it summer or fall, humid or dry, breezy or dismal? A sweater in the morning, later followed by a skirt sticking to my bare legs by lunch. My pedicure has seen better days, but I am not yet ready to give up the last-minute ease of sandals. I am filing for a legal separation from my summer clothes on the grounds of irreconcilable boredom. But it’s still hot out, so each morning we have a trial reconciliation.

Neither of us are really happy.

And yet on the elevator today I had my first cool boots sighting of the season. I discreetly tucked my chipped toenails under, giving me the look of a formerly foot-bound Japanese woman. If only from the ankles down.

Boot girl also had on a cool trumpet skirt and a belted sweater jacket. So November 10th, she was. And me, looking so August 3rd at the Walmart.

I am in a funk. I am still wrapping up the loose ends of Old Job and in denial of the stress to be soon brought on by New Job.

PS – my new boss wont be there Monday on my first day. And neither will her assistant. But she is sure “someone will be happy to show me to my office and introduce everyone.”

Oh, the joys.

I guess I should relax, since no one really expects much from the New Girl for at least the first few days. I remember one job where they literally had nothing for me to do for an entire month. My manager-to-be hadn’t been hired yet, and they were to be in charge of setting up the department. This was pre-internet ere, so I spent an entire month reading old files. I could have done a full internal audit of the place by the time I was done.

I got nothing else. Bring on October.

One more thing - Sarah is testing out what new search terms will bring on the bizarro search hits. I suggested "under my skirt" since that post really brought the freaks out of the woodwork. She also gets alot of hits for anything having to do with the Doodlebops, and/or hermaphrodites. She tested out Brad Pitt and Butt but that got nothing.

So here we go - I got a hermaphrodite Doodlebop under my skirt.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Now I get it.

A few weeks ago I asked some of you to go over and spread some warmth to Mrs. Grumpy when she lost her husband. And I know alot of you did and I thank you for that. The blogging community can be very warm and supportive in spite of its anonymity.

I have been checking in on her every day since it happened. But I felt funny about it sometimes, like I was invading her privacy. See, I just “met” her a week or two before he died. I thought she was funny and I added her to my google reader. Then the whole passing away of her husband happened and I felt real sadness for this stranger who had lost someone she loved so completely. I checked in to offer support. As much support as you can via a comment box. (Sigh) But I admit some of it was also a voyeuristic interest. What is she doing now? How did he die? What will she say tomorrow about it?

I know. I felt (and feel) tremendously sad for her but a part of me was the driver passing by the car wreck rubbernecking. Plus I didn’t feel like I had much to offer for someone in such pain, and I most of all did not want to offer any unwanted support or assvice. Not now, of all times. But I kept going back, hoping she was doing a little better. And she is, sometimes, and sometimes not. One day at a time.

What I did not expect was to learn something from her about my own marriage. Because in spite of all of her wonderful stories and memories of him, I didn’t connect to her loss in a way that was real. Her loss of her husband had nothing to do with me and my husband. The one who is always running 10 minutes late and loses his patience when he cant find something he should have put away last night. That same husband of mine who doesn’t listen to me when I tell him things the first time, and then asks me the same thing again, and once more before it sinks in. That guy who leaves his socks in the kitchen and his toast crumbs on the counter. The one that I sometimes take for granted and, on the worst days, wonder if I really need. Yeah, that guy.

And then today she wrote this, about what it is like when someone calls and asks her what they can do to help;


"...the wonderful person on the other end will inevitably ask,"Is there anything you need...?" Today I was talking to his cousin and I said,"Yes, I need to hold the edge of his t-shirt in my hand and feeling his warm skin brush my knuckles so that I can fall asleep. I need to be able to get him up for work and make him coffee, I need to make dinner while he sits on the computer playing poker and talking to me. I need to go back to a few of our conversations and pay more attention so he knew how important what he said was important to me. I need him to cuddle with his son in Krandall (Krandall was the name that Leonard had given to the ridiculously, monstrously huge, ugly Lazy Boy that he bought a few months ago), I need his arms around me, I need to give him that haircut I promised because his messed up neckline always bothered him, I need to hug him so hard so that he would never leave me. Can you go get him for me please...?"

Damn, that hit me right in the chest. That is everyday life she is talking about, MY everyday life. My leg reaching out to brush against Tom's leg when I can't sleep. My Tom in our old recliner reading books to the boys. Me not paying attention to every detail of the car maintenance we need to do and why. Me forgetting to to kiss him goodbye this morning because I wanted to run up and get the laundry before the boys woke up.

Mrs. Grumpy, in her lowest low, has made me realize that I am so very, very lucky to have those socks to pick up tonight, and those toast crumbs to brush away tomorrow, and that the laundry can wait until after I have hugged Tom and kissed him goodbye.

Damn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Google-icious

I love Google. I google everything from medical symptoms to old boyfriends to recipes. I recently heard about googling your name and “needs” and seeing what comes up. I tried it this morning and the results are almost as amusing as the bizarre searches I see on my site meter. Oh by the way, the “Under My Skirt” post prediction about attracting Google-verts, definitely did not disappoint.

So, here is what I need:

Michele needs to be healed desperately!!!!!
Clearly someone has seen the scaly dry skin on my legs. It is not even autumn yet and I am already THIS close to rubbing Crisco into them.

Michele needs to hire a Goon.
I do know someone with a squad, but I am not sure if they are up for hire yet. How threatening can a goon in Pull-ups be?

Michele needs to learn to be more careful with her Voodoo
If only I knew Voodoo. The things I would do to my OJ doll, and my Honda-mini-van-with-the- engine-light-on-for-no-good-reason doll.

Michele needs to create names for her imaginary friends
They have names!! Isn't that what my blogroll is for? (the blogroll that needs updating, desperately)

Michele needs help adjusting her body regularly
This was posted by my arms, who have been falling asleep every night in bed because I am so exhausted that I don’t think I even move during the night.

Michelle needs to move on with someone else since Tony’s no longer around
Is my period of mourning for the loss of The Sopranos THAT obvious? Apparently that ridiculous “tribute” they did to them at the Emmy’s set me back a few stages in the grief process.

Michelle needs to just shut up.
I think my husband or my kids may have written that…

Michelle needs to get her game together, she also needs to stop her parents from running her life
Definitely my husband. He must have a blog.

Your Turn! My sweet imaginary friends, its your turn. What do you need? Google your name and the word "needs" and see what comes up. If, like me, your name has a unique spelling, feel free to change it for different results.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stolen Poultry, Sex Toys and Giving Back

<---------See that duck over there?

All ducks have a story. This one was was stolen by Kristen, for which she got a raft of nasty comments. So she did what any other falsely accused accused bad parenting example/duck thief/sex toy pusher would do. She decided to hold a raffle. With stolen merchandise and a sex toy. This ain't your Mama's raffle.

And to sweeten the deal, you also get to do real good for someone who really needs it. A beautiful boy, with an ugly disease. I first read about Tanner here, back in March of 2006, and it broke my heart to think that one day his own heart would give out. Now his wonderful aunt Catherine is trying to raise money for him again and she needs our help. If you are any aunt, or a mother, you cant read Catherine's Tanner post without wanting to do SOMETHING, anything, to help.

So click on the duck, or click on Catherine, or click on something but just click. Because if we don't click, then disease, and bad poultry metaphors win.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

But No Clowns, Please

Wow, alot has happened since my last post.

Yes, I accepted the new job. It is a really great opportunity and comes with a nice salary bump and much better benefits, time off and future potential. All good. I will actually still be in the same building and work with some of the same people I work with now. So no first day jitters about where to park or where the coffee is.

I hate the quitting part. I am always a nervous wreck when it comes to resigning. But it could not have gone more wonderfully. I had to resign to three people – my actual boss, who is in another state entirely, my unofficial on-site “boss”, and his boss who is the head of department in which I am a consultant. Everyone said such nice and supportive things to me, about me, and made me feel so good I started wondering if I was making the right move to leave.

Then again, if they had said all of these things to me before, I would have asked for a raise and a better chair. All of which they probably knew, and thus they avoided telling me how good and valuable I was until I already quit. Which is why they are the bosses, and why my chair still sucks.

Anyway, last night should have been merry with excitement, no? Well, not so much. My husband had a K-rappy day at work yesterday so he was in a foul mood. He was genuinely congratulatory (did I just make that word up?) but could not snap out of his own personal job funk for very long. I know he is happy for me, and he said as much, and that I deserve it , blah, blah, blah I guess I wanted flowers and a parade and he is not really the flowers and parade type. More the pat on the back, keep up the good work type. But last night, I wanted more than pizza and a few pats on the back. Which made me all girly and teary and sad about why it couldn’t be my special day. Like a Bridezilla, but in this case a “Careerazilla”. Leading to a very un-productive argument about whether I was overreacting or he was, followed by the encore production of the one where we fight about how we fight.

Good times.

Don’t make me do the disclosure about how we don’t fight that often and things are really fine. We don’t and they are. But last night was not at all what I had envisioned in my Hallmark moment mind when I accepted the new job.

Perhaps my new co-workers will throw me a parade.

On a completely different note, go check out Sherry at Horkin Ramblings and her web cam. This is the first time one of my long-time blogger favorites has done the web cam thing. I feel like I know her from somewhere, but I only know her from her blog (which was one of my first and felt like girl talk over coffee from my very first visit). I know everyone is doing the web cam thing these days, but they are strangers on YouTube and this is Sherry, and I feel so voyeuristic now. Either that, or that weird feeling you would get when you saw your teacher at the grocery store. I dont know. But go over and say hi and tell her you like her hair color because last week it was the color of a banana slug. I will let you Google that one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Accept!

I got the job

And they showed me the money. We may get a pizza with EVERYTHING tonight to celebrate.

Watch out!

Monday, September 10, 2007

While I Do Believe in Karma, I Do Not Have a Chameleon

Hey, I have an announcement to make – Ta Da! I have joined DC Metro Mom’s

DC Metro Mom’s is a local spin-off of Silicone Valley Moms and I am very excited to be a part of it. Some of my favorite Mom Bloggers are there, plus some great new ones I have discovered in the, oh, four days, since I joined.

With the election coming up, I am particularly interested in the political power of Women Who Blog. These women are a grassroots force to be reckoned with and I have alot to learn.

My inaugural post went up today. I didn't initially intend for my intro to their world to be about September 11th, but my memories of it are still pretty sharp when they start showing those crumbling buildings over and over again. Click here to read it, or just feel free to go over and make fun of my photo in the “About Us” section. All of the other moms are young and cool and attractive, and I look like a trannie. Like Boy George, when he hit the skids and needed his roots done. Yup, I took the picture myself at 6am in the bathroom.

Also, I want to say that this isn’t going to change anything about what we already have going here. Really. I am not some guy telling you we can still be friends while he is already deleting you from his Five. I am here for the long haul.

Big Orange Box

Say what you will about Home Depot, but don’t say it to me.

Friday night we took the kids for ice cream and afterwards had to stop at the Depot to exchange something. When we got there, none of the cool race car carts were available so we had to do the “Hold Hands or we go back in the car!” thing*.

We aren’t at a good hand holding stage right now. When we hit a big store with wide aisles and lots of sharp edges and potential climbing hazards, my normally well mannered kids develop death wishes. One kid throws his body on the ground wailing and thrashing as if his hand is being broken, in a rather George-Costanza-esque attempt to break free. The other is able to wiggle out of even my python grip and then takes off at top speed, maniacally laughing at the folly of his parents in hot pursuit.

Kids dirty from a hot day of play at daycare, and now liberally spattered with chocolate ice cream. Husband and I ragged and rumpled from the work week, both of us trying to control the boys without causing a scene. We are a Judgmental Sanctimommy’s critical blog post waiting to happen.

Husband has to run to the back of the store for the replacement thingy he is exchanging. I am stuck there, doing the whirl-a-mom thing with a kid on each hand, and I am just about ready to page Security to the customer service desk with a taser, when an angel in an orange apron appears.

“Look at these gorgeous children! Are they twins? Do they like stickers?”

My whirling dervishes know the word “Sticker” and immediately stop flailing and turn the charm on for Angel Orange. She asks me if she can give them a sticker and I, in awe of her calm-inducing powers, nod humbly. We start to follow her when J sees Mickey Mouse. They sell Disney paint and J saw Mickey’s head looking above the paint department. Seeing his excitement, she re-routes us to Paint. Mickey Mouse stickers for all!

Then she asks me if they can have aprons. Uh, OK And she whisks us off to the “Education Center” where they get their own miniature orange aprons, and kits to build their own tool boxes. My kids each give Angel Orange a big hug and a high 5, and she tells me to bring them back to see her anytime. By this time husband has returned and my kids have been mollified into smiley, calm little Home Depot employees, who willingly hold hands and sing ABC’s on the way back to the car.

What do they put in those stickers, and can I get a case of it?

* Staying in the car while husband ran in? Not an option. He gets distracted by all of the shiny tools and has to be thrown out by security so they can lock up.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mickey and Me

A month ago, my kids discovered the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It’s been cluttering up the TiVo queue with its catchy tunes and flashy animation, and it is Toddler Meth at my house. I can get them to do anything if I promise they can watch Mickey afterwards. It has been a valuable parenting weapon tool. Alas, it only worked when we were at home, in TiVo range.

And then last weekend, we found these…



They have barely left my children’s shoulders in the 6 days we have owned them. They are packed and unpacked several times a day. Loaded with everything from books, to balls, to crackers, to my keys and my sunglasses ($@^^&*!).

And the best thing about them, is that they are my new portable threat motivational tool. Don’t want to get in your carseat? Well, Mommy will just have to take Mickey with her to work. Don’t want to hold hands crossing the street? Then Mickey is going back in the van.

Mickey and I are ruling with an iron glove.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Analyze This, The DIY version

I have never been in therapy, or seen a counselor or a person of any medical background for anything other than a physical ailment. It is not that I do not value the science of psychiatry, or the miracle of better living through chemistry. I applaud them. I embrace them. If there was a parade, I would decorate the floats and throw candy and necklaces to the crowds.

I have just always sort of waited things out until they got better. Or until they were just not part of my life anymore. I do not recommend this strategy, nor do I think I am a better or stronger person because I did it. There is just a part of me that always diminishes my problems and says that they are not nearly as bad or as painful as so-and-so’s problems so I just need to grin and get through it.

But I am very good at listing them, and giving my own dime-store analysis of what causes them. And sometimes, like this week, when my hormones are raging, and my energy is low and my “La, La, La” feeling is gone, I wonder if my DIY approach to my mental health is lacking. I am not in denial of my issues. I guess I am just in denial that they are important enough to go see someone to fix them.

So here, my lovelies, is my list of Issues, including some background and foreground. Care to analyze me? Is it enough to warrant me my own Dr. Melfi? Or are these run of the mill grievances, and do I just need to grin and get through?

OR, contribute to the delinquency of my DIY self, and give me your DIY self-help recommendations. I promise if I try them , you will be the first to know.

1 – I use food as comfort. It is an affordable indulgence when I am feeling financially low, and it “nurtures” me when I feel like all I do all day is nurture others.

2 – I have unresolved issues with how my mother made me feel about my weight when I was growing up. I wish I had been able to stand up to her about it when it was a 25 lb issue, instead of “I’ll show her!” ing up to being a 100+ lb issue for me. Yup, I really showed her. (((Sigh))).

Edited to add - Ok, as soon as I sent this, I knew it made my otherwise wonderful mother look bad. I know she was projecting all of her own weight issues on me because she didnt want me to struggle as she did, (does) with her weight. My mother is one of my favorite people in the whole world, and despite my tendency to blame, she is also not holding a gun to my head forcing me to continue eating. I am a big girl, I am responsible for my own weight now.

OMG, was that denial, wrapped up in enabling, with a twist of self-victimization? I dont care, my Mom rocks.

3 – I know I am smart and strong enough to be anything I want to be, but I am afraid of success and I don’t know why.

4 – I spend so much time taking care of others and making others feel good, that I don’t know what I want for me anymore. I don’t know what would make me feel better, and if I did know, I would not know how to ask for it.

Fire away. The couch is open. Just don't have me committed until I finish the laundry and find out about the interview...

Under My Skirt

I don’t know if the rest of this post could ever live up to that that titillating, google-search-enhancing title,

I was caught off guard in the bathroom at work a few minutes ago and it reminded me of another covert under-the-skirt fiasco. Today’s trainwreck involved a meeting that ran too long, a trip to the ladies room sans necessary supplies and no little coin operated machine to back me up. “Crime scene” or “Bloodbath” would work interchangeably. Thank God for black skirts and a Kohl’s nearby that I can hit at lunch time.

Still with me? Ok.

I was 14 and a freshman in high school. One of my teachers had encouraged me to join the Speech and Debate team. It was a chilly Saturday in November and I was heading for my first out of town Speech and Debate Meet at a big local university. I dressed in the timely preppy style of white turtleneck, red cardigan, white hose, tassel loafers, and a plaid kilt, adorned with a decorative gold “Kilt Pin”.

Scoff if you must. It was my preppy princess outfit and it made me feel smart. I didn’t dress like that for school, and I rarely even wore something like that to church. But this was my first competition and it was the UNIVERSITY and there would be potentially cute boys there.

So I dressed carefully that morning and spent extra time on my hair and makeup. The only thing I forgot to plan on was checking for pantyhose. My white ones had a huge runner so I grabbed a pair from my younger, smaller sister. Off to compete!

I was scheduled to perform three different times, competing each time for three different panels of judges and against three different groups of students in my event. My first round I was extremely nervous, but this was fun and I knew I was ready. I scampered up to do my 10 minute monologue as an indignant Southern belle being dumped by her fiancé. I was remembering my lines perfectly, doing my accent correctly, and making great eye contact. Suddenly, mid-monologue, I could feel my nylons start slipping down from my waist. I was supposed to move and gesture during this part but I toned it down in favor of keeping my nylons on. To no avail, and I felt them hitting my thighs. Even breathing was causing them to drift lower and lower down my legs. By the finale, I was clamping my knees together, afraid my pantyhose were about to make an appearance as part of the act. I finished to applause, and shuffled head-down back to my seat, the picture of humility, when inside all I cared about was sitting down and grabbing the crotch before it slid past my knees.

I waited until the room cleared and then waddled to the ladies room, where I stretched, yanked and pulled the ever-shrinking hose back into submission around my waist. I didn’t even make it out of the stall before they started their downward descent. In desperation, I yanked them back up, and used my kilt pin to pin them to my turtleneck. It held, and I was able to compete in my next two rounds, as the kilt pin slowly shredded my hose thread by thread. I didn’t care, as long as they didn’t fall off.

At the end of the day, we gathered in a huge auditorium for the scoring and awards. By this point all I cared about was getting home and ripping the shredded mess off of my body. They announced the winners for my event and I won. My team jumped up and down and cheered, as they called for me to come down and accept my award. I looked down the aisle of the auditorium, all 87 rows of it, and knew there was no way I would make it without a major wardrobe malfunction. As my teammates hugged me, I fumbled through my skirt to find the kilt pin and held on for life, holding my waist as if my appendix was about to rupture. I grabbed my trophy, waved, and ran back to my seat, never once letting go of the last three shreds of my dignity.

On the way home, my coach told me that I was so comfortable and natural at this and that I should stick to it. I wanted to flip my skirt up and show him the nightmare under my skirt, but an award winning Southern belle doesn’t do that kind of thing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New Math

The factor (A) “level of blissful satisfaction achieved from just having showered, shaved legs, and moisturized after a morning of completing alot of pain in the butt household tasks”

Multiplied by

(B) the power of opportunity provided by two toddlers just going down for a much needed nap

And Squared by

(C) the arrival of two new magazines + a great new book + clean quiet house + fresh iced tea + the possibility of a much-needed nap for me

Will never be greater than

(D) the level of arousal of a husband who just realized that (A) and (B) were simultaneously occurring, thus rendering (C) obsolete.