Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Everyone Should Have a Dozen Kids

So, it's my fourth day of work, and I'm working through my lunch so I can leave early to come home and then head off to a freshman football game.

The phone rings, I answer, "This is Kelly, can I help you?"

I hear, "Uh, mom?"

I knew it wasn't going to be good. It's my senior...calling from the principal's office. He got a "green slip." The child has never been in trouble at school. EVER. First time he's been in the office.

He dropped his wallet in the hallway, bent over to pick it up, and said "piece of shit wallet" because his debit card fell out of it. The principal was standing behind him.

He ended up with four lunch detentions where he sits for 30 minutes alone. That was so he didn't get after school detention, miss football practice, and not be able to play in Friday's game against our biggest rivals. I am assuming he'll have to sit out a few plays on Friday.

I guess he did learn one thing from me, though I shouldn't be proud - he's learned to cuss like a drunken sailor when he's irritated or annoyed. And yet, my lessons on hydroplaning, and other worthwhile words of wisdom seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Hey, but I did tell him, "No cussing. One of these days, you're going to let it slip, and then you'll be in trouble."

Did I call that one or what?

Really, I don't know why everyone doesn't have a dozen or more kids.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She Lives

I'm alive, kinda. I probably should go get a mirror to breathe on just to be certain. The whole having a job thing is really cutting into my squandering-time-online thing.

Next week will be better, though. My hours will go to part-time. This week has been training as three new girls will be taking over the office duties come Monday morning. Yes, that's with one week of training. Ack. If I think too much about it, I get a little nervous about how things will go when we don't have someone on hand who knows what she is doing.

Even though I'm SO.DAMNED.TIRED, I do like the work. It's not rocket science, and I don't mind so much talking to customers on the phone. I also like the people I work with. It's a very laid-back atmosphere. It's a power sport distributor. I take orders, start the paperwork, and then things like ATVs and scooters get shipped out.

The best part is that I can wear jeans and flip-flops with a nice shirt.

Did I mention I haven't worked outside the home for almost two decades? I did some substitute teaching here and there, but to get up and go to a 8-5 job, nope. My body revolted the first two days. I was mentally and physically exhausted. Since I wasn't sleeping so great, nerves and all, I took two Benadryl last night, and it knocked my ass out. I slept a good 8 hours. The bitch of it was that I woke up shortly before 5 and didn't need up until 5:30.

Next week, though, I will have one hour after the kidlets leave before I have to leave for work. Then I'll be home alone for about 3 1/2 hours before they make their appearance after football.

The pay isn't bad, either, considering I'm reentering the ole work force. Even though I'd so much prefer being home and writing, at least I'm getting some work experience back on my resume, making some extra bucks, and getting out of these four walls. Which the latter is probably a good thing because it narrows down the chance that my husband will come home one day, find me sitting in a corner eating crayons, or having the cats dressed in matching sweaters and rocking them to sleep.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Channeling Stuart Smalley

I had the interview today. I have to say it was the most challenging interview of sorts that I've ever had. All six women who were interested in the two positions showed up. We were initially interviewed by the owner via phone and email from TX. Essentially, we went in for the office staff to show us around, show us the building, meet the other staff, etc. They probably also wanted to make sure we didn't show up in tube tops and cut-offs before offering employment sight unseen.

I made an effort to speak up and try to ask intelligent questions. I'm guessing if you're applying for a customer service position, it's not a wise thing to appear about as personable as a bump on a log. I'll admit when I walked in ten minutes early, and almost everyone was there, I about resigned to my defeat.

I was thinking c'mon now, I haven't worked in an office for 18 years. Why would they want me?

But I put on the happy face, remembered that I vowed to put on the big girl panties, and I gave myself one of those SNL Stuart Smalley pep talks. "I'm good enough. Smart enough. And doggone it, people like me!"

Fortunately, I kept that as an internal dialogue. But I have to admit, it was odd standing around there with these other women knowing that only two were going to get the jobs.

We were told we'd know something by the end of the day. So, I came home, made some phone calls, sent some texts, worked on my column, and headed off to the tanning bed. When I returned, I had a voicemail.

I got the job - part-time hours, but a full week next week for training. I'll be taking phone calls, placing orders, checking up on payments, and general office duties. Sometime after October, I'll be offered full-time or another person will be hired.

I was torn between doing a touchdown dance or puking in the trashcan.

It's been a long time since I worked. A long, long time.

So now instead of working on everyone's last nerve, I'll be working at a job outside my home and bringing home some bacon. I hope a little change does me some good.

Where's Stuart when I need him?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

News, and in Other News

Tomorrow, I have an interview for a "real" job. I had an email interview last week. Today, a phone interview. I must have done well since I'm scheduled to go in tomorrow.

I've been doing the stay-at-home mom/writer thing since 1990. That's a lot of years. Well, I did do some substitute teaching...until other people's little heathens started sucking the life force right out of me. I don't intend on giving up the writing, though, should I find employment.

I'm a tad bit nervous. I won't jinx myself by going into details, but it sounds like a pretty cool place to work. It would be in an office, which is what I did B.C. - before children.

Cross your fingers, toes, eyes, whatever you feel like crossing for me. Send me good Karma, good wishes, that kind of thing. I could use it.


Now, here's something I want to know.

My husband had control of the remote last evening, and he was watching "Entertainment Tonight," or something of that ilk. I was getting up to go stir dinner on the stove, and I hear, "Want to recreate Sarah Palin's look? Stay tuned, and we'll show you how!"

I said to no one in particular, "Uh, why would you want to recreate her look?"

I walked back into the living room and said to myself, but loud enough so my husband could hear me, "Oftentimes, I have this undying urge to look just like Peggy Hill."

This annoys him when I refer to Palin as Peggy because he's one of those die-hard Republican sorts. And well, as he puts it, so long as I have my internet connection and computer, and the occasional monster margarita, I'm pretty happy with life.

I'm not saying she's an unattractive lady if you compare her to say, oh, maybe Hillary Clinton. I'm assuming it's the whole "school teacher/naughty librarian" thing that is playing into men's fantasies here. The bun, the glasses. She looks much older than she actually is. Didn't she get the memo that the new 40 is the old 30?

But please, I beg of anyone to shoot me should I decide that I need to get me some glasses like hers and start wearing my hair up like that. I'm just saying. I'm 39, and I've no desire to look like an old spinster.


Speaking of old, this aging thing isn't really agreeing with me. I've always prided myself on my quick wit and memory like a steel trap.

I was in the utility room, and my youngest son was standing there talking to me as I transferred clothes to the dryer. I realized I'd washed a pencil.

It was a pencil, alrighty. Yellow, had an eraser, a pointed tip of lead. I'm certain I know what a pencil is. Pencil - the thing you write with when you can't find a pen and you're desperate to jot something down. Yes, that's a pencil.

But what did I say? "Oh great, someone decided to leave a pizza in their pocket."

A pizza? Uh. I wasn't hungry. I didn't have pizza on the brain. I didn't just eat pizza. No one had just mentioned pizza. I hadn't read the word pizza. Yet, I called a pencil a pizza.

Uh, yeah. I need help, I suspect.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Boys I Want to Marry, III

This edition is brought to you by Chantix. I had some funky dreams last night, which has prompted today's offering of Boys I Want to Marry.

This is Dan. Dazzling photography, wouldn't you say? Actually, I snapped both photos from yearbooks. In the bottom one, he's playing a carnival game at Street Fair our junior year. I was there when my friend Dave, our yearbook/newspaper photographer, snapped this photo of Dan getting ready to slam the rubber frog into flight to win a prize.

I dreamed about Dan last night. I walked up to him in the dream, and said, "Oh Dan, I'm so sorry."

He gave me a perplexed look, and I said, "You don't recognize me, do you?"

When I told him who I was, he gave me a hug.

I'll spare you the rambling details, but let's just say, part way into the dream, I realized that Dan is dead. Though, in the dream, my friend and I were attending the funeral of Dan's five-year-old son. No, I don't pretend to understand the finer workings of my subconscious, either.

It's been a while since I've thought of Dan. Strangely enough, a few weeks ago, oh hell, maybe it was a few months ago...the older I get, "just the other day," could mean 1999.

Anyway, I went to the kitchen to do kitchen-type things, when I noticed a yellowed newspaper clipping on the floor. I picked it up and read the headline from Monday, January 2, 1989, "Hunting Accident Fatal, Despite Ardent Rescue."

I don't know why or how it ended up on the floor. I can't remember the last time I saw the article. However, I did have each of my kids read it, especially my younger child who has a penchant for hunting.

New Year's Eve day, 1988, I was 19 years old. The class of '87 had been out of school for about a year and a half. Most of my classmates were home for Christmas break. New Year's Eve parties were planned, and at the time, my friend Ryan was at my apartment when there was a knock on the door.

Ryan answered as I was making myself pretty, and my neighbor, another classmate of ours, announced the bad news - Dan was dead from a shotgun blow to his head. Overcome with disbelief, I had this guy repeat what he said three times.

I didn't know what to make of it. Ryan dismissed my neighbor, as he was a bit on the annoying side. His attitude was, "Shit happens, let's go celebrate New Year's Eve."

It wasn't the most joyous New Year's I've ever celebrated. Rumors circulated as to what happened, and I didn't find out for sure until I read the newspaper article. He'd been hunting, and when one of the beagles started eating a rabbit he'd shot (as reported by the kid who'd been the hunting partner that day), he used the stock of the gun to hit at the dog, some briar thicket caught the hammer of the shotgun. As they say, the rest is history. The shot struck his left temple.

I took some time off work to attend the calling before the funeral. It was our first class reunion - the room was packed with those I'd gone to school with.

It would be the first funeral I ever attended. I stood at the casket, his mom put her arm around me, and I fought back the tears. I had a silent conversation with him, mainly asking him what he was thinking being so careless. A photo of his nephew, who'd been accidentally backed over by a car when he was about two years old, was position in Dan's hands. There was no evidence that his temple had been blasted away, though I resisted the urge to stand on my tippy-toes to peer to the other side of the casket.

I'd known Dan since kindergarten. While I had the warm fuzzies for him during much of elementary school, he was never my boyfriend. I've tried to explain it many times, but when you are a classmate with someone for 13 years, and the class size for 7 of those years was maybe 25 students tops, if you don't become boyfriend/girlfriend, you become a bit like siblings.

Dan was a goofy boy, which was part of his charm. His feet grew years before the rest of him caught up with them. Seems like he was always tripping over them. He almost always appeared to have a tan, and man oh man, could he feather his hair. He was always bringing in trophies and ribbons he'd won in 4-H and other farming or hunting contests. A few times, his mom actually brought in some of his pets for show and tell.

Fourth grade was the beginning of my crush on him. I don't recall the specifics, but I know I was smitten with him. Perhaps there was no other reason than he was a cute, nice boy who had lots of pets, wore cowboy boots, and rode horses. In sixth grade, I secretly fantasized about sitting with him during the "Friday movie" and holding hands with him. (We watched a movie or some sort of film on the old projector every Friday. They weren't even educational flicks, unless you count learning to hold hands learning something.)

I don't think I ever heard him utter a bad word about anyone. He was a sweet country boy who always had tons of friends. In high school, I'll never forget him still tripping over his clunky feet, with a trail of notebook paper, likely assignments, from his locker and textbooks.

The funeral was held in a large church. Even though a group of us walked the block from the funeral home to the church, we had to take a seat in the balcony area. By the time the service started, it was standing room only.

I totally lost it standing on the steps outside the church after the services. While others had a few tears flowing, I couldn't stop mine. Classmates who barely spoke to each other during the course of our high school years, comforted each other on those steps.

My apartment was across the street, and instead of going on to the graveside services, I opted to go home and mourn alone the loss of the boy I wanted to marry.

Note: "Boys I Want to Marry" is not to be taken in a literal sense. If your first thought is, "Oh my gawd, she's married and she's making blog entries about other boys she wants to marry, why I never!" you shouldn't be reading my blog in the first place. It was merely how I expressed myself as a young girl. When I was seven years old and watched Rick Dees perform "Disco Duck" on TV, I announced to my grandma that I wanted to marry him. Because of course, I was young, and when you loved someone, it was in my estimation that the logical thing to do was marry him. My immature mind and vocabulary limited my ability to express triggered emotions. Perhaps they still do.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Old Lady

When we went back to school shopping, the 15 year old child didn't want to go. He couldn't give a crap less really what he wears. T-shirt and jean shorts, no problem. T-shirt and "non-gay" jeans, no problem.

Try as I might to pick out things that don't push his boundaries on being too stylish, there's usually at least one t-shirt he doesn't like. I usually end up wearing it.

This time was no different. A grey shirt with shiny, big block red lettering of "OLD NAVY." Think late 70s style lettering. He hated the shirt. I said fine, I'll take it.

I got dressed one morning, put on the t-shirt, and made my appearance in the living room.

My husband said, "Got that right."

"Huh?" I asked, because I'm eloquent like that at times. Sometimes, he does blurt out strange things. It could be Tourette's. I don't know. Oftentimes, I think he thinks he's only thinking, but instead, he says out loud something strange and random. Any day now, I expect to dementia to fully set in and he'll be calling out random phrases from the cold war like "Run to the fall-out shelter!"

"The shirt. Got that right," he repeated.

Yeah, I had no clue what he was talking about. "Yes, I'm usually right. Thanks for noticing. What ARE you talking about???"

"The shirt. It would be correct."

He thought the shirt said OLD LADY.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Something is Irritated, Alrighty

I've not had a good week, and I don't mind saying as much.

Last week at a football game, the girl who works in the eye dr.'s office turned around and asked me how I liked my contact lenses. (She has a son who plays on my youngest son's team, so it wasn't like she was just randomly at the game. Because that would be a little odd. Anyway, what compelled me to say as much probably sums up my state of mind about right now.)

I proclaimed that I didn't like them. I've had nothing but trouble with them since May. The two-week disposable with a name that rhymes with Acuvue 2 didn't come close to lasting two weeks. They seemed to move about my eyeball a good bit. They weren't comfortable, and I'd find myself having to take a few days rest here and there from contacts.

You see, Bausch & Lomb discontinued the contacts I had been wearing. Those that I loved. Those I could wear up to 30 days and not go blind. They fit perfectly. Didn't tear. They had a nice visi-tint so those of use who are blind as bats could see them to insert them.

"Oh, you should come in," she told me. "I'll pull your chart and let the dr. know."

I like her.

So, the next day I called her and made an appointment to go on Wednesday.

During a follow-up appointment, I'd told the eye dr. I wasn't too thrilled with my new lenses. I explained they weren't all that comfortable, and oftentimes, I'd find myself with the strong need to get the son of a guns out of my eye like ten minutes ago. He didn't seem overly concerned. I all but begged to get a Bausch & Lomb lens as a replacement.

I brought in the pair that lasted ten days before I couldn't bear them any longer, which had no appearance of an abundance of build-up or debris on them. He poked around my eyes some, and had me take the lenses out.

As I've mentioned, I suffer from vasovagal syncope. You can read my rantings about it here. What happens is if someone touches my eyeball, I drop like a fly. There's a post-it note on my file that says, "Don't touch her eyeball. She will pass out."

It sort of makes me pull one of these numbers, except without the benefit of cuteness or alcohol.

He tells me he's going to look at the inside of my eyelids, which I just about took the same opportunity to do. He sort of rolled my eyelid up in a wooden swab like an old-fashioned blind. I sort of squealed, "Don't forget my passing out thing!"

He asked if I were okay, and I had to say not for much longer. My ears started ringing. I started getting dizzy. Ugh. Thankfully, he didn't feel the desire to check out both eyelids.

I left with a prescription for steriod eyedrops. My corneas are irritated. After I was grilled about taking proper care of my contacts, and professing that I learned the hard way years ago that one shouldn't go on contact wearing marathons and should actually follow the cleaning directions, he thought perhaps the poorly fitting contacts have caused my corneas to revolt.

I knew something wasn't right. I knew the contacts didn't feel like those I've worn for the last 20 plus years.

So, here's another fun part of this whole experience. I'm supposed to go as many days as possible without wearing contacts (he gave me another pair of Acuvue, these are Oasis, though), and use the drops four times a day. I go back next Thursday.

Well, this only poses a small problem. I don't do glasses. I have a pair of old ones that are good enough for first thing in the morning and before I retire in the evenings. There's that, and if I want to see what I'm running over while driving, it's generally a good idea that I wear contacts. I don't see worth a gee golly darn with glasses.

Oh, and not to forget that I look like this wearing glasses.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

'Memba This Song?

"Time and Tide" was released in 1987 by Basia Trzetrzelewska, known only as Basia. That's a good thing because I couldn't even begin to pronounce that last name.

I'd say this was my favorite song in the fall of '87. I remember it well. I bought the cassette, and was terribly disappointed that the rest of her music didn't have the same feel as this song.

When I happened to think of it today, I even remembered all the words to the song, though it's been eons since I've heard it. I've never seen it compiled in playlists of one-hit wonders, but I'm guessing it was her only hit in the US, anyway.

It was one of those obscure songs that either you loved or hated. I happened to love it.