The People Who Choose To Love Me

The People Who Choose To Love Me
This is my family. Watermark and all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Declare Tortillas A Snack!!

In some ways I am glad not to have cable. Like, for instance, I am not getting myself all worked up over the stock market crash and can peruse news sites at my leisure, deciding whether or not I'm going to try my hand at capitalizing on other people's monumental loss. And, I don't have to bitch about commercials except for when they are at the beginning of a youtube video that I just want to watch now without seeing what kind of fucking cat food someone else thinks I should buy for my imaginary cat Mitzy. She's just fine on her steady diet of marshmallows and glitter, thank you.

Commercials are just about the worst. Except Super Bowl commercials. Except for last year. Usually they're pretty funny. And, who are these people telling me what to eat, or wear, or consume, anyway? You don't know me!! I am unique. I am a goddamned snowflake. You don't tell snowflakes what to eat or drink (coincidentally, they they drink whatever is the cheapest at Circle K). I don't conform to your societal rules of what is classified as a "snack," ok??

Cheez-its, fine, that's a snack. Goldfish crackers, alright... Getting colder, but still ok. Jell-O? No. Not a snack. Go screw yourselves, marketing team. Now, tortillas, THAT'S a snack. In fact, I had two in bed last night after work after Goldfish crackers left me unsatisfied. That's right. TORTILLAS. Stop judging me!!


That's what I'm talking about.

Who ever decided that these little babies were just one small integral part of a meal? I mean, no one is underestimating the pillowy goodness and importance of a tortilla (because if they did... so help them...), but seriously, when's the last time you saw a tortilla commercial? The tortilla team needs to up the ante is all I'm getting at. These things are A-MAZ-ING.
They not only are the glue that holds a burrito or a chimichanga together, but they're better at sopping up left over juices and thinner foods from your plate than dumb old bread. Which, by the way, is on my laundry list of complaints and future blog entries. What in the hell has happened to bread?? It's like pockets of air surrounded by molecules of bread-like crumbs. Anyway, getting off the topic. Tortillas are the business. 
I'm sorry, did I miss the meeting when it was decided that the Swiss are making bread now??

And, furthermore, (this is the part of the blog where I am now pretending to be a haughty lawyer hot shot, executing one hell of a closing statement to a jury of my peers) if tortillas could just be accepted as an actual snack food I won't have to feel my husband's eyes staring at me in disbelief as I gobble up two tortillas for my midnight snack anymore. Just do this for me, tortilla people. I don't ask for much. I just want to live in a world where I can eat mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce on a tortilla and not be considered some sort of low class freak because you can't get your marketing act together. I demand satisfaction. 

The next time I'm watching television somewhere else, if I don't see an obscene amount of tortilla commercials bombarding the public's eye and someone else telling people that tortillas are now a snack, I'm writing a letter. And, I beg my readers to do the same if they have ever felt the shame of shoving something into their mouths that technically isn't a snack. Like, a whole chicken leg, or three avocados, or celery. But, I kind of have to admit, if you're eating celery as a snack, we can't be friends anymore. Unless it is doused in mayo and sweet chili sauce, then it's cool, I'll over look it. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How Many ?'s Does A Mom Get Asked Before She Asks For Xanax?

So far this morning the tally is at IIII III. Questions are good! Questions are what makes man strive toward a better, brighter future as we unlock the secrets of the past and form new views on the present and what days ahead should bring. If you're a scientist or a child, questions are the very fabric of your being. If you happen to be a mom, questions will make you question your sanity and leave you depleted and lifeless by nightfall each and every day of your career as a mom and that is why I will tally their questions like a prisoner tallies the days spent behind bars. Because that's how it feels.

My kids don't understand why I say, "I don't know," about a hundred times a day. Honestly, sometimes I do know the answer to their question but my brain is so damn tired it makes me say, "I don't know." And, sometimes I genuinely do not know the answers that my children are seeking. Like when my now 13 year old asked me a few years ago, "If light is attracted to dark colors, why are there shadows?" MIND. BLOWN.

I don't know about you, but the duck one just looks like a duck getting strangled. 
And, the goat looks kind of sad.

We are at IIII IIII I now. I have found that most questions that I am asked are asked out of pure boredom or the extreme need that all children have to be the center of all attention ever. I can sit and stare at my kids for an hour, never blinking, talking relentlessly about chores that need to be done, good deeds they need to accomplish in order to receive their treats at the end of the month for their chore charts that I concocted, homework that they need to be completing, and so on. Not a single word of it is processed or even heard. They ignore me when I talk to them directly. 

If the phone rings and it's someone I want to talk to and not just another damn bill collector, the kids automatically sense that I am happy and engaging with another human being and in the words of The Dude, "This aggression will not stand, man." My attention immediately needs to be gained back by all four of them. Someone decides to have a melt down, and another kid might decide they are hungry even though I have spent an average of six hours a day feeding these creatures since their birth RIGHT NOW IS THE TIME THEY NEED NOURISHMENT OR THEY WILL COLLAPSE

If I'm trying to sit down and write for fifteen minutes, THIS IS THE PERFECT TIME TO REMEMBER THE SCIENCE PROJECT THAT WAS DUE TWO WEEKS AGO AND MY SOLE ATTENTION AND GUIDANCE IS REQUIRED. I am pretty sure that this is normal and every parent goes through something similar, if not downright creepily exact, to what I'm talking about here. And, maybe I wouldn't be such a crazy person if I weren't required to not only pay attention to things that I'm not immersed in in that immediate moment, but pretend like I care most days, and answer ten billion questions about life, friendship, homework, poop, farts, bugs, shadows, gravity, puberty, what's in the casserole, and if I can start giving allowance for chores the kids don't hear me tell them to do.


IIII IIII IIII II. And counting...

I started this entry as a way to vent about the seemingly endless string of questions threaded throughout my seemingly endless days as a mom, and I can not remember most of what I have typed because the seemingly endless amount of times a mom can be interrupted while trying to just think. I love my kids so, so much and I would never encourage them to stop asking questions because asking questions is how you learn to be the person you become in this world. Having said that... Sometimes I just want to be a brainless zombie with an infinite amount of free time to create whatever craft is on the dockett for the day, or jot a couple of sentences down without having to raise my head from my notebook twenty-seven times to answer my daughter's questions about whether or not there is a God or if Poptarts are better toasted or plain. I. DON'T. KNOW. Those are very personal quests in life that one must figure out solo. 


I think my brain services are needed and I'm going to have to sign off for now because I seem to be the only person who can figure out how to dry a shirt, put a Poptart in a toaster, and referee a fight over said Poptarts.

P.S. We are now at IIII IIII IIII IIII IIII. If my calculations are correct, the amount of questions I am asked per day averages out to the amount of minutes my children have been awake. 

Visit me on Facebook and post your favorite question on my wall!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

I Will Just Have To Train My Body To Never Fail Again

Last week was rough. I was down for the count and supposed to be resting for one whole week. I don't know how other people can do this rest thing without going crazy. My mother in law and my brother in law came to stay with us and help out with everything around the house and I was supposed to just sit there and watch while they, and my husband, took over and filled my shoes as the live in maids and chefs.

Basically, I spent a week in a codeine induced fog drinking beer and eating food I didn't have to prepare while I waited for my body to get it's act together so I could drive and work and get out of my house. I know it doesn't sound bad on paper, but believe me, it isn't as fun as you'd think after about four days. Even though I was unable to do much, I still accomplished a ton this week. I'm bringing back the old List Of Productivity, guys. Here it goes...


  • Play outside with the kids on my week long hiatus from work/responsibility 

  • Keep up on all of the laundry after my mother in law left (SHE DID ALL THE LAUNDRY... I am convinced she is a robot)

  • Find a pressure cooker and swap recipes with my brother in law until we both die of diabetes

  • Clean my room

  • Build a patio furniture set out of cinder blocks and studs

  • Sew pillows for back patio set

  • Finish getting the adhesive off of the floor where I decided to rip out all of our carpet a couple days before my surgery

  • Find or make a decorative rug for the tile floor that I didn't realize had been carpeted over FOR A REASON

  • Buy or make thank you notes to everyone who helped us out at the drop of a hat when I went in for surgery

  • Watch Parks And Recreation from the top again because that show is probably best friends for life with codeine

Now for the big finale...


  • Watched every episode of Planet Earth (Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a waste of time. I saw the largest penis on earth during a whale episode. Those lady whales don't have a pectoral fin to stand on if they try complaining at their krill tasting parties about being satisfied by their man)

  • I finished a puzzle in bed

  • I ate all of the leftovers

  • Got drunk with the neighbor

  • Played hide and seek with the baby around the tree in the front yard 

  • Checked off "Play Outside With Kids" in an exaggerated fashion from my imaginary list of things to do

  • Delegated (a lot)

  • Supervised (even more)

  • Took more codeine and demoted myself as mom in a formal ceremony in a nap dream

  • Picked up six cups off the floor that were starting to form a Wiccan Ouroboros around my bed

  • Checked off "Clean Room" in another exaggerated movement while no one was watching me

  • Found construction paper and glitter to make thank you cards

  • Found some old string and a crochet hook while finding thank you note making supplies and tried my hand at crocheting tiny Christmas tree ornaments because there are only 94 days left until Xmas!!!

  • Wrote this blog entry

I officially have one day left until I can get out of the house and go back to work and I'd like to say that I'm not going to take any codeine today and accomplish at least half of the things on my invisible-until-now list, but let's be honest, there's at least two desert episodes and one jungle documentary in the Planet Earth collection that are calling my name and the only strength I feel in my wobbly bones is going to be conserved for those thank you notes because I seriously have the best family and friends a codeine addict girl can ask for.

This puzzle might not look like it's difficult, but believe me, when you're seeing double and itching uncontrollably from the pain meds, this shit is almost impossible to finish.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Princes, Paupers, Daydreams, And Delusions

The smell of curry caresses the air and slowly wafts throughout the house. Children are loitering near the kitchen door, waiting for a handout. Looking at the short line they have formed for food, wearing drab and dirty clothes that have been through an entire school day, the chicken coop, and mud holes in the yard, my mind wanders to the memory of my favorite childhood musical, Oliver Twist. 

I picture my own little ones donning flour sacks, stitched together with haste and contempt. Their feet are bare, and their hair matted. Each of them hold out crude wooden bowls that they were forced to carve themselves out of desperation, hoping to have them filled with just a bit of gruel to keep their bellies warm and their spirits intact. 

My brain is on a switchback, weaving back and forth from my imaginary orphans to reality. My three girls are wearing severely abused Roxy, Justice, and Old Navy jackets, and the baby is in some sweatshirt that cost me twenty bucks and was surely made in an overseas sweatshop. Instead of politely holding out a heavy bowl for a bite to eat, grumbles seep out of the two picky eaters about the pungent aroma of curry, and I think I make out, "There better not be tomatoes in it this time...," over the shoving and shouting.

I slip back into daydream mode. Soot smudged cheeks, sunken from malnutrition and sadness, and solemn eyes, beg silently for my charity. The children, accustomed to tasteless slop, see what I have cooking on the stovetop, and their eyes light up with gratitude and joy. I think I make out, "I've never had such a beautiful meal! Can you believe it? Curry chicken??! What a treat...," over the abundant enthusiasm that these starving angels can not contain.
My semi-morbid daydream is interrupted by one of my children whining. 

"Oniiiioooons? I hate onions!" 

The rice is finished steaming and the deep pot of curry chicken looks just right. I set up an assembly line of bowls and spoons across the counter, avoiding inevitable meltdowns by making sure that this kid gets the pink bowl, and that one gets the green, because we all know that the color of your eating vessel greatly determines the quality of the food within it. 

I picture myself a frumpy, but kindly, old kitchen maid. My unruly white hair is stuffed into a puffy grey cap. I ladle rice and curry chicken into each child's bowl and they hug my legs tightly as tears start forming in the corners of their eyes. I smile down at these unlucky little urchins with compassion and a heavy heart. One of the unkempt kids asks me quietly, "Please, ma'am, may I have some more?" I ladle out an extra helping, complimenting him on his manners, and I consider adopting him.


My foolish fantasy of polite paupers shatters. Gritting my teeth, I quietly spoon as many of the tomatoes out of the bowl as my blood pressure reaches a record breaking high. Handing over my hard work, in the form of a meal, to my ungrateful munchkin, I want to slink back into my daydream.

Barely clad and unbathed, the orphans slurp the last drops of supper from their bowls and head off to makeshift beds of straw and lumpy, sweat stained cots lined up in their leaky upstairs attic. Not a single unsolicited complaint is offered to the cook, only sleepy smiles pass the kitchen maid on their way to dreamland.

I dish myself a portion of the dinner, sit with the children to eat, and watch my idea of a tasty change of pace dissipate into thin air. The children are poking at the green bits in their bowls with their forks as if they might be bionic intruders or extraterrestrial invaders. They are wary of the red and yellow things in there, too, and the chicken. 

I see them try to inconspicuously signal each other, even though they are all full aware that their mother possesses two keen sets of eyes, one on each side of her head. The oldest signals to the middle girl, like a catcher signals a curveball from his pitcher. They have chosen a speaker. 

"We're full, mom."

Over the years, and after giving several lectures on table etiquette, I have come to recognize this sentence as the polite way of saying, "Look, lady, your dinner sucked. We're trying to be nice by saying we are full, but really, we are just going to ask for something else that will pass as edible in ten minutes. Try making pizza or Lucky Charms if you expect a standing ovation."

I excuse them, finish my dinner and start the clean up, irritated with my epic food fail. I decide that I will remain determined in expanding my kids' horizons and palettes. I roll through my internal Rolodex of recipes and decide tomorrow's menu will be vegetarian quiche, quinoa and goat cheese.

That'll teach them to be "full."

Thursday, September 17, 2015

If Fertility Were A Super Power, I'd Save The World

After our son was born two and half years ago, I distinctly remember telling the doctor to burn out my insides (twice, if she really loved me) because I am physically incapable of not making adorable babies without the assistance of modern medicine and being cauterized. I have proven this to be an indisputable fact this week.

After suffering through almost twelve insufferable hours of what I was convinced was a lack of fiber, I told my husband to take me to the hospital. I googled my symptoms and was pretty sure I was heading in to the hospital for what would be the removal of either my useless appendix or my worthless gall bladder. After waiting around (and enjoying the complimentary morphine) a lady doctor came into my curtain fort and said, "You are pregnant."

My response was a flat, "Of course I am." And, not because I don't want another squishy baby to kiss and smoosh and love and cuddle and put through therapy, but because I knew there was not a super great chance that this would be a viable pregnancy. And, it wasn't.

At first I was in shock, then I was sad, and now I am just happy I'm alive because apparently ectopic pregnancies can seriously mess you up if they are not detected right away. The doctor who performed the surgery was amazing, and funny, and kind, and my entire family stepped up and just took over what tasks I would normally have to do as mom around here.

This is less of a funny post this week, unless the pain medication has completely taken over and I'm actually typing up a story about the time I accidentally tucked my skirt into my pantyhose and walked around a meeting hall with my butt hanging out for twenty minutes until my friend's dad came up, tapped me on the shoulder, and asked me, "Is this the new fashion trend or something?" But, I'm feeling confident the codeine is directing this post the way I want it to go.

I am so grateful for a husband who worries himself sick over me, four awesome kids who love me to the moon, and for my in-laws for rushing over and doing all of my laundry and cooking me delicious food to eat while I lay around doing nothing all day. I'm also grateful that we are not in a Mad Max type of situation where I would be held captive as a breeder, because that definitely would be my post apocalyptic role.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


My friend Christopher Waldrop, who writes the blog Freethinkers Anonymous, is an amazing guy who has a great perspective on life, along with a fantastic sense of humor. We are blog swapping this week and we hope you enjoy our stories!! -No Trade Jack

As soon as I heard the creaking I tensed up. I didn’t know what was coming, but I knew it would be something. Then I felt his hand hit the middle of my back.

“Come on, biggun, we’ve got another job you can do.” 

That was my third nickname of the day, and the least creative. It was the summer I worked for a temp agency, which meant being sent around to a lot of crappy jobs, mostly in warehouses. And it wasn’t that bad. I’d met some nice people, had a few laughs. Somehow I knew today would be different. I walked into a hot, windowless room of rows of scarred tables. It was like shop class without the equipment. There were boxes of Glamour magazines, the same issue over and over, the same airbrushed, overpainted, highly styled model giving me the “What are you lookin’ at?” face.

Jerry was a squat little guy in khaki slacks and a flannel shirt. I still don’t know how he could stand to wear a flannel shirt in the middle of July in a room with no air conditioning. And maybe he wasn’t really squat. Maybe he just seemed that way because of the way he walked. Either one or both of Jerry’s legs was a prosthetic so he had kind of a weird rolling gait, like a walking horseshoe. And he creaked like he walked, like his joints needed some WD-40. I’m not trying to make fun of it. In fact I was sympathetic even after he pointed to a stool and said, “Grab a seat there buttercup.” 

Buttercup was my first nickname of the day.

I then got a stack of Glamour issues, a jar of rubber cement with a brush, and a box of perfume samples.

You’ve always wondered how perfume samples get into magazines, haven’t you? I’m kidding, of course. No one cares how perfume samples get into magazines. If you’ve thought about it at all you’ve probably thought machines did it, not sweaty people sitting around carpenter’s tables in a dusty basement somewhere. Hopefully this makes you feel better about throwing away those perfume samples unopened.

Unlike other places I’d worked no one seemed interested in talking to me. In fact no one even sat next to me. There were a couple of women sitting opposite me who kept up a running dialogue, mostly about how slow everyone else was compared to them. One of the woman wore a t-shirt with a faded American flag and the logo “Try and burn this one YOU ASSHOLE.” Good job, I thought, that’s a lovely way to show your respect for the flag. The effect was enhanced by the fact that she appeared to be smuggling prizewinning watermelons under her shirt—and not just two, but at least half a dozen.

I put my head down and got into a rhythm. I was slow at first. The perfume samples had to go on a specific page and it wasn’t a matter of just slopping down some rubber cement and sticking them in there. It had to be carefully applied in two strips and the perfume sample had to be pressed in place without damaging the magazine. But after an hour I got into a rhythm and was moving along at a pretty good clip. I paused to wipe the sweat off my forehead.

“Play with your hair on your own time Goldilocks!” Jerry snapped as he creaked by. I thought about saying maybe Rapunzel would be more appropriate, or even Snow White since I’m not a blonde, but I thought it would be better to keep my head down. According to the temp agency I was going to be stuck here for a week. Grin and bear it, I told myself.

After lunch I started to go back to it, but that’s when Jerry addressed me as “biggun” and gave me a different job. One of my fellow employees had been putting the perfume samples on the wrong page, so I was given the task of pulling them out and reboxing the magazines so someone else could insert them correctly. And it was someone who’d worked there longer than me, so I had days’ worth of samples to pull. It was okay, though. I was taken away from the table where I’d been and sat down on an overstuffed couch instead. It was almost like sitting at home flipping through magazines, except there was no TV and the whole place smelled like feet. 

That evening a woman from the temp agency called me.

“You’re not going back to that place tomorrow. They don’t want you.”

“Great.” I may or may not have said that, but I was genuinely relieved. I needed money, but they weren’t paying me enough to grin and bear it for another six days. I knew I’d snap if I went back there.

“They fired you,” the woman went on, “because you barely did half as much as any of the other people who work there.”

I didn’t need to know that, and I really didn’t care, but pride made me speak up anyway. After all this was the first time I’d been fired, and it was a wrongful termination. I didn’t say anything about Jerry, but I explained why I’d barely done half as much as the others. And how did they know, anyway? Sure, they’d caught someone else’s screw-up, but it didn’t seem like a place where quality control was a priority.

She sighed. “I shouldn’t tell you this…”

Oh please, I thought, please tell me. I don’t know what it is, but if you’re going to tell me something bad about Jerry I want to hear it. 

“We’ve had a lot of trouble with this company and we’re dropping them as a client. The real reason you’re not going back is we’re not sending any more of our employees there.”

I just wish I’d seen Jerry’s face when they told him he was the one being fired. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I'm Going To Crack From The Pressure Or The Excitement Of It All

Yesterday I received a message from a lady who (whom?) I greatly admire asking if I would let her help me compile a book of my writing for publication. This chick is bad ass. She knows her stuff. She is hilarious and tough as nails and asked me to respond to her proposition by simply replying, "Y" or "N."

I responded, "A MILLION TIMES Y!!" Ok, maybe not in all caps, but that's how I felt inside. I know that if anyone can help get my butt into gear and actually get a decent book pulled together, it's this lady.

So, I started writing. This was my process:

1. Get comfortable.

2. Get back up and smoke and pace for a few minutes.

3. Decide whether or not a nobody should even have a prologue or if I should leave that to the pros who people are actually interested in.

4. Wrote a prologue.

5. Paced around a little more thinking about what in the hell I want to put "out there."

6. Started in on Chapter 1.

7. Had childhood flashbacks (mostly about peeing my pants in the fifth grade and my L.A. Gears) midway through the first chapter.

8. Started to edit and decided I'd leave it up to MY NEW EDITOR. I'm like so fucking official, guys, it's unreal.

9. Emailed MY NEW EDITOR.

10. Thought about when I would stop italicizing the phrase MY NEW EDITOR and the answer is NEVER.

11. Started getting panicky about the material I sent off.

12. Tried to write a second chapter.


14. Texted everyone I know that I am going to be famous.

So, if you ever need advice on how to write a book, just refer to my handy 14 step process as laid out above.

Monday, September 7, 2015

No Family Around: Part III

I woke up on Day 3 of Operation No Family: My Silent Downward Spiral to let the dogs out and feed them before I could pass out again in the same clothes I wore yesterday. Normally the first thought I have during any day is to make a pot of coffee, and then a second pot of coffee. I didn't even think of coffee until the late afternoon when I woke up for the second time. I fed the dogs, filled their water trough, and went directly back to my bed. I wrote a little bit and passed out until 4:15 pm.

I have some weird hang-ups about food and, yes, maybe some of the things I eat aren't socially acceptable. Like, for example, mayo and Pico Pica (or sweet chili sauce) mixed together and slathered on whatever protein or carb I feel like I'm in the mood for at the time. With everyone gone, I could finally eat my heart attack inducing secret sauce on everything in sight and not feel like people are looking at me funny.

Don't judge. Just try it some time.

With my family gone I have been reduced to a life of debauchery (like gambling... but, in my defense I won ten bucks and then lost it back and won four bucks and then lost it back and no one needs to know how much I was in the hole at one point. Let's just say I may not have been able to be distinguished from the non-opposable thumb mammals if I didn't break even) and drunkenness of the likes I haven't seen since my early twenties.

You'd think the Crossword Scratcher people would anticipate winnings based on people who love the English language and help a sister out. Between slots and scratchers I can definitely say that I'll never be a professional gambler.

And, yes, my husband is well aware of the types of things I will eat but I feel waaaaay more comfortable eating a half of an avacado filled to the brim with sweet chili sauce and sprinkled with garlic salt when he's not home to look at me like I'm a weirdo.
It's so fucking good, guys. You don't know what you're missing out on.

 So, by now you all realize how pathetic I am without my super tall husband around to grab things for me and tell me my butt looks great and the four tiny humans hanging by my pant legs. But, there is a conclusion here, and no moral to the story, except maybe that you should not let your family vacation without you or you will wither and die. I am a great cook. No, scratch that, I am an AMAZING cook. I have no one to cook for. I am physically incapable of cooking for less than an army at this point. So, when my family is not here I just buy a bag of queso flavored Lays at the gas station for dinner and I have THIS for dessert...

This is it, people. This is what I am. I faked being normal just long enough to bag a husband who loves me to the moon. And, now, it's all over. I'm a shell of a woman.

Thankfully my family will be home within the next twelve hours. I have just enough time to stay up all night watching Tina Fey make fun of everything I am (and aspire to be) and clean up my weekend alone mess so my family won't think less of me upon their return.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Day Two Without Kids Or My Husband Around

Day two without my family around was just as unproductive as I envisioned it being on day one without my family around. On the first kid/husband free night, like the genius I am, I decided to stay out all night long with my neighbor. And, by all night long I literally mean ALL NIGHT and into the wee hours of the morning. I fell asleep at 5:30. And then I had to wake up and go to work.

I recently watched a motivational video on the art of making better tips and one of the suggestions was to wear make up and look nice. The man in the video also vaguely eluded to making better tips by having blonde hair and big boobs so I'm pretty sure I have his pornography preferences pegged. Anyway, he said that the better you look, the more tips you make. I'm almost positive I looked like death in an apron because I made $13.00.

One of my bosses cut me after two hours at work and I'm not sure if he cut me because we were slow or because I was driving customers away with my hideousness. So, after I clocked out I made a bee line  for In-N-Out to order my usual "alone food," which, oddly enough is also my "hangover food." I ordered the Number 2 with both the burger and fries animal style and a sensible unsweetened ice tea with lemon.

My sodium levels are at an all time high which counter balances the all time low of eating an animal style number 2 in my underwear while I watch 30 Rock in bed and wonder why I wasn't born as Tina Fey. I would have taken a picture of this for the blog but I like having steady readers and I don't want to gain new readers by cheapening my writing. Also, no one needs to see that, including me. I almost blindfolded myself before digging in to those delicious fries... Now I'm hungry. Damn it.

Now I know what website I will be obsessed with on day three of no kids/husband.

After I polished off my pile of food and scraped the cheese from the sides of the fry boat, I took a lengthy coma-nap. When I woke up I felt like having sushi. I have realized that being alone is basically a period of time in which I only think about what food to eat next. I briefly considered perusing Craigslist for a cat to keep me company while I eat my sushi but realized my husband might walk backwards out the front door really slow like when he gets home and sees me passed out naked in a pile of styrofoam food containers while Mitzy (isn't my imaginary cat's name the cutest??) licks thousand island from the corners of my mouth. 

Bow ties aren't just for boy cats anymore!

After my take out sushi love affair and my daydreams of another pet were all finished up, a couple of friends came over and we tried our hardest to polish off the five gallon bottle of vodka I bought on day one of no family around. We failed, but one of my friends brought a pizza and after I ate some of that at three in the morning I slept like a damn baby. 

Day three is shaping up to be no better than the days before it and I'm running a tally of all the times I shouldn't have yelled at my kids or rolled my eyes at my husband's jokes because I NEED THEM BACK RIGHT NOW. I don't think this need for people around me constantly makes me codependent or crazy, but I might not be the best judge of my own character since I have created a fake cat, released her from preconceived notions of gender, and named her Mitzy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

My Kids Went On Vacation So I Created My Own Headstone

I have been a mom for more than thirteen years. Weird things happen when my kids are not at home and nobody is asking me FORTY BILLION QUESTIONS.

My husband took the kids for the weekend and they literally left less than two hours ago and I have spent a good hour and fifteen minutes creating my own headstone on this website.

Here are the ones that made it to the finals...

These are a little drab so I hope my family has the ability and means to ask the headstone people for a splash of color...

The shrimp one is in case I die of food poisoning. 

Hopefully someone who loves me can channel me as a ghost and I will dictate the rest of it to them.

I have two more days without a husband to nag or kids to boss around. ALONE. So, the mason jar thing is happening whether they like treasure hunts OR NOT.

I'm pretty sure I should have called in to work and gone on vacation with the family because this is already shaping up to be a looooong weekend...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Time I Found Teeth And Other Body Parts In The Laundry: Guest Blogger Bowen Cormac

I have had the pleasure of a few pleasant interactions with this guy, and let me tell you, he's a damn riot. Bowen has the mouth of a sailor and the heart of... whatever mammal has the biggest heart. He is a self proclaimed geek, nerd, dork and spazz all in one, but I think most of all he's just a great dude. Don't let his cynicism fool you. -No Trade Jack

I have had only a few jobs in my life, I've been a construction worker, mostly tile work, I've been a janitor, I've owned my own business, hell I currently work for a church as their maintenance guy. The only job I have ever hated was being a dishwasher at a restaurant. That shit sucks ass, and not because it's nasty, hotter than hell room with boiling water seeming to run all the time, but the onslaught of wasted food. How the hell do you order a meal, and take one goddamn bite then say, “Fuck, I'm so full?” Goddamn it, people fucking die of NOT having enough food to eat and some mother fucker goes and just throws away a damn good meal? Son of a bitch, twenty goddamn years later and it still fucking pisses me off. This is also a reason I probably have a weight problem, I won't waste any food I order. All because I washed dishes for one night. One shift did that to me. 

Anyway, the best job I've ever had is one I wish I didn't quit after spending nearly three years of my life being there. An old folks home. Honest to god, I loved that job. I just hated a lot of the people that were in charge and bitched about every little thing. I got hired as a housekeeper but ended up as the Floor Technician (aka everyone's bitch), you name the job and I probably did it. Someone shit on the floor, this happened all the time by the way, I was the go-to-guy to clean it up. Vomit, not a problem. Blood, diseases, flaking skin, old people hair, the guy in 23A just died? Yeah, I got that. Phlegm...? 

Fuck no, you go get someone else. 

I was strict when it came to work, I was a smart ass, sure, but when something needed to be done and you weren't doing it, I'd ride your ass until you either caved, and did what I was telling you to do, or you broke down into a quivering mass of human flesh. This is a good reason why they almost made me the supervisor, but I didn't want the extra work. Sixteen hour shifts, six days a week, was enough without going to useless meetings. And, scheduling people bugged the hell out of me. I did get the pay raise for being asked though, that was nice. 

All extended care facilities (their proper name by the way) have the same type of staff. I've only worked at the one, but everyone tells me they are all the same. I was once told there are only 5,000 regulations on the running of a nuclear power station, and there are more than a hundred times that for an old folk's home. After one visit from the State Regulations Board, the panic that followed was enough to confirm that for me. The State showing up was one of my favorite weeks too, everything was done correctly, and they are only there to hunt the fuck ups from management all the way back to the staffing. There are nurses that think they're in charge and act like it, but most of them don't know shit and don't care either. And 90% of all workers are female, aged between 18 and 24. When I worked there, there were just ten male employees and more than a hundred people worked in that place 24/7. And the CNAs, nursing assistants, they bust their asses to do everything the nurses tell them to do. They get punched, kicked, shit on, vomited on, verbally abused, and get jack shit in pay. How do I know this? I saw it every day. And, for all that, their starting pay was $10 an hour. And every single one that was new was the same, “I'm fresh out of high school, look at my pretty all white scrubs, how can anyone complain about taking care of a bunch of grannies?” I wrote that in a high pitched voice in my head, think of Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls and you'll have what I was going for. Then, there's a kitchen staff and the housekeepers that clean everything up, split into three shifts every day. It's one of the few places that is open all the time, with as much violence happening as a 7-11.

CNAs take a ton of abuse. Why? Because of a thing called, fucking dementia. Old people with any dementia are much like toddlers, except these people wander off and the public doesn't notice that they crap themselves because they've forgotten how to get to the bathroom in time. They babble about stuff that makes no sense and can't tell you why they're upset, or hurting, or sick. Some lose their short term memory and freak out because they don't know where they are, why they are there, and have lived in the place for shy of a decade. When they get pissed off, they are adult human beings, with the full strength of one. Or, several. I once saw the aftermath of one man, who weighed no more than eighty pounds, and had no control of his arms and hands. He grabbed his CNA by the front of her shirt and threw her over his bed and into the wall. She landed four goddamn feet from the other side of that bed. All because he couldn't control his muscles. She dented the wall and ended up with a nasty bump on her head but she just brushed it off and went back to work cleaning the guy up before she allowed the nurses to send her to the hospital. And this chick was not some small woman, she was easily 250 pounds and stood close to six feet. She said, "After you've been shot as a taxi driver, getting tossed over a bed isn't anything to worry about."

One CNA I knew from high school, one of my sister's friends, had volunteered for the lock-down unit. This was where the “difficult” old people were kept. They either had a habit of escaping or wandering off out of the facility. One guy we found at a local bar ringing up a huge tab. Or, they were very violent, or just highly unpredictable, and a couple of them made the Joker look like he was stand-up citizen that helped old people across the street. It was called the lock-down because the door was locked going in and felt very much like a prison. The CNA (she's going to remain nameless just because she doesn't need to become famous for this) would be by herself for most of the shift in with all the crazies. A couple of them were great people, one old man there who turned 100 years old before dying was so freaking deaf that he had earphones hooked to a mic, turned to 11, with everyone shouting, still couldn't hear jack shit, but he would sit for hours painting. Even with nothing in his hand and nothing in front of him, he painted. He was great, he just didn't like being around crowds, which is why he ended up in the Unit. 

Anyway, one night, I was in the dinning room talking with the aid because there was nothing for housekeepers to do while food was served so I got an easy break for an hour. She's feeding one person while another woman sitting next to her is talking about something in gibberish, when, between bites of food, she slams the metal fork right into the back of the CNA's hand. I'm not talking about just a little scratch, the fork went through her hand and stuck into the table. Now most people would have this thought go through their head reading that statement, “Holy fucking mother fuck, she just stabbed the chick with a fucking fork!” 

And, you would be right in thinking that. But the thought I had, due to training and various other things that place instilled into me, was “Holy fucking mother fuck, that fork was just in her fucking mouth!” 

I've been told stabbings from old people in homes are rare but not unheard of, and the amount of diseases that can be in a human mouth only get worse with age. If you've ever wanted to know something nasty, Google “fight bite” for the gory aftermath of someone's teeth ripping open someone's hand. It's not a pretty sight, and will haunt your thoughts for years, unless you are into that sort of thing, then you are a sick, sick person. The CNA ended up having to get shot for Hep-C, Hep-A, Hep-B and rabies among others, that I have no idea about, and she was out for a month because she got stabbed by a fork. When she got back to work, she went right back to the spot she liked, right back into that lock down, with the woman that stabbed her.

On many of my shifts I ended up working in the laundry, this job was the best in the building. I got to be by myself, I got to listen to whatever music I wanted, and as I had a hell of a system down for cleaning all that linen and clothing, it was almost always easy. My routine was the same every time, go get the barrels with the soiled stuff, separate out the personal belongings from the bedding and towels. Fill the big industrial washing machines, 100 pounds of stuff could easily fit into these things, and all the personal stuff went into a normal home style washing machine. All this took me, maybe, twenty minutes. After those machines turned on, I got the stuff out of the industrial dryers to fold or put on hangers, sometimes this took a while depending on how the asshole before me decided to end their shift. A lot of times I still didn't do any actual work for more than twenty, twenty-five minutes. And this was the same for every shift in the laundry, and I normally had the evening shift, which had nearly nothing to wash until the people were getting ready for dinner. So from the beginning of the shift, at 1 PM, until 9 PM, it was dull. 

I admit, I got a ton of reading done, and watched a couple movies when I'd sneak my laptop in. No one came back to bother me, no one that would get me in trouble anyway. Those rumors of couples getting it on in the hospitals, when those are true, they happen in the laundry, because no one bothers that place. Once I had a double shift in the laundry, I did a little dance of joy, and by the time the evening shift got around I was completely caught up, so I just let the one and only load of personal clothing rotate in the dryer. For 4 hours. This was after I washed the stuff three times, and it was the cleanest anyone's clothes had ever been. And, for those four hours, there was a nice clanging noise coming from the dryer. I stopped the machine the first couple times I heard it, riffled through the stuff looking for a piece of silverware. One of the things about an old folk's home is, every one of them is capable of sneaking off with something. Sometimes it was from someone's room because they liked it and took that object with them as they wandered through the halls. Sometimes a person would horde objects because they thought about using the same stuff later. Spoons for a snack later was normal. All this stuff would end up in pockets of their clothes, wrapped in a pair of pants or shirt and the aid missed it. I always joked that when the silverware disappeared from the dinning room, it would end up being used as a makeshift shank after hours of grinding that spoon on the railing to their bed, or we'd find a hole under the bed as they dug themselves out Andy Dufresne style. But all this crap would end up either in a trash can or in the laundry bin. I found weird ass shit all the time, once there was a remote, that was so covered in human excrement that you'd think someone just crapped it out and knew this would be one good way to get it cleaned. Forks, knives, spoons, cups, coffee mugs. And most of the time I caught the stuff as I loaded the washers but that night I missed something, and after four hours of that banging noise I decided to hang up those clothes and then just sit with nothing going. I only left the dryer going for that long because if a manager or nurse decided to bug me and saw nothing running they'd tell me to go do something else for a while. I didn't want that, my laundry time was my lazy time. 

So, as I was hanging up the pants and shirts I noticed one of the shirt pockets was bulging out, and pulled out a nice set of teeth. Damn nice dentures there. And, they had been washed and dried god only knows how many times that day. Set those aside to be returned to their rightful owner, and then I pulled out a shoe. Shoes were not uncommon either, but a single was and I remembered there just happened to be a guy rehabbing with a new prosthetic leg, which I then noticed was attached to the shoe. The poor guy sent his shoe, and foot, to the laundry because his roommate threw up on it. He just thought I really busted my ass trying to clean it up. And because he was happy with that explanation, I let him believe it.