Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Island

AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) benefit, Los A...Image via WikipediaSome days I feel like an island.

Not Gilligan's Island, cause it had years of company, granted it was reluctant, but still.

Not the Survivor island because I'm not being trampled on by camera crews and people doing the guerrilla-version of  Biggest Looser mixed with Fear Factor.

Just an island.  The Isle of Aria.

Like Lovey without Thurston.

Ever have one of those days?  When even your go-to gals don't get where you're coming from.  And you sound a little odd to yourself, but aren't sure if that's really you or the you you're seeing from the eyes of your not-in-sync observers.

So it is with me this week.

I quit smoking... Yes, again.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been a little stabby.

But when the first day of quitting falls on top of four hours of sleep and PMS, and I didn't wind up being indicted for first-degree murder, I'm willing to call that a win. 

Yesterday was a little better, even though hubby took the second day  just as he had the first... like he was trying to poke an alligator with a sharp stick with the sole intent of pissing it off so that it would charge.

Then he got mad at this alligator for charging.

How is someone who, for the last four years, has not uttered more than a total of four sentences without some cussword in it, going to tell me to watch my mouth?

How do you explain to a person that his or her actions are ones that would make you wanna knock 'em in the noggin with a cast iron skillet even if you'd gotten a full 8 on a TempurPedic Cloud, had balanced hormones, a cup of fresh coffee, and a Cheech and Chong sized green-bud joint while hooked to a Valium IV.

What do I know, I'm just acting like this cause I'm a snapper.

And on top of that, I say things to my girlz that I think they're gonna take one way, and they go in a whole other direction.

I'm left feeling like the island where one day they're going to find Amelia Earhart.

But an island without a fire since I'm smoke free.

And I don't miss smoking.  I'm actually not craving cigarettes.  I miss the excuse to go take a 5 minute break.  I miss the camaraderie that happens during those smoke breaks.  But I can't go there right now, cause I'll be tempted to cave.

And if an island caves, it disappears.  Swallowed by the ocean.

And I don't want to be a sunken island because then I'll be a landing zone for whale shit and half-eaten shark meals of dismembered body parts... and that's disgusting.

I want to be a happy island with beautiful views and a peaceful demeanor... and if I can achieve that, the tourists will come. Registered & Protected
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mommy Needs a Time Out

FEMALE CONDITION BY THE EXAMPLE N°6Image by un point c'est tout ! (Les chicos) via FlickrAny parent with a shred of honesty will admit that sometimes their kids drive them street-rat-bat-shit-round-the-damn-bend crazy.
If they don't, they're either liars or highly medicated.

My son has no off button. He's not a lap-baby.  He doesn't sit and watch TV.  He's in constant motion.  He even bounces around while playing video games.

And so are his lips.  He never stops talking, and to his ears, "Be quiet." means speak louder. If he's not actually talking, he's making noise; motorboat, gun blasts, raspberries, machine gun fire...

And when he wants something he comes at you like a cattle auctioneer until you give in just to get some peace even though that's poor parenting and my daughter would never have gotten away with that.

I still smoked pot so it was easier to tune out was stronger then.

I know this about him. I'm not new. At this point in his life, it is who he is and how he behaves.

He's adorable and everything I could want in a son: hard-headed, strong, smart, full of curiosity and energy, and has moments of pure sweetness that melt your heart.

Today, the cuteness is not enough.

I want to play Bejeweled Blitz without having machine gun rat-a-tat-tat's shouted in my ears while he hangs on my mouse hand.

I want to read my homework assignment without rapid-fire requests for milk and mac-n-cheese.

I want him to stop doing something, anything, without having to be yelled at before he cops a clue that I'm actually addressing HIM even though I said his name each of the five times I made the request before I turned into Psycho Sally.

I want him to not use my computer chair to reach things on top of the fridge the second I leave the room to use the toilet.

I want to take something away from him without him picking it up the second I lay it down like he has every right in the world to do so.

I want him to not play with his cars directly behind me on the kitchen floor while I'm at the stove, because I have told him he's not allowed in the kitchen while I'm cooking more than I have said my own name... in my entire lifetime.

I want to not have to play the antagonist in a game of keep-away to get the TV remote from him when I finally sit down to watch a show and he's had Qubo on all day for a few hours and doesn't want to share cause Miss BG is on.

Maybe I can convince Hubby that I've been really, really, really bad and need a long time-out to think about my behavior... or just have a single uninterrupted thought today.

All. By. Myself.

Wish me luck. Registered & Protected
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Too Tall

Measuring timeImage by aussiegall via FlickrSo, I'm sitting at the computer... I know, newsflash... and my son, who is now 3 1/2 (which I taught him to say and sounds totally adorable) is standing still in the middle of the living room.

This is monumental for two reasons.

First, he's STANDING STILL.  Yeah, it's so he can watch T2, and shoot Robert with Arnold and Linda, but none the less.

Second, and more importantly to me as a mother, I just realized how tall he is.

As in just now.

Seriously.  I thought he was standing on something.

Normally, I'm sitting on the couch and he's trying to jump on me like a bounce house, so it's hard to gauge the height.

Plus it's summer and he's either running around in nothing, pull-ups or shorts.

Not like I put pants on him and realized that they were half-way up his shins, but if I did, they probably would be.

I feel for him. Tall is not always easy.

In grade school the other kids will think he's been held back because no normal Kindergartner is already four feet tall and out of his car seat.

And the teachers always want you to get stuff off the top shelves for the short kids, who resent you for being able to grab what they can't.

Plus you're too big for the normal kid sized toys.

Which really sucks when you want to climb into the red tube and play with all the petite little girls that even the boys think look all cute, but there's no room for you cause you take up the same amount of room as two of them.

Or maybe that was just me.

It might be cool being that tall as a boy.  As a girl it was awful.

All the cute boys wouldn't even look at me in grade school. Probably because I was always talking to their hair.

Although they didn't mind nearly as much when puberty hit and they were eye-level with my burgeoning chest.

But it seriously narrowed the dating field when I got old enough.  How could I date someone that could look up my nose?

I couldn't.

So I wound up with tall guys.

And thanks to that, my kids never fit in age-appropriate sizes.

My daughter will be 12 next month, and she's already up to my nose.  My son is an inch past my belly button.

I'm probably going to have to stop calling them my munchkins. Registered & Protected
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why Naps Are Not a Good Idea In My House

Helen Sleeping HappilyImage by Sean Molin | Photographer via FlickrSo yesterday, after my unfunny post about my instructor difficulties, I managed to get a hold of my academic advisor and she dropped me from that class.

Unfortunately, it was while I was still on the phone with her, so I couldn't go back and tell the guy that he is a sanctimonious, narcissistic fucktard what I really thought of him.

I'm chalking that up to the Universe making sure I didn't get kicked out of school burn bridges. 

After that beginning to my day, and my adorable son using up every cute point he possessed to stay alive; I decided I needed a nap.

I was drained.

Seething hatred and parenting a toddler with the energy level of a meth-head with a Starbucks Double Shot in one hand and a to-do list in the other will do that to ya.

So I corralled the kid and told hubby that I was done for.  He said that he and the roomie (yes, we still have him, just not in the house...usually) were going to go fishing... or BBQ; they hadn't decided yet.  

I suggested fishing for two reasons.

A: The obvious peace and quiet that one cannot achieve when practically deaf people play video games.

B: I hadn't done all of the dishes yet, so I didn't want to add to the pile that was being effectively diminished throughout the day.

He and roomie left, and I went in to take my nap.

I must have needed it, because I fell asleep DEEP... for three hours.

John Phillip Sousa could have practiced in my bed during a tornado, and I would have only been the wiser because of the tuba tracks on the sheets in the tree across the street.

Apparently, that was long enough to go get three kinds of meat... burn the shit out of it, and eat as much of the charred remains as possible.

And to destroy a kitchen so completely that I would have paid the tornado and Sousa to destroy it rather than try to clean it.


There was a bath towel on the counter... W...T...F... is a bath towel doing on the kitchen counter?

FIY, the kitchen towels and the paper towels were put up in the now-empty cabinet above the counter.

*the look on my face at this point is reminiscent of what a 6 year-old looks like when Stephen Hawking has been speaking to the child for over an hour about quantum physics*

Every... E.V.E.R.Y. dish of every size was used and left wherever there was room; which wasn't in the sink btw, because the mopping sauce pot and all of the two-foot-long BBQ implements were sticking out of the sink.

Hey, at least they can't say that they didn't know where the sink was.  They found it at least once.

Under the bath towel I found a counter with dried liquid-of-some-sort, liberally sprinkled with 11 herbs and spices and a few steak knives.  The cutting board was moved over, so as not to get it dirty.

The stove looked like Madame Curie's lab puked on it... violently (cause you have to cook the mopping sauce on the stove, Duh!).

They left me steak.  Which was awesome, cause I love steak and we haven't had any for a really long time.

Except it looked like it lost a bout with a very, very angry flame-thrower. 

My jaw still hurts from dinner last night...and my eyes are bleeding from the sight of the kitchen...

And there is not enough coffee in the world for me to not envision a postal, blood-soaked ending to this scenario.

Allegedly. Registered & Protected
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to School Blues ~ Grown-up Style

Why Shoot the Teacher?Image via WikipediaSo, after a wonderful week off full of doing nothing, unchecked facebook time, and a day-trip to see my girlfriend from high school that was mentally, emotionally, and gastronomically AWESOME, it was time to return to school this week.

Sunday I got online and posted my bio to both classes and downloaded the respective syllabuses (yes, it's more accepted as grammatically accurate than syllabi; I checked) and appendixes and reading chapters... etc. I was actually a little excited about going back to classes despite the loss of free time.  I was scheduled for a class in pathology and another in world religions.

Now, not to toot my own horn, but in order to provide  proof that I am not some fly-by-night student, I will tell you that I currently have a GPA of 3.96. I have not always liked my instructors, nor have I always thought that they were doing the best of jobs teaching the classes I have attended; however, being both a Jersey girl and my mother's child, I would simply roll my eyes and get through it.  Class is only nine weeks long... Fuhgeddaboutit.

So even though the pathology syllabus had the longest preamble of class rules and expectations I have ever seen, I thought, "He's precise".

Then I get to the course materials section for pathology and where most instructors post about four items.  One being the syllabus for the class, another being the appendix with all of the instructions and recommended timeline for the final project, another being a class calendar, and lastly, any words of advice and recommendation that he or she forgot to put into the syllabus.

Pathology instructor: Six...TEEN.  Not including the post from Academic Services about student workshops that is in absolutely every class' course materials section.
OK, that started to tip me off a little.

I made sure to read everything. Obviously the instructor is a detail freak, which probably bodes well in pathology, so note to self: read EVERYTHING this guy posts.

Then he misread one of my postings and left me a message telling me not to tell another student whether their posts were substantive (I was talking about my own post!) and then proceeded to give me unsubstantive on both of my participation answers.

Here's the thing... I could tell that they were revenge U's.

I had, because he MISREAD my posting, stepped all over his toes...with cleats (because he's a complete and total narcissist).  And I knew from that moment on, this guy was going to tank my grade because I had offended him, and he was unable to remain professional.

So I wrote him back to correct his mistaken judgment in the most polite and respectful way that I was able to along with asking him why my answers were deemed U's (cause I wasn't about to let that drop)...And then I called my academic advisor to find out about getting out of this and any future classes being taught by this instructor.

She asked me to give it a day or so.  Turns out that by answering him, I had fulfilled the attendance requirements for the week, so even if she dropped me immediately, I was still financially responsible for one week of this class. 

However, as long as I didn't post after Sunday, it was still within the week and I wouldn't owe any more money.

My academic advisor is awesome, so I promised to wait for his responses.  I got it last night.

After which, I proceeded to email my advisor... this is a small piece of that letter:
I copied and pasted below what I wrote back. It was literally as nice as I was capable of being, because what I really wanted to say was, "Listen, you narcissistic *bleep*, you have the longest pre-amble class rules section of a syllabus that I have ever seen. In addition, you posted (literally, I could not make this up!) SIXTEEN items in the course materials section (not including the Academic Affairs post about student workshops) that deal with everything from one suggesting we take the basic essays workshop, to one that specifically deals with what constitutes substantive posts. I have read them all and NO WHERE does any of it mention word count. So, is this just a requirement for students that do not bow down and kiss your hind-quarters?  You have one course materials posting on grammar and punctuation, and I have read at least four postings by other students with multiple glaring errors; but I come away with U's for not meeting an unposted word count? You JACK!"

Again, that's what I WANTED to write...  What I actually wrote was:

Hello *deleted name of instructor*,

This is the first time that I have heard anything about word count minimums for participation requirements.  From your exact posting in the class materials section:

Posts that do not count for credit:
1.   “I agree” or “Good idea..” or “You’re right...”, “ I understand” are not substantive posts. I do value those kinds of posts but these do not add to the classroom discussion. Supportive posts you make to your fellow classmates that add something substantial to the classroom discussion will receive credit.
2.   Repeating what another student has already written without adding
      something of value to it also is not considered substantive.
3.   Offering an opinion or experience on something unrelated to the goal of the learning objectives of the class is not substantive.
4.   Posts that are not in some way directly related to the objectives listed for that week or a prior week and/or the course readings may also not receive credit. 
As you can see, no where in there is a word count mentioned.  I have gone back and re-read the syllabus, but it is not mentioned there either.  Week one being a discussion week, I would expect word count to be listed in the lengthy pre-coursework instructions of the syllabus or in the first week instructions, but I was unable to find it in either place. So where would one find this Quality Checklist, instead of the version I have?

*end submitted post to instructor*

I promise you my tongue has been bitten in half and crazy-glued back on so I don't sound like John Merrick.  This was As Kind and As Polite as I was capable of; forgive me, I know it's not up to respect requirements.  I went back to my syllabus.  I went back to the course materials and RE-downloaded the syllabus in case it had changed. I went through the post specifically dealing with DQ requirements, and I know the spacing looks funky, but I SWEAR that I did not tamper with it, that was nothing more than copy and paste into the response post directly from his original post in the course materials section.

I would consider $1050 to drop this class (way more accurately, get rid of this instructor!) a bargain. 

Please remove me from this class.  And please, as long as I am a student in your care, please make sure that no future classes have this instructor.  I'd rather quit Phoenix entirely than work with him; yes, my instincts are that vehement about this issue.

*end email to advisor*

It is like I was hired by human resources to work directly under the boss while the boss was on vacation...

Then he comes back...

And it's Hitler. Registered & Protected
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Something to Say

NYC: The Daily Show with Jon StewartImage by wallyg via FlickrSo, I was over on Yahoo reading about the US Presidents that have topped the best-seller list... and agog that they're calling W.'s book 'Decision Points' a best-seller.

It hasn't been released yet.

I mean, it takes a long time to reproduce that many pages written in crayon.

Besides, the only ones that didn't cringe at what the guy had to say while he was President were Jon Stewart and David Letterman...they were too busy taking notes because W. made their jobs so damned easy.

Back to Presidential best-selling authors, what got me about the list was how many of the presidents were on it.

They make a big deal about only 13, but the list only started during FDR's presidency.

It's not like Washington and Lincoln tried and failed to get on the list.

Besides that, how many United States Presidents have we had since April 1942?

Fancy a guess?


Seriously, I looked it up.

FDR died in office before he could do his presidential memoirs. Kennedy died before memoirs also, but Profiles in Courage got him into the club, and Obama has already had best-sellers even before his presidential recollections.

Then there were a few that tried and didn't make it.

Truman, which isn't surprising if one studies his life.

Nixon, who tried 12 times to make the list, but his books probably suffered from his permeating air of desperation and conspiracy theory, and that only works as as sad A&E Biography.

And Bush Sr., who probably had a boring-ass 12 page memoir after editing and blacking out by the CIA, considering his dead-pan delivery.

So, I'm not sure how they came up with 13 on the list when there have only been 13 since the list and three of them tried and didn't make it.

Nevertheless, they all had something to say. Something above and beyond their (usually) majority elected any-time-I-want-to-I-can-garner-unlimited-on-air-time-to-gargle-On-Top-of-Old-Smokey-and-they-will-watch term.

Which got me to thinking... if I ever want to be a famous author (and by famous, I mean VERY well paid, but still able to eat at McDonald's without someone trying to cut into my McNugget time... OK, maybe that is a bad example, I mean seriously, I never go in to MickeyDee's cause that's what drive through is for!  Duh!  You'd think I grew-up in a time before microwaves!... oh, wait...), then I need to have something to say.

And so far, not so much.

But seriously though, aren't fresh-outta-the-fryer-and-salted McDonald's fries the absolute best?

Where was I?

Oh, yeah... so I think AP needs a fact checker; or someone better at doing math.  Because only 13, but total of 13, including the 4 that were never on it? I'm confused. And this probably wasn't the point I originally intended, but now I'm totally craving MickeyDee's fries (admit it, you are too, huh?) and completely forgot the point I was going to make.

Come to think of it, MickeyDee's fries may have contributed to Clinton's downfall; I mean you get distracted thinking about their golden-deliciousness and you forget things... like reminding Monica to drop off her dry cleaning.  Just sayin'. Registered & Protected
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