Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Another Day Without a Reason to Bathe...

The best part about being unemployed is that you no longer have to be crushed by the obligations of society. No longer do you have to sit in traffic, smile at coworkers you despise instead of spitting in their eye, or bathe.

I know it sounds really nasty, but I've found myself not bathing on a daily basis like I used to. The thing is, that when you're working, you have a routine. Get up, bathe, go to work, cry all the way home, drink, pass out. and start all over again.

But when you're not working, you get up, go to the TV, watch Regis and Kelly, eat a few Pringles, IM your friends, do a little work when your husband's around, watch your soaps, eat some more Pringles, blog and then next thing you know the whole day's passed and prime time TV's on, which is never a good thing to miss for a shower.

And then all of a second, you've gone through the whole routine again and you realize that you never thought of showering today either.

Well, it can't happen more than one day really, because in my case, on day two, as you go to greet your Sweetie Pie, his nose crinkles in the way that noses crinkle in cartoons and he says "you really should consider showering."

Touche Mr. Obsessive-Compulsive man. And I have to say, if you think a shower a day feels good. Try skipping it. The total feeling of having two days worth of grime leave your body is unbelievable.

But really, when you think about it, if it wasn't for Sweetie Pie, I would easily have four or five days a week where I wouldn't even have a reason to shower. I talk to a good portion of my friends every day, but I don't see them. So really, they couldn't smell me.

It's not like my phone is ringing off the hook with people begging me to come in for an interview, because that would be an occasion worthy of a shower.

And since most of my days are spent with two dogs and two cats who haven't had a bath in so long they're beginning to smell quite rank themselves, I figure what does it matter, right?

Besides, think of the money I'm saving on soap, shampoo, electricity from the blow dryer and straightening iron. I'm also saving the towels from being used up. And really, I'm just being a concerned environmentalist. Do you know what those phosphates in shampoo and soap do to the environment? I must have saved 10 dolphins yesterday alone. And don't get me started on the wastage of water that comes with showering.

I think Sweetie Pie would appreciate it if I showered on a more constant basis. And I have to say, I wouldn't mind if I did either. After all, yesterday, I applied deodorant three times and yet, I could still perceive wafts of a slightly sweaty botanical smell.

So I think what I'm going to start doing is make myself a to-do list. That way, I'll remember everything I'm supposed to do. Here goes:

1. Wake up
2. Get up
3. Pee
4. Brush teeth
5. Eat breakfast (NOT Pringles!!!!!)
6. Check Yahoo account
7. Check Monster.com
8. Apply to jobs
9. IM friends
10. Play solitaire with M.
11. Watch Regis & Kelly
12. Watch first half hour of Ellen
13. Watch Y&R
14. Eat lunch (NOT Pringles!!!!!)
15. IM some more
16. Do a little work
17. Play more solitaire with M.
18. Go get mail
19. Shower

Whew, BARELY fit that one in!



Monday, August 30, 2004

Why Can't Every Day Be Our Anniversary?

I have to say that I really liked our anniversary. Weeks ago, we'd decided to go to Eddie Merlot's, a fancy steakhouse up here for dinner, but of course we changed our minds when I lost my job.

Instead, we decided to have a nice dinner here and hope that I didn't screw up anything. And I have to say, it was the best meal I have ever made ever. I'm not exagerating. Nothing was overcooked. Nothing was undercooked. The wine pairings were unbelievable (for two people who don't know anything about wine really) and we had such a nice time that it was perfect.

Here was the menu:

Bacon-hugged shrimp with a hint of barbecue sauce (see how I made it sound fancier there?)
Accompanied by a French Rose

Filet Mignon in a Merlot Sauce (my ultimate favorite recipe. It costs a lot of money to make, but less for two people to eat it at home than it would for one person to eat it out)
Scalloped Potatoes (and these were sooooooo good, creamy, perfectly cooked, bubbling. They were some of the best I'd ever had. I complimented them on their beauty until they were all gone!)
Accompanied by Rosemount Merlot

We were supposed to have fresh baked bread to go with it, but I forgot to put the bread in the oven, so Sweetie Pie said not to worry about it and that we should have plain old white Kroger bread. And we did. I was sweating so much by then anyway from cooking up a storm in a hot kitchen, that I was fine with bypassing the fancy (a.k.a. Pillsbury) bread.

For dessert, we were supposed to have my very fancy

Molten Chocolate Dessert with Haagen-Dasz French Vanilla Ice Cream
Accompanied by $3.99 Strawberry Champagne (Sweetie Pie's not a big champagne guy, so I figure why waste $11.99 on Korbel?)

But we were so full, that we both decided it would be wise to just bypass the dessert and drink some more. Being that we don't drink very much anymore, we were both very tipsy and happy.

Sweetie Pie gave me my gift during dinner and it was the ring that I wanted from Zales. I really wanted one of those right-hand rings and saw one that I loved there. I was going to place the link here, but the fine folks at Zales' Web site is down. Go figure! So I guess you'll all have to wait to see my new jewelry. Anyway, I teasingly called Sweetie Pie on buying it this morning. And he said that he was expecting me to be at the post office (remember the UPS guy not showing up on Friday night? GRRRRRRR) and that he had to wait until Friday afternoon to find out how much he was being paid to see if he could afford to buy it for me.

So he was redeemed! Of course!

I don't know if I mentioned this, but I got Sweetie Pie a gas grill, which of course he spent all Sunday morning putting together and then called me outside three times to show me how it lit up.

Well, apparently there isn't too much humor in anniversaries, because this post ain't that funny.



Saturday, August 28, 2004

Hahaha! Gotcha!

I love to be a step ahead of people! It makes me feel so good about myself and like I'm superior to someone.

And I have to say, today I got Sweetie Pie good.

You see, today is our two year anniversary. Last year, I kind of screwed up and thought we were under the understanding that we weren't going to buy each other anything, since we'd just returned from Europe and all of our money needed to go to the greedy credit card company. I don't know what it's like to deal with loan sharks, but I'm sure they learn all of their tricks from the credit card companies.

Anyway, Sweetipie got me a beautiful pearl necklace and then gave me the matching earrings for my birthday two weeks later. I got him a card. In my defense, it was a very funny card. Although, the people on it kind of looked like they were African-American, which of course neither one of us are. But I didn't really notice that until Sweetie Pie pointed it out.

But this year, Sweetie Pie and I had the conversation about our anniversary gifts after I got fired and I somehow got the impression that he was going to buy me something.

So I did good. I got him a gas grill and strings and picks for his guitar. And I got him a card that was a wink, wink kind of card, if you get my drift.

Anyway, Sweetie Pie's hair turned grayer for a second when he saw his gifts and he stammered something about how he thought we weren't getting each other anything this year.

OK, fine that he was under that understanding. After all, I screwed up last year because I thought the same thing. But he didn't even get me a card????

I mean here I am, I've spent $3.99 for a bottle of something called "strawberry champagne" for our big dinner tonight and he didn't even get me a card.

Anyway, I made us some coffee and Sweetie Pie insisted on bringing it to me and then placed my favorite dog next to me on the couch.

He then proceeded to get dressed and said he had a couple of errands to run. Yeah, that's not suspicious at all. Totally wanting to freak him out even more, I asked a couple of times where he was going. His answer: "just a couple of places."

Well, let's see. I've had a picture of a right-hand diamond ring from Zale's on the fridge for a month now. Hopefully this screw up makes him buy it for me.

So here's the question: how mad am I allowed to be?

I think I should be at least a little. I mean, come on! It's 11:04 a.m. on the day of our anniversary and my husband is out buying me a card and a present? I deserve to at least be miffed or at least irked, peeved or chagrined. Uhm, yeah, I used the thesaurus. Don't you think I deserve it as I sit alone on my anniversary?

Second question: how long do I get to play the "my husband didn't buy me something for our anniversary" card? I hope it's longer than the "I got fired because my personality sucks" card. Because people didn't let me play that one at all.

Oh and one more thing: I'm boycotting UPS. I was expecting a package yesterday and it said it was on the truck being delivered at 3:54 a.m. yesterday. Not sure which road from DFW airport to Frisco prevents you from delivering a package on the same day when you leave before 4 a.m. That rush hour traffic seems to be starting earlier and earlier. I've never liked that gross brown color of there's anyway. Why would you want to have everything of yours the color of fecal matter?



Friday, August 27, 2004

Hey, Wait a Minute Here...

I'm very, very concerned you guys. You see, last night I was reading In Touch Magazine, my favorite celeb publication, because it's only $1.99 an issue which then makes me think "why is it they're able to put a perfectly fine publication and sell it for that price when People sells for a first born?"

But anyway, my point is not how reading In Touch is like inhaling a tub of frosting: it's a cheap sugar high and you feel guilty the whole time you're doing it. My point is that in it there was a story about celebrity moms and they listed the top ten. I know, the kind of stuff that you just HAVE to read, there's no way around it.

Anyway, Jessica Simpson's mom was listed and was quoted in the story as saying "Jessica is no dummy. In fact she has an IQ of 160."


Let's see. 100 is an average IQ. 140 is genius. And Jessica Simpson has a 160 IQ? Wow! Now that's motherly love!

But besides how funny this is, does it not bring thoughts of another non-celebrity mom? A.K.A. MINE! The mother who said that I was fired because I was too smart.

Kind of makes me rethink that whole explanation.

Tomorrow is Sweetie Pie and I's anniversary. Two years. And still as unhappy as the day we met.

Actually, I was just telling a friend of mine the other day about how Sweetie Pie is the only man I've been with who I still like and respect after all of these years. I think one of the biggest parts of it is he can manage to piss me off like no other. I'm so used to throwing fits with men and being showered with praise, gifts or pleadings to stop. With Sweetie Pie, he never fell for it. He either ignores me, walks away or tells me he'll talk to me when I'm out of my funk.

Yeah, it exactly makes me feel like a three year-old having a tantrum and that's what pisses me off most when it happens. But still, I have to give him some credo for his dealing with the dark side of Catwoman, the side that will bite you just because you happen to be sitting next to me and then I'll feel bad and just purr on your lap for two hours, also for no reason. We've known each other for 5 1/2 years and I still love him and still find him intriguing. Previous record for longest relationship: 16 months. That's right, one whole year and four months. Not exactly world-record breaking stuff. But see, here's the thing. That was one relationship that was 16 months. But there were many, many, MANY that didn't even make it to the three month mark.

I found out something horrifying a few months ago, before I started blogging: I am the ultimate lucky charm. If you slept with me before I met Sweetie Pie, chances are you're insanely successful. One of my exes moved to Australia, started his own company, which now has offices in the US, England and Canada and when he's not busy shoveling the money into his 30 hummers, he volunteers with young boys to get them to learn all about IT and how to turn their lives around. Mind you, he always looked a little too much like Beaker on the Muppet Show. (If you can't remember what Beaker looked like, click here.

Another boyfriend of mine is now CIO for some big Canadian technology firm. And yet another is some big shot lawyer who just recently returned to Harvard to do his Doctorate in Law.

You tell me I'm not a crystal ball for success!



Thursday, August 26, 2004

I'm Changing Religions Because the Backgammon Gods Suck

That's it, I'm quitting this new job of mine. This playing backgammon on a full-time basis just isn't working out. I mean, it doesn't matter how smartly I play. The backgammon gods seem to favor people with online names like "gottacumsoon" or "hoeinnevada."

I mean, I realize that I don't have a very sexy Yahoo ID name, but come on. Should that be the only factor determining the winner?

But isn't that the way things are in real life too? I look at people who give stupid names to their kids and I think "what are you doing?"

But then you meet an adult with a wacky name and they're cool, funky and you're like, "man I so wish my name was Watchthedoorbitch. That's the coolest name ever!"

And that's always why I feel I kind of got lucky with my real life name. After all, my name isn't stupid sounding (at least not to me, but maybe all of you laugh and laugh about my name when I leave) and people compliment me about my name all the time, because it's not that common.

I think that naming a bady has got to be the most stressful thing in the world. Especially with girls. Because you just know that some stupidly brilliant kid will figure out a way to flip some letters around or rhyme something and turn a perfectly good name like Mary into Hairy Mole Mary. And so what if my daughter has a hairy mole? Does that make her any less sexy than the rest of the Britney Spears (or whoever might be hot by 2020 wanabes?)

So I think I'm retiring from the competitive world of Yahoo Backgammon. I tried Hearts for a little while, except those are the meanest bastards of the Yahoo world. If you put a card they disagree with at any point, all of a sudden, you have three people attack you. And when you weakly tell them that you thought you had a good strategy, they eat you alive, from the bladder out. Very painful believe me.

I'm surprised a sociologist out there hasn't looked into the world of Yahoo games. The different personalities in there from the chick with the charge by the second porn site trying to get people to visit her site, to the 14 year old boy pretending to be 28 and telling you you're hot stuff when you're sitting in one of your husband's dirty t-shirts and your last pair of underwear (which unmarried men, here's the scoop, our last pair of clean underwear is NEVER the sexy kind) with a pony tail, no make up and glasses, the Yahoo games world is full of bizarre and disturbing personalities. Someone could make a KILLING studying those freaks. And as they learn more about the rest of the population, one day, they'll happen to trip over me as I weep in a little ball in the corner wondering why "slutwhore" keeps getting double sixes and all I'm rolling are ones and twos.



Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Long Live the King!!!!

Budweiser claims to be the king of beer and I have to say, I'm going to believe that today. I've always been a Miller Light girl. Simply because, American beer sucks and Miller Light is the beer my girlfriends drank and it's the only one I found to be acceptable to put in my body.

I don't think I've even ever tried Bud Light before, but despite the sheer brilliance of the "Real Men of Genius" radio campaign (one of the best series of ads ever! "Today we salute you, pickled pig's feet eater." LOVE THOSE!) I've never been enticed to try Bud Light.

Well, that is until last night. A really good friend of mine was in town last night from New York City, and so the old gang got together to see J. And as awesome as it was to see him and how much fun we all had, the night was made even better by free beer.

That's right, my friends, I said the magic words that will bring grown men everywhere to their knees weeping. Free and Beer. Have two other words ever sounded better together? And here's the best part. It wasn't a free pint or two. I'm talking THREE FREE PITCHERS!

I know, I know. I'm full of crap. Except I'm not. This really happened.

You see, ends up this benefactor of ours spotted our pitcher, identified it as containing Miller Light, identified our group as the dream Bud Light demographics and approached us with an offer we couldn't refuse. He asked us why we drank Miller Light, we gave drunken obnoxious answers, he nodded his head in agreement and then bribed us to try Bud Light. He told us that he would replace our full pitcher of Miller Light with a pitcher of Bud Light and then BUY us our next two pitchers. What did we have to lose, right?

So we accepted and as he walked away we quickly filled our glasses with as much Miller Light as we could muster and then turned in our half-full pitcher for a full one of Bud Light.

And the nice man from Bud Light was right. By the third pitcher of Bud Light, you can't tell the difference AT ALL! So my friends, today I bring you the first sponsor of this blog: Miller Light.

Oh, crap. I'm so bad at this switching loyalties thing.

On another note, yesterday I was VERY busy for an unemployed person. And I don't mean playing Hearts of Backgammon. I mean I was out running around. Heck, I even took my first shower since Saturday yesterday, which Sweetie Pie named as one of my crowning achievements. But see, the thing with never leaving the house is you lose track of time, and all of a sudden it's two in the morning and it seems silly to shower then.

Anyway, the mystery shopping was in full swing yesterday. I booked myself three individual grocery store shops. Here I thought I was being so smart, getting a grocery store to pay me to shop.

Yeah, well, I hate to admit I didn't get the last laugh on this one. You see, you're supposed to talk to every single employee at each store. And when employees are purposely dodging customers, it takes freaking forever! And then the employees don't just want to answer your question, they actually want to ask you how you are and BS like that. Don't these people understand I'm on a time crunch here?

Well, the freaking things took so long, I ended up only having time to go to two grocery stores and still showed up half an hour late to my happy hour. You try to tell your employed friends that you as an unemployed person have a good excuse for being late.



Monday, August 23, 2004

Bad Brain, BAD!!!!

Sometimes I just hate my brain. It seems to be on a completely different schedule then the rest of my body. Anyone who's had to deal with me first thing in the morning knows that i'm pretty much a morning person. I'm pretty peppy and cheerful first thing in the morning, whether it's 5 a.m. or 8 a.m.

But while my body and my personality are raring to go in the morning, my brain doesn't tend to follow suit. And I'm noticing more and more that my brain decides to come up with really great ideas right as I'm ready to go to bed.

And so now, it's 12:15 in the morning and I'm completely exhausted and should be asleep, but I can't because my stupid brain decided to come up with a great idea at 11:15.


And I have to say, I'm pretty darn proud of my brain. As far as ideas go, I'm not sure this one is gold-medal worthy, but I'd say it's at least a bronze, borderline silver. See, as I've gone into business for myself during the past week, I've been trying to come up with additional ways to make money. Prostitution is out of the question, because really, the commute from Frisco to Stemmons Freeway would just be too much trouble.

But I just figured out a way to add some freelance work to my very small collection of current assignments. Those of you who know about my little side business will get this whole story. The rest of you, tough. You should just know me a little better if you're reading my most intimate thoughts.

Anyway, the owner of the company I work for as extra income has basically been way too swamped to keep the monthly newsletter going. The last issue came out about two years ago. So I just sent her an email telling her that I'd be happy to do it and she can just pay me in goods at wholesale price, which I can just turn around and sell at parties for retail price. So she doesn't end up paying me what I'm worth but then I have the opportunity to make more than I'm worth. Well, actually, not really, but at least I'll come close to being paid what I'm worth. So I'm pretty excited about this. I really think that it's a win-win for both of us.

And since I can't call her to tell her about my great idea because I don't think she'll appreciate the greatness of it at 1:15 a.m. her time, I sent her an email with my proposition. So just keep your fingers crossed that I get to add her to my list of clients.

It's actually funny that this post is about my brain, because that will be the second time today that it's been the topic of conversation. Wow, not every day I get to say that.

You see, today I finally gathered the courage to tell my mom about the firing incident. And those of you who told me it might not be as bad as I thought it would be were actually right. I don't know if I caught her on an off day or if she's been Stepford Wived, but she said that it was probably a blessing in disguise. Which of course is the tune that everyone's been singing to me for the last week, to the point that I'm very convinced of this even if it means certain poverty.

Of course, being my mother she did have to share one irrational thought with me. And I have to say this one's a gem. My mom claims the reason that I was fired is because of my brain. That I was simply too smart and that's what got me fired. You see, my mother claims that I am so smart and independent, that I often just do what I know needs to be done without telling anyone, leaving people in my dust. And apparently those people I leave in my dust don't appreciate so and they get jealous and then they plot on how to destroy me. Which I thought was a really funny thing. Because how many people do you know get fired for being too smart?

Of course, Sweetie Pie always looking to burst any bubble tells me that if I really was that smart, I'd figure out a way not to disgruntle these jealous stupid people. Who knew I'd enjoy talking to my mother more than Sweetie Pie today. Hope he finds that couch real comfortable.

So anyway, for those of you who are as smart or smarter than me, be forewarned. Your intelligence could cost you your job. Why Pamela Anderson is so much richer than me is starting to make a lot of sense all of a sudden.

Well, ok, fine, there's also the fact that she has the body to pose for Playboy, but why do you choose to bring that up and hurt my feelings?



Sunday, August 22, 2004

Time for Another Obsession

Well, I think that not working might bring out the worse in me. Because now, I have plenty of time to focus on developing obsessions. And I've got lots of time to work on each one of them. Which might be a good thing if my obsession was world peace or a cure for cancer, but of course, my world is too filled up with unimportant things to worry about larger causes.

I've had my share of quirky obsessions in the past I admit. Like when I was 18 and in Spain and one of my college dorm friends bought a PEZ dispenser and it set off some kind of chemical imbalance in my head that made me decide that I had to have every PEZ dispenser out there. I eventually accumulated more than 130 of them (at almost $4 Canadian, you do the math on how much money I wasted on that little hobby) and they stood like a silent army on two shelves of my bookcase, freaking out any gentleman caller who might decide to spend the night at my apartment.

Sweetie Pie laughed and laughed at me when we first started dating and he saw the PEZ. Of course, when I decided to move to Dallas and sold some of the more valued PEZ dispensers for 500 percent or 2,000 percent of what I'd paid for them, eventually selling about 20 of them on eBay for more than US$500, he was laughing a lot less. He never admitted that they were a smarter investment than stock despite my gleeful smart-alecky comments that they were, but I was content knowing that he silently tipped his baseball cap at my wisdom and foresightedness.

The PEZ have since moved to a more permanent place in a box in our attic, just accruing value over the next few years for the pieces that are currently worthless. I think that twenty, thirty years down the line, I will be able to trade in the 100 or so left for a yacht or a Colorado cottage.

And so that obsession passed.

I also have a matchbook collection that I figure with the smoking ban spreading across the country and probably around the world over the next ten years or so will be worth a small fortune. I wouldn't be surprised if the Smithsonian called me one day, looking for relics of the days smokers actually had some kind of freedom. My grandfather started the collection back in the 30s and my mom took in over in the 60s, so many of the pieces are quite old. And with my father and his friends giving me pieces from all over the world, I probably have more than 5,000 matchbooks now, making our house almost uninsurable, I'm sure, and a definite fire hazard.

Now, my latest obsession, beside this blog, of course, is mystery shopping. I love the thrill of it, and since I'm unemployed, I particularly appreciate that someone is willing to feed me for free just for tattling on bad service. Today, I accepted an assignment with a Chuck E. Cheese's knock off, that ends up was in what Sweetie Pie considered to be a very sketchy neighborhood. In exchange for eating a terrible greasy pizza and being the only white people in the room, I get reimbursed the entire $15 of the meal plus I made six dollars! But Sweetie Pie didn't share my exitement. And now, as we both enjoy a horrible case of heartburn and drove my little SUV home without its tires or rims, I can understand why he wasn't so thrilled.

Of course, I'm kidding, no one actually stole my tires. The little time that we spent in there inhaling our pizza while the liquor store next door was being robbed didn't give thieves enough time to steal any part of my vehicle.

But here's the best part of the mystery shopping. On Tuesday, I get to hit three different grocery stores that will reimburse me up to $15 each in food. That means that I can do this week's shopping for absolutely free, just because I'm willing to drive to three different stores in less than a 20 mile radius.

Who ever said the American dream was dead. Sigh... Definitely not this little grateful Canadian, let me tell you.



Friday, August 20, 2004

Why Are We Fighting????

Marriage is such a funny thing. You're trekking along, when all of a sudden a fight erupts and only one of you knows you're in a fight.

Last night, I was suffering with a really bad bout of insomnia. Sweetie Pie had to get up at 5 a.m. to go do some inspections to make us some extra money and we were up past 11 watching the Olympics. When the Carly Patterson won the gold, we turned off the TV and I just laid there, wide awake, like if it was 11 a.m. instead of p.m.

Instead of tossing and turning for two hours, I got up maybe ten minutes later to play games online and try to wear myself out, instead of keeping poor Sweetie Pie up.

One thing led to another and I ended up falling asleep on the couch around 3 a.m.

Next thing I know, Sweetie Pie comes in to the living room a little after 5 p.m. and says in a not kidding tone "so you don't even want to sleep with me now?" Confused and groggy, I got up, grabbed my pillow and went to bed.

Next thing I know, I wake up, it's 7 a.m. and Sweetie Pie is gone. No goodbye kiss, no "I'll see you later," nothing.

And I was like "why in the world is he taking this so badly?"

Well, he just came waltzing in and gave me a look and I'm like "why are you mad at me?" And he launches into a pitiful speech about how he doesn't understand why his wife doesn't want to share a bed with him anymore.

He thought I was mad at him. In his mind, we went to bed and I got up 30 seconds later "in a huff."

When I asked him what in the world I had to be mad at him for, he answered "who knows, you get mad at me for nothing all the time."

Point taken. So for any of you newlyweds out there, from now on, should you be suffering from insomnia, the proper etiquette is to keep your partner awake until they finally beg you to leave the room. Attempting to prevent this situation will only make the person supporting you after you get fired from your job very angry.

Ah the intricacies of married relations.



Thursday, August 19, 2004

When I Grow Up...

It's funny. In less than 13 months, I'll be turning 30. I still remember being 8 years old and thinking how grown up I'd be when I'd be 16. And now, a few weeks shy of my 29th birthday, I still in many ways feel like I'm 8.

Like at what point will I feel like an adult with my parents? Am I the only adult who is married, pays her own mortgage and yet, is still afraid of the wrath of her mother? For example, I still have not told my parents about the whole firing thing. Sweetie Pie tells me that I just need to get it over with, but it's going to be the most discouraging conversation of my life. Some of my friends have said "well, sometimes when you expect the worse, it's never as bad as you think it is." Which are encouraging words and in most cases true. Except for this one. Because I've had this conversation before when I was laid off three years ago. And here I was, freaked out, with a visa that only allowed me to work for the employer who'd just let me go, no source of income and I'd just signed a six-month lease on my apartment. Most people could use encouraging words from the parental units like "Sweetie, it will all work out." "You're a smart and talented girl." "Do you need money?" What I got instead was something along the lines of Janice in Friends. "OH........MY........GOD! HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN???? THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD! NO ONE WILL EVER WANT TO HIRE YOU NOW! HOW DID YOU GET YOURSELF IN THIS SITUATION?" Of course, imagine all of this in French without the New Yorker accent.

Exactly the kind of words someone who's lost their job needs to hear. My dad once lost his job and pretended to go to work for three days, trying to bide his time and figure out what he was going to do. I completely understand why he did it. Getting laid off or fired is a kick to the ego, no matter how well you take it. To have someone freak out on you and convince you that it's the end of the world is enough to send just about anyone over the edge.

And so instead, every night I think to myself "OOOH! Something good on TV." And I put off calling my mother another night.

Very mature I am. Sweetie Pie says that if I wait too long, my parents will end up emailing me at the office and get some weird out of office reply that says I'm gone or they'll call my voicemail at work and it will tell people that I've been shown the door. After all, that's what happened last time. The day after I got laid off, my dad happened to send me a joke email at the office and got a bounce back to contact my VP. So he called me on my cell to ask me what was going on. I told him I was laid off and he just paused and asked how I was doing. He then said those ominous words: "You know you can't keep this from your mother right? And now that I know, you have to tell her today." I know that he was terrified she'd smell the news on him like one of those airport drug sniffing dogs. There's no getting past my mother with bad news.

The part I'm most concerned about is the day before the firing, I tried to tell her about my troubles at the office and how unhappy I was. She told me that I needed to call a meeting with the president and the VP ASAP, because if I didn't, I could wind up getting fired. Hahaha! Mom, that's just silly. Oh... Whoops...

So now I have to deal with the most hated told-you-so speech. Two kicks to the ego in one week? Come on, not even the devil would deserve that!

My sisters who are 25 are no better with bad news. They haven't figured out how to escape the whole child-parent dynamics sister. My younger sister just sent an email out to the whole fam sneaking in there very casually that she will be putting off presenting her thesis for her masters by a year. The email made me laugh because this is a decision my sister and I discussed almost a month ago. When my grandmother had her stroke, my sister went a number of weekends to be there. On top of a grueling unpaid internship where she works 10-12 hour days, a waitressing job to keep food on her table and a long distance relationship with a French stud, there's just not enough hours in the nights to finish a well-thought-out thesis as well. At the end of the day, what's the big deal if she gets herself a full-time job in her industry and works on her thesis throughout the year? There are no consequences to that decision really. And yet, my sister a smart, independent woman, had to sneak the news into an email about my grandparents' state of mind in order to avoid paying a long distance telephone call that would just be spent being told how she is ruining her life.

This email probably looks like it's one big bashing of my mother. And I don't mean it to be. I love my mother very dearly and I'm grateful to have her. I just find it highly ironic that her boot camp mothering style has meant a delayed maturity when it relates to her from all three of her children.



Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Very Random (and scary) Thought

I think I've mentioned on this blog before how I am currently off any birth control, since Sweetie Pie and I's plan was to begin trying in September or October. Of course, that was before we read in the tea leaves that I would be kicked to the door by people who don't appreciate my fondness for kookiness.

Anyway, I've just calculated my menstrual cycle (cue to my male readers squirming at this line) and it looks like I'll be ovulating the night of our two-year anniversary.

Which is either the best timing ever. Or the worst timing ever. Is getting pregnant two weeks after you get fired from your job a good idea? I would say probably not.

And so now, it looks like back to high school for us, with condoms or calling fooling around "sex."

Oh the fun of life. Does it ever end?



Woof! Woof! Are You Scared of Me Now?

Anyone who's ever met Sweetie Pie and I's dogs knows that they barely look mean, let alone have them be mean. I'll admit that they are both barkers. Just because they're dogs, and really, what else is there to do in life? But maybe it's because I know them that I don't find their bark very scary. They just do it because they have nothing else to do.

Today, Sweetie Pie was in a meeting and so I was very busy checking on my U Promise dollars (our future kids now have almost $18 in college savings!) when the phone rang. The dogs had requested to go outside and I could hear them barking away at the sun, but hey, who am I to tell them they can't bark in the middle of the day, right? When all of a sudden, the phone rings and a nice lady tells me that she's with the electrical company and that the dogs are scaring their meter guy who's trying to read our meter. Which I'm thinking to myself that they're just being good pets trying to defend their owners from obscene electricity prices.

It's so funny to me that this little man in a little golf cart with a little flashing orange light on it would be so scared of our dogs that even when they're barking at him through a solid six-foot tall wooden fence he's still too petrified to do his job.

But then again, I guess that's what spiders and cockroaches think of me when I scream at Sweetie Pie to come kill them. Spiders don't really scare me, what scares me is the crunching sound they make when you smash them with a shoe. That crunching noise haunts my dreams. And cockroaches, well, they're about ten times bigger than the ones in Canada, like they've survived some kind of nuclear meltdown that made them go through a growth spurt. They're gross and they're big and they're REALLY scary and I don't want to have to deal with them ever.

There was this one time I was on the computer early in the morning before work a few months ago. All of a sudden I spotted a cockroach in the office. Since it was only about 5:30 in the morning, screaming at Sweetie Pie was grounds for a divorce and therefore unacceptable. So I squashed the cockroach using a notepad and then left it there to die with white guts sticking out of it. Well, I meant to get Sweetie Pie to flush it away later, because I was too afraid to pick up this foot-long beast.

Well, of course, me being me, I forgot about it, went to work and only remembered it when I was once again in the office. Looking under the notepad, the three-foot long cockroach WAS GONE!!!!! I ran over to Sweetie Pie asking him if he'd thrown it out and he said he had no idea what I was talking about. And so that night I had to go to sleep, knowing that a six-foot long zombie cockroach had come back from the dead for revenge and was hiding somewhere in the safe place known as my home, waiting for me to fall asleep.

And I knew that my dogs' barks would just not be enough to save me. How I ever survived that night is still a mystery to me.



Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Catwoman's Theory of Relativity

Day #2 of unemployment. Pretty uneventful. Blogged as you all know, then did some work to make myself a little money. The great thing about freelancing is that you're paid about three times your normal wage. So you only need to do about 3 hours of work to get paid what you would in a day at your regular job. Your assumption of course would be that I worked three hours today. Which would be false. So stop assuming.

Anyway, I did manage to waste my afternoon at the Social Security office to obtain a new card, since I will need one should a new employer ever decide that I'm worthy of taking in. Notice how undistraught I am at the idea that maybe no one ever will. I'm like one of those tough streetcats who's just too mean to ever belong to a family. And I'm probably one of the ones missing tufts of hair and an eyeball, which would probably be why no family would want me, but that's besides the point. This is an analogy gone very, very wrong and I apologize for it.

So back to the Social Security office. And yes, I apologize for dragging you there too. The point is, that I got to that horribly sad place and was given the lucky number 90 by the very meek security guard at the front door who asked me if I had a gun, knife or pepper spray in my purse and then believed me when I answered no. Hopefully none of the terrorists figure out that the way to get past the security desk at Social Security is with a short skirt. Despite my menstrual bloating, that threw any suspicions off of me.

Well, it turns out that number 90 ain't so lucky. At least it isn't when five minutes after you arrive (and realize that the book you meant to bring is sitting on your kitchen counter), some disheartened woman behind the glass pane yells "Number 63." That's when you realize that your life is about to take a senior citizen speed ride through hell.

And it's amazing. It was just two hours, but really, it felt like I spent three years sitting in that uncomfortable chair, a very large woman's ass roll squeezed over my armrest and laying on my lap. And so I tried to make the most of that time. I people watched. Mainly the large woman beside me, who ended up was an art teacher who graded assignments while she waited. Each child's art work, many of which looked like they had poured heart and soul into, was graded on a two second basis. Second #1 -- glance at drawing. Second #2 -- write down mark, either 100 or 95, except for one inexplicable 80 given to a second grader who, from my perspective, had done no worse than the rest.

Here's a scary thought about our children (or future children's) education. On the wall were two framed pictures: President George Dubya and then the mugging face of Mr. Dick Cheney. I swear, if you saw that picture you'd think he was mugging too. Anyway, the art teacher whose stomach roll was now sitting somewhere near my crotch was there with her "husband," a very small man, who looked to be at least ten years younger than her and hardly spoke English. "Who that," he says to her at one moment, pointing to Cheney. She frowns "I don't know, but he sure looks familiar, doesn't he?" She then proceeds to fill out his Social Security card application and asks him "when's your birthday?" Ah yes, true love indeed.

But anyway, sitting there forever pondering the mysteries of life made me realize that relativity is really one of the most fascinating concepts. It's like this past Saturday when I did this party by Fort Worth. I had been with this crowd before and they were literally the most white trash people I had ever seen. Huge hair, bright red lips, all of them in their early 20s with many, many children and I'm sure, many, many fathers. The epitome of white trash at its finest. On Saturday, the hostess told me that they were waiting for her sister-in-law. Everyone begins to giggle. Not understanding the inside joke, I inquired as to whether this girls was always late and that's why everyone was laughing. "Oh no," the hostess exclaimed. "They're laughing because T. is the trashiest person ever. I mean, I need to apologize right now for her behavior." I nodded in agreement as a few of the girls took deep swigs from liter bottles of some weird blue alcoholic drink.

And that's when I realized that there's always someone prettier, richer, trashier, skinnier, fatter or dumber than you. Of course it is possible to be at the best at something. But at the end of the day, as much as I have a stomach roll when I sit down, mine never visits my chair neighbors. And while I may be unemployed and on my way to possible poordom, there's always someone out there who can't feed their family.

The theory of relativity... It's no wonder Einstein was so fascinated by it.



A Mary Tyler Moore Show Moment

An interesting fact about me. Many of the shows that you guys take for granted for having watched as kids, I've never seen. Take the Brady Bunch for example. Many of you probably grew up watching it week after week, wondering what zany things those Brady kids would do. Me, stuck with only a few channels of French TV and a mother opposed to all things that weren't books, I grew up seeing a few minutes of Starsky and Hutch dubbed in French and many, many books.

But don't get me wrong, I don't feel like I was deprived (actually, I sure felt deprived growing up, but that was then) and looking back on it now, I think that I'm going to be the same way with my kids, only an hour of TV a day and a minimum of one hour of reading. I think that you can always catch up on TV watching time. God knows that I have as an adult. But at least, growing up, I was smart and that was when it mattered. Now, no one expects to be brilliant. They just expect me to be average and amusing ever so often. Which works just fine by me.

Anyway, back to my Mary Tyler Moore moment. It's funny, because all I've ever seen of the Mary Tyler Moore Show is the opening credits on some other show. I'm not sure what kind of show I was watching that would show other show's credits, but I did, at least once, since it left an impression on me.

The point is, that although I've never seen the Mary Tyler Moore Show, I do know that it's about some girl (Mary Tyler Moore) who goes to the big city (I'm going to assume New York, because Kansas City just wouldn't have the same ring to it) and although she has her struggles (if she happened to get fired from her job, then this is purely coincidental, but it sure would make my case stronger, but somehow I doubt it), all of a sudden she realizes she's going to make it (and the theme song even sings it for her "We're going to make it after aaaaaaaaaallllllll!) and so she throws her beret.

Well, I don't have a beret (I know, shocker considering I'm French) and throwing one of the cats in the air to make my point seems kind of cruel. So I'm just going to have to be content without throwing anything in the air.

But right now, I'm feeling joy and contentment. And hopefully you can feel that radiating through your computer screen (along with harmful rays that still haven't been disproven from causing cancer. Just move back, will ya?) After two days of being unemployed, things are looking up. I'm already freelancing for my old boss as I said yesterday. Now, Monster has a job posting for marketing freelancers. And so if I can just get gigs through that placement company, then I'm going to be set! Plus, I've landed myself a couple of mystery shopping assignments, and even though the total value of those is just $50, that's still $50 on stuff I would have normally spent.

So the world is pretty good! I've decided I'm going to contact my suburb's Chamber of Commerce and speak to their next meeting about PR 101 and then promote myself. Hopefully, I could land one or two small retainers from there. I'm sure there are a couple of other business associations I could speak to as well.

And then yesterday, I mailed out a flyer for my side business that offered a $50 gift basket as a bonus to anyone booking a party. I have to say, that's an offer I sure as heck couldn't refuse, so hopefully, if three or four of the girls who get that flyer agree, then I'll be making some good money over the next couple of months.

Poor Sweetie Pie is having to add a third job to his list of jobs to ensure that we do end up being ok, but he's been very good about things. I feel bad because he's had this parasite for three weeks, ever since we went to the lake that, without going into details is not condusive to working hard (if you can't read between the lines, regular explosive diarrhea. Don't tell him I told you that). So on top of running the software company, selling people moving apparatus, he is now going with his dad to do inspections in order to make some extra money.

I'm going to start visiting builders in a short skirt probably tomorrow or Thursday once I've done all of the work I can do for myself in order to help him and hopefully do my part in keeping us afloat.

It's funny. Sometimes, the simplest things can make you happy. Right now, the lack of anxiety is enough to make me content and have faith that everything will work out. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm 18 again and full of hope and excited with what the future may bring. The bitter almost 30 person I was last week has been lifted off my shoulders. I'd like to say I'm going to miss that bitter bitch, but honestly, I'm just happy to be me once again.



Monday, August 16, 2004

Not Working Is SOOOOO Exhausting!

Who knew that not working could be so hectic and so much fun.

I don't know if I'm living on another planet called Oblivion, but I sure am enjoying it. Let's see, first there's the fact that I was not woken up in the middle of the night. Then there's the fact that it's now 12:56 p.m. and I still have not showered (yup, that stench coming through your WAN connection right now is me). And then of course, there's the fact that it's 1 p.m. and this is the first chance I've really had to sit down to work on my blog.

Who knew I needed a full-time job to give me to time to write in my blog?

Well, I've been working hard to figure out ways to make money and I figured out with the gut I've gotten lately that prostitution is out of the question. Plus, considering that I'm still off the patch since we were going to start trying in a month, I'd get pregnant really soon and then would have no idea who the father is. I saw a little bit of Maury Povich while I was brushing my teeth this morning (oooh! need to check that off my new to-do list!) and he's still obsessed with paternity tests and I really don't want to end on that show, so hooking is off the list.

I did send out 100 flyers this morning to all of my previous customers for my little side business. That's been taking off lately, so hopefully I can build on that momentum and get a nice little source of income from that.

And then, old trusty, a.k.a. my old boss from two jobs ago who I always flake out on has some freelance work for me that he's willing to overpay me for, so I'm starting on that this afternoon. Considering I get paid until the end of the month, I would say that I've got an ok plan going. It's definitely not going to be enough to cover my entire former salary, but at least it's enough to keep the mortgage paid up and Sweetie Pie's salary can easily pay the rest. So we'll be fine, which is why everything tastes a little sweeter today.

Do I wish I'd been fired soon? I have to say, at this point my ego is still saying "THIS SUCKS ASS!" So no, I definitely wish this hadn't happened sooner, in fact, if it could have happened, say a month later, then we'd almost have our credit cards paid off and I could find this time even sweeter. But oh well, there's no such thing as absolutely perfect timing is there? At least, I'm in a better place then when I was laid off three years ago. Now, I have the coveted green card, so that if I need to, I can work at Pottery Barn tomorrow.

And here's my back up plan: seems every car dealer in town is looking for inexperienced sales people. So, the question is, do I want to pimp myself out for Chevy, Dodge, Nissan or Honda? I figure since Sweetie Pie really wants a Dodge Ram, I could work for them and get one as a discount. So, anyone want to buy a Neon?



Saturday, August 14, 2004

Life WIthout a Job

I guess because it's the weekend it really hasn't completely hit me that I no longer am employed. And I have to say, I'm pretty calm about it, although in fairness of full disclosure, I can feel some ripples of panic deep in the underneath of my psyche.

I think Sweetie Pie's not fully convinced that I was let go. I think he thinks I stormed out on them, which my ego would have loved so much more to do. But unfortunately, my ego, which already had more dent than an unloved 1984 Toyota Tercel, took yet another hit. And even though I know who caused this damage, it still strangely feels like a hit and run.

I've now managed to convince myself that there was a long brewing conspiracy. Without going into the details of my techniques of private investigation, I have found a couple of small clues that seem to say that this plot was a month in the making.

Which to me a lot of the dots don't connect, so that I've got this jumbled image in my head, like a dog drawn by a one year old. If you were going to fire someone, why would you let them handle an event of the importance of the one I handled on Thursday and let them go by themselves. I know that I would never do that as a manager. Second of all, when I went to Houston last week, I was able to present myself to more than 100 of my client's store managers as a representative for my old agency and again, was unsupervised when I did it.. Once again, not a good thing for them if you ask me.

But I guess as they said it wasn't a performance thing. It was just that they didn't like me and that they didn't agree with the way I was trained to do my job. What would have been considered smart at my two previous employers, to this place was considered as reckless. What cracks me up most, is that I was considered too conservative and not enough of a risk taker at the other two places and I know that I didn't behave any different here. So once again, everyone's reality is different.

The one thing that sucks about losing my job this time is that Sweetie Pie works from home. So no lounging in my pajamas in front of the TV all day, searching for a job from 2-3 p.m. while nothing is on.

Which actually, I really think that this time it would have been different anyway. I'm going to give my writing career a chance. I'm hoping that this is the event that I will later look back on and say "I'd never had the guts to start writing, until I discovered blogging and then lost my job." And people will nod their heads as they read an article about me in USA Today or Vanity Fair.

I only have one obstacle to face: my mother.

Those two words are enough to make me quake in my boots. When I was laid off from my job three years ago, the hardest person to tell was my mother. And as I'd predicted, she completely freaked out on me like it was the end of the world. Not exactly the kind of loving support someone who's lost their job for the first time. My worst nightmare had come true and there was my mother, telling me how much worse it was than I even thought. I really think that my mother would stand by a drowning man and tell him why he's in this situation and what he's done wrong before deciding that he'd learned his lesson and save him.

But I can deal with the lecture, even though on Thursday night, telling my mom about my work issues she said to me: "you need to talk to your president NOW, because if this keeps going, they'll fire you." Well, wouldn't you know it. Flashforward to 12 hours later and although the words "you're fired" were not used in my defense, the not very better sounding "we're going to have to let you go" words were said. And so now, I have to deal with my mother's "I told you so speech."

But the worst part is that this is just not the time to tell my mother bad news. My maternal grandmother had a very bad stroke only a few days after everyone came back from my sister's wedding. My grandmother who lives very far away from me is not doing well. The doctors have now been working on her for the past month and they have just said that we need to make final arrangements for her, i.e. find a hospice for her to die. She's refusing the food tube (although it's been put in her by force, because my mom says that her and her sister cannot just let her starve to death), because my grandmother knows what's coming. This is what killed her mother and her brother years before her. One small stroke (which she had two weeks before the wedding), one massive stroke (the one she just had) and within the next six months, if the pattern follows, a final stroke will kill her.

And so my poor mother is trying to figure out where to take her mother to die and her oldest daughter now has to tell her that she's met an impasse in the career area again. Yup, definitely looking forward to that conversation. Gulp.

On another note, today is Sweetie Pie and I's anniversary. Well, we have two anniversaries, so this is for wedding number two. In exactly two weeks, it will be our anniversary for our first wedding. So happy one year anniversary to us! And then in two weeks it'll be happy second anniversary to us! Of course, being the bad wife that I am, I booked myself a party for tonight... Of course, we need the money for it, but still! If Sweetie Pie had done that to me, I would have guilted him into a tennis bracelet by now.



Friday, August 13, 2004

Well, the Fat Lady Sang and She's Way Off Key

Life's funny. Just when you think you have figured out the solution, you find out that it's too little too late, or that you were completely off base. Everyone's reality is different and at times like these, it makes me wonder how human beings have ever gotten along with another of their kind.

Today I've lost my job. The good news, this leaves me a lot more time for blogging. The bad news, at the end of the month, I will receive my final paycheck.

Today started out as just a normal Friday. I got up, took a shower, put on my brand new top that my mom sent me and pouted in traffic my whole way to work.

And then it turned out to be a great Friday. I was in Houston yesterday and did an event for one of my clients that, if I may say so myself was VERY successful. In fact, when I got into the office, the highest ranked field person for my client in Houston had sent my Dallas client contact an email singing my praises. And so I felt pretty good about myself.

The client had turned around and forwarded the email about me being the greatest person on Earth to everyone at the agency. And I was a little surprised when by 10:30 no one from my team had emailed me some warm fuzzy congrats.

At 11, I had a scheduled meeting with the president and I felt very good about it. Nervous, but very good about it. You see, in that meeting, I was going to tell the president why I'd felt out of sorts for the last month and how I could become a happy employee again.

And as I heartily launched into my "here's the solution to me being the happiest employee you've ever had," things quickly turned around. The president then launched into how my square peg in a round hole thing was getting old. That because I wasn't like the other drones that worked there and didn't follow protocols to a tee, I was seen as a renegade, one that made them nervous. I asked if I was not getting the results that were expected by the clients. I asked if I wasn't exceeding those results. She agreed that I was, but that I just was not a good fit for how they did business. Apparently, my training at larger, bigger, more successful firms was not what they needed at this small agency. Apparently my way of doing PR, seen by anyone I've mentioned it to as just thinking out of the box and being determined to get results no matter how dire the situation be.

And so just like that, I went from being some big wig's superstar to someone's rotted left overs. My desk was cleaned out in under three minutes (amazing how few things you accumulate in six months and 7 days), my key and parking pass were turned out and then I was left to move on with my life.

I'd like to say that I didn't sob all the way home, but of course that would be a lie and I'm not about to start lying on my blob (if I did that, it'd be a hell of a lot more interesting and entertaining).

And so now, here I am. I no longer have an excuse for the house being messy. This job, as much as I hated it was my alibi for not getting the laundry done, not getting the dishes in/out of the dishwasher, not getting the sheets changed every week and so many other boring tasks. Of course now, I won't be able to justify my lack of participation in the housework because of too much TV watching or whatever I may use as an excuse.

So besides that side fact, I'm actually ok. My nose is snot free, my tear ducts are empty and I'm ready to face the next challenge. The mean people of the world may have won this round, but in the end, I have eight more lives. Although those drunken nights in Spain when I was 18 probably used two or three of those, so let's just say I have four left and call it a day. But either way, mean people can't always have the final word. Although today, my bitchy VP actually did get the last word. She needed to get my key and parking pass from me as I mentioned earlier in this post. Well, my parking pass was in my car, so she followed me to the garage as I was loaded up with my stuff (and by loaded up I mean one plastic bag and my purse). Anyway, when I got to my car, I open the door pull out my parking pass and hand it to her. She just took it, turned around and walked away, never saying a word. Not a good luck, bye, NOTHING! Whatever happened to humanity?

So maybe this round they got the last word, but the next round, I won't shut up. I'll just keep talking and talking and talking and it'll be about really inappropriate stuff like graphic descriptions of my bowel movement so that they finally retreat in fear. And that way, by God, I will have had the last word.




My Favorite Day of the Month

Today is my favorite day of the month, because it's the mid-month pay period. And while it's nice to get paid twice a month, the end of the month pay day always seems like it's not my money. Most of our bills are due then: the mortgage, the electricity (in hot Texas weather there have been times where the amount due at the bottom simply said "your first born), the gas and a bunch of other stuff that I can't think of right now. Anyway, that's not the point. My point is that once everything is paid off, that you remove the money we need for groceries, that leaves us with a few dollars for Blockbuster and a fancy dinner at Steak & Shake.

But the pay check on the 15th is different. Sure my car payment falls during that time, and that I actually have MORE bills to pay during that pay period, the point is that they're all much smaller, so that we actually have some fun money in there.

And the best thing about fun money is not using it for fun, it's when you get to use it to pay credit card debt, which means you're paying stuff off that you probably no longer have. FUN!!!!

I used to live vicariously through a middle-class person by charging up my credit cards when I was 21 or 22. Heck, who am I kidding, from the time I was 19 and came back from Spain with no money, I started charging up my credit cards. I still remember the first time I maxed out my first Visa. Sigh... Memories...

It was Boxing Day, that famous Canadian holiday after Christmas which is just an excuse to get an extra day off to recuperate from the holiday festivities of the day before if your company is too cheap to give you the whole week off. To really celebrate boxing day, you have to squeeze yourself into a mall that can only have a capacity of 5,000 people, but today is holding the entire city's population. If you're in Toronto, that's 4 million people (any Toronto readers, if I've got this key demographic detail wrong, get over it, this blog's never been about accuracy). If you're in Ottawa, then you're luckier, because that only means 500,000 people (Ottawa readers, see Toronto note).

And here's the kicker: all the stores deeply discount all of the crap that no one would buy as a Christmas gift for someone else! It's AWESOME!!!!

I think Sweetie Pie and I were guilty last year of buying Christmas gifts for his family on Boxing Day. But the way I see it, what difference does it make? We more or less KNEW what we wanted to get them (some less, I admit it...), so why not see if it's a little cheaper right before we return, and get another discount thanks to the Canadian dollar.

So anyway, today is pay day and just to make things a little better, I will be getting bonus checks from my extra gig. I'm actually hoping that we may be able to pay the rest of the credit card off this month, or have a tiny little left next month. That way, we can start saving money, so that I can quit my job without any worries. I know, I know... I should just get another job. You people all suck.



Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Joy of Business Trips...

While most people dread going on business trips and having to leave the comfort of home, I'm beginning to love them more and more! I'm leaving for Houston again this afternoon and returning tomorrow night, so don't be surprised if this blog is not updated until Friday.

While I miss Sweetie Pie while I'm gone on these trips, I also get to miss the knot in my stomach and the constant nitpicking of this place.

So really, it makes me very happy to get out of town. Of course, this trip is only for a day, so that means that I only get a respite of 24 hours.

But hey, it's better than nothing!

It's funny, I still remember being 22 years old and going on my first business trip. It was to Atlanta and I thought I was hot stuff! Here I was, with a ticket in hand, paid by my company to go to somewhere I'd never been before.

The importance I felt on that trip is something I will never forget. And then subsequent trips at 22 were welcome as well, because it meant it ws three days or week where I didn't have to feed myself. Instead, the company would feed me for free! And we'd always go to the best restaurants in town, where I often ordered the lobster or the filet mignon, because it was such an opportunity to escape my daily broke young person meal of pasta and spaghetti sauce. Being fed for a few days a month usually meant that I might have a couple of dollars left over at the end of the month, and not make my usual three mile walk to the nearest ATM that handed $5 bills instead of the $20 I didn't have.

But I loved those simpler days. I'd shop on my credit cards with no thought as t how I would pay off those debts. I charged dinners and beers in pubs. I was living the high single life.

Then I moved here, and leaving for a business trip meant more than living the pets behind. And all of a sudden, room service by myself in my room wasn't as fun as it used to be.

But now, I can thank this horrible place known as my job for helping me find the special feeling that comes with going on a business trip.

And as nice as that may be, I still think that the joy of going to a job that I enjoy five days a week just might be a better feeling.

But then again, it may just be me thinking the grass is greener on the other side.



An Open Letter to My Future Employer

Where are you? I've been sitting for almost two weeks now, waiting for you to rescue me. Now I don't mean to be the old-fashioned kind of girl that needs rescuing, but really I do. The Three Days Grace song "Just Like You" is the only thing keeping me sane (I could be mean, I could be stupid, you know I could be just like you. (...) You thought you were there to guide me, you were only in my way.) Really, my state of mind is only expected to go downhill from here.

I sent you my resume and really, I'm perfect for the job. Besides the fact that I have a pulse, I'm above average in talent and my friends think I'm kind of fun to be around. And if this helps any, I'm also known for having big boobs.

Did that get your attention? I really hope so. I'm no longer above mentioning my boobs to get a new job.

The people here don't treat me so well and I have absolutely no authority, despite the title on my business card saying otherwise. Last night, I was here until 8 p.m. waiting for a coworker to proof a plan of mine. She was constantly getting called in by the president into her office to chat. I was screaming so loudly on the inside that I swear I felt my skin tear. This went on for almost 30 minutes. All I was waiting on were the final ten slides of the presentation so that I could leave.

But just when I was finally able to get out of this hellhole, I still had to drive out of my way to drop off the plan at the VP's house. Why you say when the world has given us email and fax machines (which we have one of those at the office and wouldn't you know it, the VP has one at home) would I need to drive a plan to someone?

Simply because they have the power to make stupid demands like that to guarantee that I get to spend a little less time with Sweetie Pie and a lot more time meeting their petty demands.

Yesterday, I was also told that I needed to drop everything to file my incoming and outgoing emails for one of our old clients. You see, I stupidly rolled my eyes at the policy of saving every email on the office's shared drive, instead being content to just save them in my perfectly good folders in my email system. Well, I violated the ways of the gods of anal processes and paid the price dearly by losing two hours of my day yesterday.

Considering my salary, I thought it was a massive waste of my time and money, but who even knows what sanity is anymore.

Dear future employer, if you would only hire me away from this place, I'd even be willing to go for a couple of thousand dollars less. At this point, I figure the years of therapy I will be requiring to erase these memories out of my head and rebuild my self-esteem will cost a lot more than the salary difference.

So what are you waiting for? Call me and I will give you my heart and my soul in exchange for a decent position where I can happily putter along and be challenged ever so often. Oh, also, I'm going to need a shorter commute, shorter hours, a better medical plan, full dental and vision and a great family leave plan. Oh yeah, and a great 401K program, none of that "we'll match 50% of 60% of your contributions, but only up to the first 3%." I won't stand for that anymore.



Monday, August 09, 2004

And Once Again, I Don't Get My Way

Sigh... I always admire those people who can get their way.

Long story short, I told Sweetie Pie about my plans to quit. He said we needed the money or we'd lose the house. I tried crying. He didn't go for it. And so now, I'm back to hoping somebody hires me away from this place.

I feel like one of those lame horses with a left leg glued back on that hopes no one will notice my issues before they've paid for me.



Sweet Relief Is in Sight

Well, my brain snapped today. Kind of how serial killers when asked what led them to kill 12 people say "I don't know, my brain just kind of snapped."

Except the good thing about my brain is that it can't stand the sight of blood, therefore, no one will have to die a bloody death because of my brain snapping.
However, it did lead me to a decision. I am quitting my job.

Friday is the target day, but depending on how my 4 pm meeting goes, don't be surprised if my next post is a testimony about the greatness of freedom.

And I have to say, something amazing happens when you decide that having a steady income is no longer your priority. When I got to be this unhappy at my last job, Sweetie Pie said "just quit! I'm tired of having a miserable wife." But I felt trapped, because he was just getting his company off the ground. But now, with most of our debts paid off, we could conservatively live on his salary, especially if I worked at Pottery Barn or somewhere else as an assistant manager while I got my writing career kick started.

I don't know if this blog has gone to my head. But besides the very sweet words you readers give me on a regular basis that lead me to think that I'm a better writer than I probably am, this blog has made me realize how much I love to write. And especially, how much I love to write about myself, which unfortunately, won't make me a fortune.

So that's the plan. Many of you have already heard this and said to me "what does Sweetie Pie think?" Well, truth be known, as of 10:53 am, Sweetie Pie doesn't know, because the snapping of the brain happened between our back door and my SUV and I was already very late for work.

Maybe seeing my friend C. so happy with her baby made me realize that I don't want to stay here any longer and put off the baby thing.

But I think what it boils down to is that you get to the point in your life where you go "what the hell am I doing????" And I'm at that point. There's no street sign that says What the Hell Are You Doing Avenue, but despite my lack of sense of direction, I can tell I've arrived there.

As nice as the paycheck is, it's just money. And money has not bought me happiness for the past six months. I'll admit it did the first two. But after that, not so much.

And I'm at the point where getting called on missed deadlines that were impossible to make from the beginning, being told what a huge deal everything is when I know in my brain and heart that nobody outside of this office gives a rat's ass, all of it just doesn't make sense anymore. The pettiness, the politics, the anal retentivness. None of it is me.

So why have I subjected myself to this environment for 4 years now? That's a good question.

I'm going to say that if I didn't know myself any better, I'd say I ain't a swift one.

But I think that isn't true. I think at the end of the day, I'm just very naive. Naive that things will always work out or get better. Naive that people will see that deep down I'm a good person and they will stop being complete bitches to me. And naive that the next job at the next agency will be different.

I used to think that my life was a sitcom, that things magically solved themselves at the 26th minute of the episode, no matter how badly things got. And truly, for the most part I've been blessed with a good life. But I think it's time to take control of my life again and choose to be happy over saving for those hardwood floors I really wanted.

After all, if I'm motivated enough, maybe I can sell enough freelance articles to get those hardwoods anyway. At least that's my plan. And for once I'm committing to it.



Sunday, August 08, 2004

Where do I Get Myself One of Those?

Sometimes it seems that it doesn't matter what you do, that the whole world is plotting against you.

On Friday night at 6:48 p.m., my friend C. had a beautiful little baby girl with more hair than most 30-year old men, huge blue eyes and tiny versions of my friend's long and graceful hands.

Now those of you who know me well know that I've been planning for a while to have a baby. I've bought ovulation and pregnancy tests on eBay (yes, you actually CAN find anything on eBay. If you didn't believe it before, I hope you do now.) I've selected the crib sheets and quilt online at Pottery Barn Kids. I've also selected online the stroller, the car seat, the bottles, the baby towel warmer, the baby tub and all of the other 1,002 things that babies need. I have a perfect little list that I keep in my purse at all time. Hours upon hours went into their selection, from reading online reviews at babiesrus.com and target.com, to subscribing for one month to consumerreport.org to ensure that my favorite baby seat was in fact safe, I did it all so that when I do find out I'm pregnant, I won't have to worry about only having a few months to select the correct baby items. I've already bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting," which conveniently came bundled with "What to Expect During the First Year" as well as bought Sweetie Pie a book about surviving your wife's pregnancy (of course, it was the one with the most positive reviews on amazon.com). Basically, from talking to my friend D., it seems the only thing I haven't done is find a pediatrician for my unconceived child.

(Note: those of you who know me well know that the thought of starting that research crossed my mind, but I've shown great restraint and decided to avoid freaking out my future children's future doctor by waiting.)

So everything is great and dandy. I'm off birth control (I know, TMI) and in one to two months, Sweetie Pie and I are supposed to start having sex, not because it's fun, but because it has a purpose. Impossible to think that the fun could even be taken out of sex, but I'm starting to learn that, indeed, it is possible.

Anyway, not much else to say about that right? Everything is set, the plot is developed and all we need is for the invisible director in my life to yell "action."

And yet not so fast. Work has gotten to be the kind of hell that is sometimes portrayed on TV. Unbearable. Lonely. Causing anxiety attacks. And just generally causing absolute and utter misery. I simply cannot stay there. I used to say bravely to anyone who would listen to me that I had decided to stick it out, get pregnant as soon as I could (a.k.a. six months after my start date) and then find a new job when I was on maternity leave. But now, the idea of another nine months when I've barely survived the first six make my mind shrivel into itself and weep.

But just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, this week, we had the great announcement that our health plan was being changed to something "so much better." In all fairness, the company never said that it would be "so much better" for us, its employees. And really, just like a selfish bitch that says "I'm feeling great" as in "I don't give a rat's ass that the rest of you are burning up because I turned the thermostat to 85 degrees because my heart of ice means I'm always freezing," the company is all about looking out for themselves first.

Only four of us are full-time employees and not part of the executive team, so only four of us had to sit in that insurance meeting where some brash insurance guy told us about the wonderfulness of the new insurance, how for the first time in our stupid meaningless lives we would have "control." I'm not sure if any of our eyes lit up at the idea of control, I know mine didn't because I've learned to appreciate my lack of control over anything, but he positioned it as something that we all craved and that if we didn't, then we were just too stupid to know better.

As most of us know, there's a price for everything. And the price tag on having this "control" (a.k.a the ability to pick any doctor we wanted and the ability to have a broken neck with a head facing the wrong way permanently and thinking "nah, I don't need to go to the doctor for this, it's just a bruise.") was a mere $2,000 a year for the other employees and for me, for having the balls to not only have a husband, but to have put him on my insurance, a mere $4,000 a year.

Anybody spit their morning coffee yet? The ensuing reaction from the girls and I was enough to put The Exorcist to shame. A massive attack on the insurance company representative ensued and all I know is I ended up with his right eyeball in my pocket while one of my coworkers quietly munched on his removed tongue in the corner with a look of glee on her face.

Basically, here's the deal. The insurance company is now offering us something where basically, the first $2,000 of doctor visits, drugs, mental institution visits caused from having to pay for everything are out of our pocket, bank account, children's college funds, retirement plans, etc. For me, since we're a "family," I get to pay the first $4,000 of our healthcare each year.

Now I have to say I haven't done the baby thing before, but I'm assuming that with monthly doctor visits, sonograms, weekly visits during the final month, a two-day hospital stay, epidurals and all of that good stuff, that I'm looking at more than $4,000.

Which leads me to my problem. Sweetie Pie and I have been feverishly working to finish paying off our credit cards (expected to be done in two months) so that we can start saving money to buy baby stuff and have money aside while I'm on maternity leave. So now, we need to come up with an extra $4,000 within the next year for my medical care.

In other words, my company has now ensured that I can no longer afford to get pregnant, but if I did become pregnant anyway, I couldn't afford to give birth to the baby. What kind of horrible healthcare system ensures that people with decent jobs can't afford to get pregnant?

In case none of you are finding this funny, I apologize. I'm simply too angry to find the humor in this. So, now the job hunt begins again. I've sent my resume to three companies searching for kooky PR people already. Hopefully, I can have a new job within two months and then only have to put off the baby plans for a total of six months. If anyone hears of anything, let me know.

But before you tell me about it, please look at the healthcare plan, because I'm one breakdown shy of returning to Canada.



PS: C & L, congratulations on your BEAUTIFUL baby girl!

PPS: In my quest to make my blog better, I have decided to sign up for a class at our local community college called "Writing for Humor." I'm sure you're all breathing a sigh of relief that you will no longer have to read ten paragraphs to enjoy one chuckle. I'm not guaranteeing that these posts will become more amusing, but like a dumb lab committed to catching the beam from a laser pointer, I will try my best.

PPS: And for those of you thinking I've fallen off the deep end for actually signing up for a $90 class because of my blog, relax. The blog is only one of the reasons. Really, my blog and the overly-nice compliments I get from those of you who read this useless site regularly have reminded me of how much I enjoy writing and how maybe, just maybe I should give it a shot. I have grandiose dreams of getting my own column in our tiny suburban paper here (circulation 11,000) and have decided that I need to give it the old college try. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dogs Can Kill Romance Faster than Anything

Marriage is an interesting thing. It doesn't matter how much you swear that you'll keep having sex forever, you just don't. One of my good friends was having sex up to nine times a day when she first met her beloved. NINE TIMES! But now, it's a year and a half later, they're engaged, which is practice marriage and I don't know how much they're having sex, but I do remember my friend clearly saying that there were days where they didn't have sex at all and the other days, it wasn't nine times.

Some single people may think that's sad. But I think it's just a survival thing. There is no way you could have sex three times a day every day for 50 years of marriage. It would kill one of you (more than likely the men, heart attacks are bitches)and you'd only make it to year 15 of marriage (if divorce hadn't grabbed a hold of you first of course).

But I think the real reason married people don't have a lot of sex is because there is so much out there that ensures you won't. Take me today. A lazy Saturday morning, perfect time to have sex. I get up to go to the bathroom and notice a good-sized puddle of puke on the floor between our bed and the bathroom. Since when the dogs do bad things they automatically once again become just Sweetie Pie's dogs (I would never own such disgusting creatures!), I let him know of it, so that he is forced out of bed, gags as he cleans this mess up before even his first cup of coffee. He then crawls back in bed, but any mood for romance is probably killed by now.

But it gets worse. As I walk back to bed, my nose buried in John Grisham's latest paperback, I look up to see the most disgusting thing in the world. There at the foot of our bed, right smack between Sweetie Pie and I's sleeping spots, is a giant puddle of more puke.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW" is all that can come out of my mouth. I am speechless at this point (I know, hard to believe, but trust me, it happened.) All I can do is point to the bed with a look of horror on my face (not sure what that looks like, I've never really practiced my look of horror in front of a mirror, but I like to think that it conveys just that, horror.) As Sweetie Pie gets up, I rip off the blanket and notice that the top sheet is soaked with barf. Same thing with the fitted sheet and all the way down to the mattress protector thingie.

In other words, Sweetie Pie and I comfortably slept for most of the night in the equivalent to a barf sandwich.

But here's the worst part of it all, and I guess this is the same thing as why people with children don't mentally breakdown when they get peed on, spit up on or any of the horrible things that babies can do. It didn't even freak me out that bad. I checked myself out for signs of dried puke, but could find none. It's as if, even in my sleep, my body found ways to steer clear of the danger.

Anyway, long story short, no chance of some loving this morning.



Friday, August 06, 2004

Hitting the Job Lottery

I had the most interesting discussion this afternoon. My friend J. in California, has a really cool job. She is basically the personal publicist for one of the world's most advanced robots. That's right, you read that right. Basically she travels about a week a month, gets fed at nice restaurants and gets coverage for this super duper robot. Not a bad way to make a living. But what fascinated me even more is that these tours she goes on with the robot are like rock concerts. No less than 25 people travel around for this robot's appearances. TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE!!!

But as sweet as J's job sounds, she still works her 50, 60 or 70 hours a week, because she is, after all, in PR. And so as much as we, as fellow PR people think she's hit the job lottery, there are people in that group of 25 who are even luckier than her. Apparently, the robot needs four guys to control it. So one guy basically moves the head, another one moves the arms and so forth. Well these guys are not engineers. They're not Ph. D. students in robotic. No, they are average guys who are obsessed and really good at video games. But get this. They are paid a salary. As in, they get paid the same thing, every two weeks with no fail. However, unlike us suckers, they only work that one week out of the month when the robot is on tour. The rest of the time, one of them is a deejay, I'm sure another one goes on audition after audition. And as much as many of you are scrambling trying to figure out exactly how you can kill one of them to take their spot, here is the worst part.

They make $50,000 a year for this.

So here I am, waking up at 4 in the morning with anxiety attacks because of my job, horrified at the idea of going in for another 10, 11 or 12 hour day. And during this time, some guy in California is working one-tenth as hard as me. And getting paid really well for it.

It's enough to make one weep. And so I wonder: are my odds of getting hit by lightning better than finding a great paying job where people treat me well and I am challenged every day without feeling completely overwhelmed?

Am I looking for the job equivalent to a unicorn?

This really has not been a good week for me. I had convinced myself that I had a sixth sense. Some people see ghosts. Some people can read others' thoughts.

My gift is that if a song pops into my head, I can flip through my 10 pre-programmed stations on my car radio, and it will either be playing on one of them or it will come on next.

I know! Cool gift right? Not exactly a party trick since it only happens about once or twice a week, but still. I'm a superhero. I'm Music Woman.

And yet this week, in telling one of my friends this deep dark secret (or an ex-friend as it may be since he's still no longer talking to me, despite my pathetic attempt at an apology) and you know what he tells me? That brains pick up radio waves and radios are on a delay, so the radio waves are hitting my brain before my ears can hear it.

So apparently, I'm no one special. I don't have a superpower. I have no psychic powers. I just have some freakish brain that can pick up radio waves. Which makes me really concerned about the microwave now. What's that I hear? Popcorn popping? Must mean the neighbors are about to put some in.

Sigh... I hate being ordinary.



Thursday, August 05, 2004

Sorry Doesn't Seem to Be the Hardest Word...

Well, this blog has been used for many purposes for the past two weeks. Sometimes I use it to share my crazy thoughts.
Sometimes I use it to vent.
Sometimes I use it to attempt philosophizing.

And today, for the first time ever (although, with my track record for errors, I'm sure it won't be the last), I am using it to publicly apologize to a dear friend of mine who is very rightfully mad at me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to talk. It doesn't really matter if there's someone there to listen, as long as I'm talking, I'm happy. I talk to myself in my car. I talk to the cats and dogs at home. I can talk all day long if I need to.

Anyway, the problem with talking so much, is that you become numb to the words that come out of your mouth, and sometimes, you say too much.

Last night, I was told a secret and sworn to secrecy. I happily made that promise. However, in another conversation with another friend, I somehow managed to break my vow of secrecy. Another classic Catwoman brainfart I guess, but it was an unacceptable one.

And so now, one of my closest friends isn't talking to me and I'm so mad at myself, I'd shave off my hair if it would make him forgive me. (although, before I make statements like that, I feel I need to add that I think I'd get fired if I showed up bald at the office and in the scheme of things, that might be overly-harsh as a punishment)

So anyway, I figure the best way to apologize is publicly so that I can admit in front of the five people who read this blog regularly that I screwed up.


Please be my friend again!



Obladi, Oblada, Life Goes On.... Ha! Lalalala Life Goes On

I think that in the end, I am highly overpaid for my blogging. I mean let's face it. I hate my job (yes, again). So that means that I just cower in my cubicle and just make myself as unnoticed as possible and do the minimum amount of work necessary to not get fired (although, lately, I haven't even been doing that). And so I spend a good amount of my day blogging (hey, you've seen how long those posts are! It takes me at least half an hour to 45 minutes to write them). And then of course, I have to read all of my friends' blogs. And then of course I have to obsessively check my Yahoo account for any new spam or emails. And then of course, I have to check my balance of my AA miles to see if I magically got anymore.

So really, as much as I bitch to all of you about how much I hate my work and a good portion of the people here, at the end of the day, I'm making pretty good money that keeps a roof over our heads, and I get to do all of the online stuff I need to.

My latest online addiction? U Promise.

"U Promise?" you ask. "What the heck is that?" Simple my friends. In exchange for buying certain products at the grocery store and buying stuff online from certain companies, I'm rewarded with a couple of cents to put towards our future children's college tuition.

So far my future children already have $12 saved up. At this rate, they'll have enough to buy one gas tank to go to Texas A&M and boy will they be thrilled.

So why exactly do I have a U Promise account when I don't have children yet? Simply because I can. Of course, the U Promise site has a permanent reminder on my log in page telling me that I need to let them know who I'm saving for. Which always cracks me up, since I don't even know who I'm saving for. It could be Madeleine or Caitlin. Or Cade or Cooper. And the thing is, I don't know when they'll be born. If all things work out as planned, then it'll be next summer. But if we have trouble conceiving, it could be two years. The thing is that none of the things in this paragraph fit in the little form on the U Promise Web site.

I've always loved collecting things. From matchbooks, to erasers, to stickers, to PEZ dispensers, to cats (live ones, thank you very much), there's not much I haven't collected at some point in my life.

But now, the new obsession is any kind of points. Frequent flyer miles? I'm obsessed! I managed to qualify for gold status with American Airlines, a level that really doesn't seem to mean anything except that I now have a shiny gold card with my name on it that boosts my ego a couple of notches every time I see it. And now, as 2004's end draws to a close, it's becoming apparent that I will not qualify for gold status again next year. And that idea makes me weep. Evil people in my circle have tried to encourage me to buy a first-class ticket to Thailand, which would put me way over the 25,000 miles I need. But the guaranteed ensuing divorce makes me reconsider that idea.

And so I'm slowly learning to accept that starting January 2005, I will once again become just another American Advantage card holder. I wonder if I'm supposed to mail back the shiny gold card. I would like to still have it in my wallet to look at ever so often when it feels like my life has no purpose. And when I'll look at it, I'll remember how once upon a time, I was someone.



Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Importance of a Right Eye

I'm not sure what's going on today, but my right contact is killing me. It feels like something is stuck behind it, but I've looked and I don't see those evil eyelashes (I'm convinced that eyelashes are the devil. I can't imagine anything more painful than an eyelash sticking to your eyeball. If it wasn't for the fact that I look like I have no eyes when I'm not wearing mascara, I'd just have my eyelashes shaved off.)

And so I've been sitting in my cubicle for the last few minutes with my right eye closed. And I've now discovered how much I use my right eye. My right eye is the one that can see the pictures of Sweetie Pie and the pets and remind me that I do have a life beyond this place. My right eye is the one who can see who I should avoid thanks to my call display.

My right eye is also the prettiest of my two eyes. I know you're not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. My left eye is like the ugly stepsister, almost unnoticeably smaller and with a slight evil look to it. It's definitely the bad seed of the pair. Trust me, I've had these babies for almost 30 years (GAAAA! There's that number again!!!!! ).

And I worry about the whole having favorites thing. I'm very about having favorites of everything. Like Sweetie Pie is definitely my favorite guy ever, since I bothered to marry him and everything. And chocolate is definitely my favorite food. I have a favorite between my cats, which I didn't realize until the favorite one ran away. And as much as I love both of our dogs, I do have to admit the one that loves me more is my favorite.

But then what happens if I have kids? You're not supposed to have a favorite then? But how do you teach yourself to not favor something? It's like teaching yourself not to like chocolate! I mean, that's crazy!

Which makes me think... I really could use some chocolate right now. Here's what I don't understand about chocolate. How can I love something that treats me so badly? I totally understand women who stay with guys don't treat them well because I've been in a bad relationship since I was an infant. I took a liking to chocolate when I was only a few months old (who needs breast milk in the 70s!) to the point that my first word (or sentence actually) was "I want some cocholate." And no, that's not a typo. I was nine months old, give me a break!

Anyway, I've loved chocolate ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of its sweet loving flavor and the residual high of happiness it leaves you with for the next few minutes.

But the question is, has chocolate been good to me? During my teen years, I'm sure that my zit problem was aggravated by my (at least) daily candy bar. And now, today, I'm sure that the extra twenty pounds I carry around are very much to be blamed on chocolate.

How can something I love so much treat me this way? And yet, the idea of another food overtaking chocolate's position in my life makes me want to choose death over a life without chocolate.

I think I get my chocolate gene from my grandfather. He's 83 years old and has eaten (a lot of) chocolate his entire life. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with diabetes and was told he could no longer eat chocolate. You might has well have given him a death sentence he was so upset. And people around him would say "but you got to eat chocolate for 81 years!" And he tells them "who cares when I can't eat it for the rest of my life."

And so if I end up being 50 or 100 pounds overweight by the end of my life, at least I will still have chocolate.



Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane... CRAP! I Missed It!

Anyone knows me knows that I tend to be late. A couple of weeks ago, one of the comedians on Last Comic Standing Said "Why is it people can never tell the truth when they're late? Why don't they just say 'I'm late because... I left late'"

And I've always had a theory about being late. You can be late to meet your friends somewhere (I know, it's rude... And I feel bad every time I do it). You can be late for work (especially when you hate it there). But my exception to my rule is, you can NEVER be late for a flight. Simply because planes don't wait for you.

And because of my flight attending past, I am extremely anal about arriving at the airport extremely early. Sweetie Pie hates the fact that we get to the airport at least two hours before our flight. You'd think that having to put up with his whining for 120 minutes would lead me to let us arrive later, but my peace of mind is worth the price of my annoyance at his whining.

Anyway. To make a very short story long, I missed my first flight today. If work asks, I was bumped because of the (thank you EDS!!!!) computer glitch on Sunday. But truth is, that I got to the gate exactly 10 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave.

That's plenty of time you say? Yeah, I guess under normal circumstances I COULD have still made it on the plane. Except that the airline I've dealt with enough last year to qualify for gold benefits (I still can't tell what that gives me except for the opportunity to boast about it) changed gates between the time I checked in online (the previous night) and the time I ran to my gate wild eyed.

And if you think gate B10 sounds like it's close to B2, then you are an ignorant buffoon like I am my friend. In fact, it doesn't matter how fast you run in four inch heels, you can't make it.

And so I got to my real gate just as the plane was happily cruising away to the runway.

I stood there dumbfounded. Could my horrible habit of always leaving 30 minutes later than I wanted to actually have turned around and bitten me in the ass? I couldn't understand.

The good news is that all's well that ends well. I missed one of my appointments, but luckily, with no boss in tow, no one but me (and you guys) will ever know.

I also realized something very sad while I sat in that airport terminal for an eternity, waiting on standby for the next flight, clutching my boarding pass with no seat assignment like someone on welfare may clutch a lottery ticket as the numbers are called.

My realization is that I was a much better person at 20 then I am at 30. OK, I know, I'm not quite 30 yet. But there it is, standing at the end of my driveway, grinning at me like Paris Hilton's ex-boyfriend with a sex tape. And I don't care how many people say that 30 is better than 20. I'm calling bull crap on it.

Because the truth is, at 20 you don't know anything. And that's a hell of a lot better.

At 20, I was a size 2, who wore Ally McBeal short skirts and rolled my eyes at those at work who commented about my appropriateness. Now, at almost 30, I'm nowhere near a size 2 and the only way my skirts are too short is if I split them (a true incident of two weeks ago).

At 20, I had no fear. I called fancy executives from Europe by their first name when everyone else called them Mr. Whatever. At almost 30, I worry about not sounding smart enough every time I meet someone at the VP level or above.

At 20, I got drunk at work functions, flirted with all of the men in the office and was loved and respected by all. At almost 30, I cut myself off at one drink, have a miserable time and feel like except for the few people who become my friends outside of work, I'm not very respected.

At 20, I thought I knew it all and didn't. But it never mattered. Because I didn't know that I didn't know anything. At almost 30, I've got a lot more experience and yet every day, I doubt myself, I doubt that I'm in the right career and I seem to manage to always screw up, whether it's by missing unmakeable deadlines or by not having done it the way somebody else (a.k.a. the big boss or the client) wanted it done.

And it makes me sad. Because at the rate I'm going, by 40 I'll be dying to get back to the internship level and praying that I can do that job. And by 50, I'll have a sign on my windshield reminding me which pedal is the brake and which is the gas.

Isn't the whole purpose in life to keep getting better about oneself and to feel better about oneself's purpose in life? I thought that was the trade off for the crow's feet, cellulite and all that other crap that comes with not being 20 anymore.

I hate to say it, but I think the best years of my life are behind me. I think that's why women's biological clocks start getting loud as they approach 30. I think they figure out that life is going to suck from this point on and so a baby will allow you to live vicariously through another life.

So I have three words about that: Knock Me Up!!!!