Monthly Archives: August 2009

Lunch with my mother

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I think I’ll have the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

That sounds good.

Yeah – that’s what I’m having – the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

I’ll take the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

What’s that honey? What did I get? I got the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

Barbeque chicken quesadilla Barbeque chicken quesadilla Barbeque chicken quesadilla.

Eww. I don’t like this. It has this barbeque sauce on it.

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And yet again, the school district gets a big WTF???

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So, I went to a meeting at the school on Friday, to meet with the girl’s kindergarten teacher, see the classroom, etc. And they were giving us The Rules. There have been quite a few changes in The Rules since the boy was in kindergarten. Most of these rules revolve around snacks.

Now, I will admit, I am all for healthy eating (I know, not that you’d know it to look at me). I used to complain when the girl was in preschool and parents took turn bringing a snack. Some of us brought healthy stuff, like yogurt and fruit and veggies. But most brought cookies and donuts and crap. I don’t really have a problem with cookies and donuts and crap, but for the kids’ daily snack, empty calories are a pretty shitty choice. The whole point of the snack is to hold them over through lunch or dinner. Yogurt will do that. A donut will not.
So anyway, The Rules say that grades K through 2 are allowed to have a snack in the afternoon in class. But the snack must be:

1: The first ingredient must not be sugar.
OK, I get this one. I just talked about this in the preschool snack issue. But I still get a little, “Duh – I don’t need to be told” about it.

2: They can’t have peanuts or peanut butter.
Again, I get it. Peanut allergies are evil. My kid can live without the peanut products for afternoon snack.

3: They can’t be more than 200 calories.
OK, I get it. But I’m getting a little squirmy about the telling me what I can do for my own kid. I know there are some parents that don’t care and there are plenty of obese kids. I know. And I wouldn’t likely send a snack more than 200 calories. But it’s bugging me a bit to have The Rules.

4: They must be individually pre-packaged.

DANGER DANGER DANGER!! What the FUCK???

So, let me get this straight: it’s OK for me to send my kid an individually pre-packaged fucking Twinkie (1st ingredient: who-the-hell-knows, calories: 150, fat: 4.5, cholesterol: 20mg, sodium: 220mg, carbs: 27, calcium: 20mg, god knows what other kind of processed, preservative laden shit is in there), but NOT OK for me to send her some celery and carrot sticks that I put in my own goddamned baggie (1st ingredients: fucking fresh vegetables, calories: 39, fat: 0, cholesterol: 0, sodium: 0, carbs: 9, calcium: 52mg, not to mention all the good vitamins and stuff)? Are you fucking kidding me?? I don’t get it. I really, truly don’t get it. I mean, I can understand that if I were sending a snack for the whole class it needs to be pre-packaged because of cross-contamination or dirty ass kitchens or whatever. But for my own child? Bullshit is all this is. And anyway, I wouldn’t be sending a snack for the class ever, since for parties, there are no edible items allowed, period. Last year, it was no candy – this year, nothing edible at all. Not for birthdays, not for anything.

I can live with the sugar thing and the calorie thing and the no-edible treats thing. But this pre-packaged thing is nonsense. And you want to know the biggest fattest nonsensical part of it? The fucking school cafeteria sells cookies, ice cream and fruit snacks (which – despite their name – resemble fruit only in the most basic of ways) every day to anyone with money in their account. And it gets better – in high school, they have all that, plus vending machines selling Coke and Mountain Fucking Dew and the like.

Hypocrisy, much?

Five Years

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I’ve been trying really hard to fight off the depression that seems to be looming over me, but it’s hard. Things are tough right now. We were struggling before mr b lost his job, and I can’t really fathom how we’ll make it through this. He spoke with a person at Unemployment yesterday only to find out that there have been no benefits paid since he started with Suck Company. This means one of two things: a mistake somewhere or giant assholery on the part of Suck Company. Either way, he is due his benefits, but I am terrified about how long it will take to resolve the problem. The bills won’t wait.

And in the midst of all the self-pity, I realized that as of today, it has been five years since I wrote this:

5 Seconds. That’s about how long it took from the shift of the plywood and the man on the ground. He was squatting on a steep roof, putting down the plywood and he simply started sliding. There was no fault, no trip, no loss of balance, just a sudden sense of movement and he was going over. He fell straight down and landed square on his feet. He’s lucky not to be paralyzed. He’s lucky to be alive. I’m lucky. But it still sucks. Gravity worked and he fell and things changed.

What followed was a long parade of hospitals and surgeries and nursing homes and rehab and learning to give shots and cleaning potty chairs and wheelchairs and walkers and crutches and canes and assholes in the handicapped spots and limited access and financial worries and depression and anger and stress and pain and fear and so much more.

And I was reminded that things could always be worse. Things have been worse. But that doesn’t make it any easier.

I went back and read what I wrote at the one year anniversary, and strangely things are so different and yet so much the same:

Today is an anniversary. It has been one year since the five seconds that changed our life forever. The day that Fate decided that we were just having too damned good a time (what with all the stress and the bills and the small house) and the fucking bitch grabbed us by the balls and squeezed. Hard. In some ways, it seems like it was just yesterday that I was asking for your prayers (thanks for those, btw) and in others, it’s a million years ago. But it’s only been one. One year. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,536,000 seconds since gravity took away my husband’s ability to walk properly, his ability to do the work that has been his life for almost 30 years, his pride, his plans, his relatively pain-free life. Fuck you, Isaac Newton. Fuck you, Gravity. FUCK YOU, whoever decided this was going to be our path.

I know, things could always be worse, but hell, that pretty much can always be said. And to be honest, your problems aren’t relative – they’re you’re problems. It’s not like you get hit by a bus and think, “Man, am I lucky. That could have been a train!” No, you think, “Motherfucking bus!” So there you go. Motherfucking roof.

In the beginning, I was thrown completely off kilter. I had a seven year old son and an infant daughter, I worked full time with a long commute, my house was too small, I had two pets to take care of, I was broke and I was tired all the time, and suddenly I had a husband who had been devastatingly hurt and needed care. It was like a sick damned joke was being played on me. When I first got the call, I was too scared to think about anything else but “please let him be OK.” I rushed to the hospital to find my usually energetic, workaholic husband laying on a stretcher shot full of narcotics just to keep the pain down to simply “excruciating”. The next few days were filled with doctors and nurses and surgeries and tears. In a week or so, it was nursing home hunting and wheelchair vans and tests and pain and trying to reign in a baby at a care facility and old, old people and my urine-scented birthday. Then there was shot-learning and hospital bed rentals and wheelchair ramps and potty chairs. And now there’s uncertainty about the future and bills and lawyers and grouchiness and more uncertainty.

Sometimes it feels normal. I forget we ever went through any of it. But then, he gets up and hobbles across the room and I think Oh My God, he’s going to be like that forever. And the concept of forever can be just too much to even think about at times. And it’s an odd injury to have, because when you hear “broken feet” or “broken heels”, you think about all the times you sprained your ankle or wrenched your knees or maybe broke a bone and you healed and it was over. But his injuries are so much worse than you would think. Both his heels were crushed to oblivion. There was nothing left of them to even try to set or fix. They were left to heal in whatever shape they took on. His feet aren’t the same. Immediately after the accident, his feet were the size of melons. Now, they are down to about 1.5 times their old size. While an uninjured person can point and flex their feet, he’s lost most of his movement. One foot has about half the movement and the other barely budges at all. So his balance is completely off. Uneven or sloped ground is extremely dangerous. While he can walk with a crutch, he can’t go very far. The pain comes on fast, so in high-walking places, he needs to depend on a wheelchair sometimes. When the bones grew into what they are now, severe arthritis filled in the cracks. This will only get worse with time. He doesn’t take physical therapy, since it serves only to cause him pain. He won’t improve any more.

But comp doesn’t care about anything but the wages. They don’t care that our lives are completely turned upside-down. They don’t care if this accident could be the nail in our We Will Never Ever Move Forward Again In Life coffin. The opportunity to use his skills to build an addition or fix up a new house? Gone. The opportunity to earn extra money with side jobs? Gone. The ability to run or jump or ride bikes with the kids? Gone. So much that they don’t care about is gone. It’s frustrating to play the waiting game with the insurance. And then there’s the psychological game you play with yourself: I’m not greedy, I’m not a bad person, but we need this to move on with our lives. He’s spent almost 30 years in this business, but he can’t do it anymore.. He has a useless BA and needs to be re-schooled in something that will allow him to work. That takes money.

This year was the year we were going to buy or add on to the house. Not so much anymore. We need to expand a little. I know, everyone thinks they need more room, but we do. We can’t share our bedroom with the baby much longer. And we can’t live with no closets and no storage much longer. But that takes money. We need to pay off the loan that we took out when the comp checks and the extra expenses couldn’t quite cover things. That means money. If we plan on going anywhere where a lot of walking is required and we need a chair or scooter plus the stroller, we’ll need a bigger car. Money. Said scooter? That’s right – Money. And suddenly your whole world revolves around money and it’s an uncomfortable feeling, when it’s not the norm. It feels icky.

It’s been a pretty icky year, to tell you the truth.

Back to Reality SUCKS

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So. I’m back from vacation. Being back from vacation would suck regardless, but making it even better, I came home to:

1) A house I didn’t have time to clean before we left

2) Oppressive heat and humidity without the benefits of the pool and beach (with no A/C, of course)

3) My laptop completely infected with some malicious shit that I can’t seem to get rid of without professional help

4) Mr b showing up at work this morning to find his shit all packed up in boxes – his job eliminated.

So happy fucking day to me.

I did actually clean the house – it was the one thing I could actually do something about. Of course hours later, mr b dragged in all the bags from the car and dumped them all over the living room.

The heat, obviously, I can’t do a damned thing about except bitch and moan and that doesn’t seem to be helping a bit, dammit.

The computer? Fucked. I have some ideas about what to do, but the computer is too fucked to do them – I can’t run anything or download anything. Fucked but good. I left it here for my aunt to use while I was on vacation, and she gets a little…um…click-happy.

The job loss? Sucks balls. Even though he worked for a sleazy, asshole-laden, stuffy, dickhead, fuckball of a company. It was still better than being a 50 year old, physically limited due to injury, family man competing with 20-something who can work late and long and for little.

But aside from all that, vacation was pretty good. Despite the family skirmishes, the dumbasses, the political nonsense, the LOUD TV, the door Nazi, the food Nazi, the sunburn, the cold sore, the peeling scalp which looks like major dandruff, the defective rocking chair that almost killed me, and the 2 days of rain.

Because there was also lots of drinks, games, 10,000 renditions of the Winky Winky song, a beautiful beach, a nice pool, lots of photos, and an all-you-can-eat meat restaurant. Who could ask for more?

Except maybe the Powerball.

I think I may officially be "Team Kate"

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There is an interview in the latest InTouch magazine with mid-life crisis victim and douchebag extraordinaire Jon Gosselin. Now, I have already gone on about the whole Jon/Kate thing and why I think it’s bullshit that everyone blames Kate, but now that the King Douche himself is blaming her I just have to respond to a couple of things in the interview:

Did you want to work it out?

Yes, I asked, What do I have to do to mend the relationship? What did I do wrong? I was beating myself up about it. So I read a lot of books about personalities, like The Five Love Languages. Throughout the marriage, I felt like my personality had changed a lot. In December, I went to therapy. I asked Kate to come, but she did not want to. She said, If you have a problem, go fix it.

OK – I am clearly not a relationship expert, but “What did I do wrong?” Are you fucking kidding me?? The man (allegedly) was having an affair. An affair with a near-child. While his wife was home with their eight (EIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER) kids. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying he was not having an actual physical relationship with her, he was still seen out with her, all chummy, at inappropriate times and places (including on a vacation), all while his wife was home with the kids. I don’t care if she is the shrewiest shrew or the harpiest harpy, his behavior is wrong. And asking, “what did I do wrong?” is fucking ridiculous.

As for him “wanting to work it out” – fuck that noise. He made his bed, he can damned well lie in it. It’s insulting to act like a complete douchebag, cheat on your wife, basically flaunt cheating on your wife (with who you have eight (EIGHT!) innocent children, and then when you split up, claim it’s all her fault because she didn’t want to “work thing out.” Boo Hoo, Motherfucker!

What was your first relationship?

Hailey it started around May. She is the polar opposite of Kate. It’s really different. I feel good about myself and people see my good qualities. I am not being put down. If I want to go out with my friends, Hailey says, “Oh, go out.” I am not used to that. I was used to, “No, no, it’s your fault.” Sometimes I ask Hailey permission, like I used to do with Kate, and she says, “You don’t have to ask permission.” I was used to living like that, and now it’s like a breath of fresh air. You can have a balanced relationship but also spend time with your friends.

OK, first of all, I am calling deep, deep, steaming, runny BULLSHIT on the “it started in May” business. He was photographed skanking around well before that. And don’t give me that bullshit about them just being friends either. I do believe that men and women can be friends, but when a middle aged married man with eight (EIGHT!) kids and a much younger woman are spotted alone together in the wee hours while his wife is out of town, or a middle aged married man with eight (EIGHT!) kids is spotted at a college sorority party, playing drinking games with the co-eds, or a middle aged married man with eight (EIGHT!) kids is seen sunbathing with a much younger bikini-clad girl in her backyard while his wife is not in attendance – it is WELL out of the normal boundaries of platonic (or at least respectful a spouse) male/female friendship. So bullshit.

And finally – let me review my favorite part of that last answer:

If I want to go out with my friends, Hailey says, “Oh, go out.” I am not used to that. I was used to, “No, no, it’s your fault.” Sometimes I ask Hailey permission, like I used to do with Kate, and she says, “You don’t have to ask permission.” I was used to living like that, and now it’s like a breath of fresh air. You can have a balanced relationship but also spend time with your friends.

OK, parents out there – parents with only one or two or three children, much less eight (EIGHT!) – join me:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHee Hee heh ho!!!

Seriously? I’ll ask you parents out there – how often do you get to “go out with your friends?” I’m guessing not very. I don’t either, because I have these two things called CHILDREN, and they are demanding little buggers, what with all the “we want food” and “tuck me in” nonsense. So let’s imagine together what having eight (EIGHT!) kids would do to your social life. Are you seeing it? Yeah – I thought so. Poor Jon – his mean, old, harpy, shrew of a wife won’t let him go drinking with the college girls because he has to help with his eight (EIGHT!) children. What a terrible cross to bear.

So Jon – take your “breath of fresh air” and go blow it out your ass.

Random Shit

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I keep trying to post something, but I am leaving for vacation on Friday and all the NOT PACKING is taking up all my free time. Sheesh.

Yesterday was a shitty day. Busy and yet unproductive at work. Discovering that my recent broke-osity can in fact, get worse. Hearing about an old (yet young) family friend tragically and unexpectedly died – the most recent in a lot of tragedies within this poor family. The shooting in Bridgeville. I need some upbeat.

Sadly, I have nothing of any consequence to write about. So I’ll regale you (haha) with random topics I have come across in conversation or blogs recently.

Tackiest invitation I ever received: I got an invitation to a baby shower (2nd child) that included a paper listing gift suggestions for the mom (not a registry, mind you – a handwritten list of the top things the mom wants as a gift). First on the list? CASH. Klass-ay!

Ugliest Bridesmaid Dress: I wish I had a photo – really. I mean – I do somewhere, but I have no idea where. Hedge was also in the wedding. I was six months pregnant and Hedge was just a couple of months post-partum, so needless to say, we were not the easiest to fit in bridesmaids gowns. Also – we were hormonal bitches. And we ended up in high neck (horrible for the big-boobed), floor length (awesome for pregnant/new mom clumsiness), pink chiffon. And they had a matching pick chiffon scarf that we had to wrap around our necks and let dangle to the floor behind us. Recipe for disaster. We tried to talk her into letting us wear them like a wrap, to cover our “Hi Helens,” but she wouldn’t go for it. In retrospect, it wasn’t that the dresses were bad – it was the dresses on our pre- and post-partum bodies that was bad..

“High Helens,” you ask? Flabby arms. My SIL coined the term because when they were kids, they had a neighbor named Helen with really flabby, swing-y arms. And when they saw her, they’d yell “Hi Helen” and she’d wave back, flabby arms swinging.
Bitchiest bride: An in-law cousin. Her wedding was lovely (very classy and very clearly expensive) – we had a great time. But I ran into her about a month afterward, and I told her how wonderful it was and she snapped, “No – it was ruined!” I asked what she was talking about and she replied, “The DJ! He ruined the wedding!” I was surprised, because everyone thought he was wonderful and actually made the wedding. And then she said it: “He ate his dinner at the DJ stand! I mean – are you kidding me? He was supposed to eat in the hall WITH THE HELP!!!”

Best concert I’ve been to: This is a hard one. The Buddy Guy show a few months ago was pretty damned good. And I’ve had a blast at a lot of Dead shows. And drinking moonshine with some hillbillies at U2 was something. Civic Arena roof open at CSN and Boston – awesome. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the height of my girlhood crush. Ditto for Andy Gibb – second row. Watching Hedge superfly from the stage at a concert is one of my favorite memories. Pink Floyd. Roger Waters. But if I had to go on the overall concert experience, I’d narrow it to two. One would be Farm Aid ‘02 at Star Lake (post-gazette, whatever). This was the most crowded concert I have ever been to at that venue. People shoulder to shoulder, which I hate. But damn! it was an amazing show – great, diverse music and a ton of fun. The other is a weird one. Not a concert that I would have bought tickets for – I got them free from a relative, or I never would have even considered going. Ringo Starr and his All-Star band. Also at Star Lake – it was fantastic. The “All-Star Band” was made up of an assortment of musicians (Dr. John, Joe Walsh, Billy Preston, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemons and Jim Keltner.), and they just went around the circle playing songs that each of them had helped make famous. And it was weirdly awesome.

Worst concert: There are three. One was a Neil Young concert when he was in his metal/feedback stage and he had both Sonic Youth and Social Distortion open for him. By the time he came on, I had a raging, and couldn’t enjoy it. Even without the headache, I wouldn’t have loved it – it was just too loud and ear-piercing and awful. The next was CSN/Fleetwood Mac. We had great seats, but CSN seemed only mildly interested and Fleetwood Mac was fake Fleetwood Mac. The last was a Bob Dylan show in ‘88 or so at the Civic Arena. We waited and waited and waited (and waited) for him to take the stage, and when he finally did, he played for less than an hour. It sucked.

TV show I am most looking forward to: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Funniest show ever. Seriously. I mean, Dexter is running a close second, but IASIP the best. To wit:
http://www.hulu.com/embed/GdxqXJzQbfJoyvaTVm9e_w
http://www.hulu.com/embed/56ViOtNJxvSsLpgoiy4aFw
You’re welcome.

Biggest Asshole This Week: The douchebag at Giant Eagle, sitting in his truck, talking on his cell with his door wide open, partially blocking the next parking space. The space that I was pulling into. At first, I stopped to let him close it, because surely, he just wasn’t thinking and would be glad to get out of the way, right? No. This asshole just looks at me and keeps talking, dangling his legs out his open door. So I say fuck it and slowly pull in, avoiding his door. All the while, he refuses to close it, and is looking at me and pointing at something in the distance. I got parked (too close to the other line) and got out and he says to me, “You know – there are other spaces you could have taken.” I (being me) replied, “You know – there are other names I could call you but I’m just going to go with douchebag.”

PS. If you didn’t laugh at Kitten Mittens, then I don’t even know who you are anymore.