Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let's Get Personal

My Facebook status: "I have a talent for somehow working into the conversation that I have two kids and no time in the first two minutes of talking to a man I find attractive. Me=cock blocker."

Since I'm not great at meeting men in person, maybe I should try an online dating site.  I think my profile would look something like this:  

Single Mother with Two kids and More Than Two Stretch Marks Seeking Single Male Who Will Not Cheat With a 20 Year Old Even During His First, Second, and Third Mid-Life Crisis 

My Basics
Languages: A high pitched, fast, mumbly version of English.
Education: Currently going to school, may someday be your sugar momma or may be total failure.
Political views:  I will vote for the candidate who is the least like a caricature of a real person, and least likely to screw my income group over.
Sign: "Approach With Caution and Wear a Helmet/Cup”

Eye color: Hazel with a smidge of evil.
Hair color: Changes with my mood.  My natural hair color is black and gray.  I am having a hard time coping with this so I will never speak to you ever again if you mention it.  Although, if you would like to come over on Saturday to help me pluck and/or burn my gray hair, that would be lovely.

Pets: Two asshole cats who spend their time waking me up and knocking things over.
Occupation: Involuntary minion of Satan.
Kids: I have between two and one million kids, I've lost count.  It's too loud in here to concentrate on such things.
Income: It doesn't matter because the kids suck up every penny.
Diet:  If we go out to dinner, I will inevitably have to tell you that I’m a vegetarian when you ask me if I want bacon covered meatballs for an appetizer.  Usually that conversation goes like this:
Him: “You don’t eat any meat?”
Me: “No.”
Him: “What about seafood?”
Me: “Well, because it can scream when you cook it alive, I think it’s still considered meat.”
Him: “Well, then WHAT DO YOU EAT?!”
I have had this inane conversation 500 million times over the course of my lifetime.  In fact, I have this same god forsaken conversation with my family every Thanksgiving and I have been a vegetarian since I was a toddler.  I am sick of it.  If this conversation happens, I will get up and leave.  If you try to follow me into the parking lot I will run you over with my car.
Interests:  Chauffeuring my kids, making fun of coworkers, bitching about things. 

About Me
For Fun: In my free time, I enjoy napping.
Activities:  I play soccer once a week, because apparently I didn't get hit in the face with enough balls when I was married. 
Favorite Things: Writing, kicking the cats, watching Star Wars.
Warning: Has intimacy issues especially involving anything that happens in the bathroom. 

Who I’m Looking For
Gender: Male
Age: Old enough to not annoy me.
Located within: The realms of sanity.

Relationship: Must be actually divorced and not pining over ex-wife.  Also, I would prefer it if all your exes are really ugly and/or have been institutionalized.
Ethnicity:  Must have skin, any color is fine.  My skin has no pigment, so who am I to judge?
Faith: No preference but don’t expect me to go to church, Sunday is my day to be ungodly/sleep in. 
Languages: Our relationship would have a greater chance of succeeding if you didn't speak English.   
Education: Must be able to form coherent sentences via text.  I hate talking on the phone.  I also have a tendency to IM people from the same room.

Eye color: Not the color of crazy.
Hair color: No preference, but if you’re bald I will make you shave whatever you have left. 

Smoke: You still smoke?  Get with the times; spend all your cigarette money at Starbucks like the rest of us.
Drink: You still go to the bars?  Drink at home, alone, like a grown up.  
Has kids: The more the merrier. I am immune to the screaming.
Wants kids: My vagina wants more kids, my brain does not.  My vagina is not mentally stable.
Occupation: Has one.
Income: Must be able to pay for your own video games/drug habits/strippers. 

Actually, forget this whole thing.  I’m going to start a mom commune because I really just need someone to help out with the carpool and share the responsibility of listening to my children whine for more useless crap they don’t need. Moms, who wants in?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fine. I'm Thankful! Geez, Get Off My Back.

My Facebook status:  "I'm thankful for Target's new line of makeup that only costs $1 and doesn't make my eyeballs fall out.  That is it though."

Wait!  Wait!  Don’t go!  I thought of more! 

I  am thankful for online classes so I don't have to be the female version of the creepy old dude on campus.

I am thankful I'm alone because I have tragic judgment when it comes to men.  This alone thing is much more dignified than cleaning up after someone I hate and spending all my spare time secretly training my cats to viciously attack him in his sleep.

I am thankful my cats haven't tried to attack me while I'm sleeping.

I AM NOT thankful that some old lady totaled my car.  I'll never forget you Stratus!  Never!  You're my soul mate!  I'll never love another!  Stop crying Fusion.

I am thankful for Facebook because I don't like talking on the phone, even to people I adore.  All the giggling baby videos are a huge bonus too.

I am thankful that my job is so wretched it's funny.  It can only get better from here.

I am thankful that all my friends are having kids.  Now they finally understand what the last 11 years of my life have been like and we can laugh-sob about it together.

I am thankful for Netflix because I don't have any friends I see in real life.  Even if it's a little high maintenance and has made some poor life choices this year.

I'm thankful that raising toddlers has given me post traumatic stress disorder.  Being hyper aware and unable to relax is super helpful for productivity.

I'm thankful that it's not Christmas.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

****SCHMALTZ ALERT***** Truly, I am thankful for my children and my friends who always remind me of the humor in everything.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Lunacy Surrounds Us: Part One

My Facebook status: “I've worked hard to set up my family like a democracy. My daughter is like the Senate (she is the high profile one) and my son is the House (no one really knows what he does all day). I, like Obama, have the power to veto and make everyone feel ashamed with my lectures and stern looks when they misbehave.”

It has been a year and a half since I compiled kid quotes for my blog. I gathered all the quotes I’ve posted on my Facebook pages and discovered I have seven pages full of them. I know my wordy-type wordiness isn’t that conducive to any of our internet combusted attention spans so I’m going to break this up into a three parter.

p.s. Click the “Like” button on my Facebook page for daily funness:

Lily: "Should I change my default browser to Internet Explorer?"
Me (from the shower): "No! Why, what are you doing?"
Lily: “Trying to practice extra garblygook."
Me: "What?!"
Lily: "Practicing garblegrrrr!"
Me: "WHAT??!!
Lily: "PRACTICING MATH!!!!!" I bet our neighbors are wondering why we`re fighting about math.

Lily: "Why are there four gas stations on that corner?"
Luke: "They must be having a gas-off."
Lily: "What's a gas off?"
Me: "It's like a dance off...but with less dancing."
Luke: "I don't think there would be any dancing, just chanting."

Me: "I think ice cream is the best thing ever invented."
Lily: "No, soccer balls are."
Luke: "No, video games are. Without video games I would be nothing."

Luke: "Lily get your feet out of my face, they`re wart-ey!!
Luke: "That`s because you put nail polish on your warts!"

Me (while taking pictures): "Luke, stop making goofy faces and look cute."
Luke: "MOM! That's just my face!"

Me: "I didn't get anything done today."
Luke: "Me neither. Except I played in the snow, that was on my checklist. Eating chocolate was also on my achievement list, which I got done too."

Luke: "There are a lot of dating processes going on in the third grade for some reason."

Luke (while watching Indiana Jones): "One thing you need to remember, if you work for a villain, he is probably going to sacrifice you."

Luke: "Mom. Do you know why Barney stopped being made? Because Barney said a swear. On the air. Then he threw a rock at a little kid."

Luke (while watching Star Wars): "Mom, what kind of ship is that?"
Me: "A battle ship?"
Luke: "No MOM, they all have names. I`ll just look it up later."

I think it`s hard being a kid. Luke just let out a warrior`s battle cry and took a running start to dive head first into the car because Lily was blocking his way. I never have to work that hard to get into the car.

Luke: "Mom, can you park real close so I don`t have to walk very far? I don`t like walking, unless it`s a special occasion like Halloween."

Me: "My shoulder is killing me."
Luke: "When I invent a time machine I'm going to come back and stop that lady from hitting us with her car. Actually, someone else will have to invent it. I'm not very good at science...or social studies."

Me (while lying on the couch feeling sore all over): “This is what happens when you’re old.”
Luke: “This is what happens when some idiot hits you with their car. It’s not because you’re old.”

The radio: "The end of the world is coming on Saturday, there will be earthquakes and fire and..."
Lily: "Oh that reminds me, Mom, when is my soccer game on Saturday?"

Me: "Everyone used to tell me growing up that eyelashes don`t grow back after they fall out."
Lily: "Mom, that`s just silly, of course they grow back, just like your hair. You shouldn`t believe everything people tell you."

Me: "Why does the radio suck so much?"
Luke: "It's not the radio mom. The singers are getting worse, just look at Justin Bieber."

Luke: "Goodbye cruel world, I'm going on vacation!"

Me (while looking at a toddler Star Wars toy): "Awwwww...this Chewbacca looks like a teddy bear!"
Luke: "Yeah, a teddy bear with a gun."

Lily (after babysitting my 3 month old nephew for the weekend): "I used to want a baby brother but you really can't get anything done with a baby around. I mean, I couldn't even sit down and finish my chocolate milk today."

Amen to that last one.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Temp-orary Insanity

My Facebook status: “Coworkers are like spouses. Everyone gets along great in the beginning but after awhile you just want to shove their faces in their oatmeal when they start talking.”
Work has been incredibly aggravating lately. There is too much work and not enough people to get it all done. This is happening in every single corporation everywhere. So many corporations are soaring along at pre-recession profit levels while all their employees slowly lose their minds.

Along with being busy, I spend my days talking to a lot of people who are not very bright. On top of being not very bright, they are incredibly, persistently needy. Earlier this week I had one of those days that took my patience and blew it into smithereens. We had a system conversion a few months ago and after that many months and a week full of training, none of my salesmen can figure out how to use their computers.

I had an email exchange with one salesperson who could not understand why an invoice was at $0 in the old system we hadn’t used in three months but was open in the new system. I explained to her five times that all the invoices in the old system said $0 because we are no longer fucking using that system when I just suddenly quit responding and decided to go home. She was obviously not going to understand what I was saying no matter how I said it. Directly after this exchange, The Temp struck.

My boss brought in The Temp to help out with resolving our small dollar disputes. If you see The Temp in the break room you have to swiftly and stealthily run in the other direction. If she catches you, she will start talking at you and never, ever, ever stop. I shot off a report to The Temp and was packing up when I got an email response from her. Now mind you, I had gotten about 200 demanding emails already that day and my patience level was at negative four billion. Also, I had just gotten over the flu, my daughter had just gotten the flu, and I always have a bajillion hours of homework so I hadn’t slept in about a year at this point.

The Temp (via email): “There are two Ns in my name, not one.”

Instead of writing, “NOBODY FUCKING CARES!!!” and going home, I responded: “My apologies.”

About three seconds later she called me.

The Temp: “I just wanted you to know that my name has two Ns so you don’t spell it wrong again.”

Me: “Okay.”

The Temp: “Well, once people do it once, they keep on doing it.”

Me: “Okay.”

The Temp: “I’m not mad at you.”

Me: “Okay. It’s 5:00, I have to go home now. Bye.” I hung up without waiting for a response.

I have been occasionally accused in the past of having less than stellar people skills. Some people would use this moment as an example. I think quite the opposite though. I was people skilling the hell out of this situation. Instead of writing, “My apologies that your parents were fucking stupid and didn’t know how to spell your name,” I simply wrote “My apologies.” That took super-human will power and self restraint. When she called me I really wanted to say, “I will not hesitate to walk two aisles over and strangle you with your phone cord if you do not shut up right this second”, but all I said was, “Okay.” I think I deserve a fucking People Handling of The Year award for responding with an incredibly awkward, stony cold “Okay.” You are welcome The Temp. You are very welcome.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupy My Living Room

My daughter has been sick for about a week and a half now.  It started with a virus that caused a cough and a fever, and turned into walking pneumonia (even with three visits to the doctor).  I haven't gotten much sleep because I have been getting up to check on her every couple of hours.  The doctor gave her antibiotics and a nebulizer to treat the pneumonia.

She has never been good at taking medicine.  When she was a toddler she would run around the house screaming as soon as she saw me break out the medicine bottle.  If I caught her, I would have to squirt the medicine into her cheek and put my hand over her mouth because she would spit it right back in my face.  Nothing has changed in the medicine realm except now she's quicker and louder.  Thank god her brother takes cough syrup like it’s a shot of tequila and moves on.  Although, after seeing him take medicine, I'm not letting him go away to college.

My little angel is one of those kids who will eventually rule the world and she's starting with my household.  She wants to overthrow my government and create a totalitarian dictatorship in which she is in charge. She's only in 5th grade so her teachers have not taught her that with this type of government there will eventually be social unrest and rebellion.  She is fighting me every day for the supreme rule of the family when all I really want is for her to pick up her socks and butter her own noodles. Besides her lack of political education, she is 11 years old so she is operating in a state of hormone-induced perpetual unreasonableness.

She had been taking her meds for a few days by the time Saturday rolled around.  I could tell she was feeling better because she spent the morning following my son around the house, telling him he was cleaning “wrong”.  She obviously is going to make a phenomenal wife someday but she's kind of a pain in the ass to have as a sister.  Then instead of joining in on the cleaning she decided to throw all of her bedding and stuffed animals on the floor.  I walked into her room and said, and I quote, "Pray tell, what are you doing, dear, sweet child of mine?"  She stated that she wanted ME to stop doing my homework and immediately put her new sheets on her bed.  She claimed that even though she had the physical stamina to throw all her things on the floor (of her own accord), she was suddenly unable to put sheets back on her bed and she needed me to do it NOW.  After about fifteen minutes of nagging I caved in due to sheer exhaustion. I went in to her bedroom and started putting her sheets on her bed.  My brain broke in half when she sat on the floor and told me I wasn't doing it right, so I stomped out of the room.

A little while later it was time to take her medicine.  I poured her antibiotic, scooped an ice cream chaser into a bowl and set it on the counter.  I started doing the dishes and asked her to come take it.

She sat down on the couch instead and said, "I want you to bring it over here and feed me the ice cream, I can't hold the medicine and spoon at the same time."

"Honey, you have two hands, that doesn't even make sense.  Plus, I'm busy.  You can do this yourself.  Please come get your medicine."

"NO!  I WANT YOU TO DO IT!" she whine-screamed.

So instead of doing the smart thing and giving in because she was sick and not completely herself, I did the worst thing I could have done at 9:00 on a Saturday night.  I decided to rise up against her oppressive regime.  I said, "No.” She started yelling and crying and insisting that I feed her the ice cream once she took the medicine.  I said no again, and told her she needed to take her medicine and then pick up her bedding off the floor.  After she screamed at me, hit me, and flailed on the floor for a trillion minutes, I gave up.  Sort of.  I told her I was going to quit school and my “dreams” of being an accountant, and devote all my time to picking up after her, brushing her teeth for her, serving her, etc.  I fed her the ice cream and told her she had won.  She could have total control over me and her brother.  I stood by the couch for an hour and asked her what she needed every two minutes even though she kept begging me to stop it and sit down.  She finally fell asleep.  I stayed up ridiculously late to finish my homework after wasting hours arguing with her.

I woke up the next day with a migraine and a feeling of parental failure.  The kids clearly decided they had finally pushed me over the edge into a chasm of insanity. My daughter apologized profusely.  Both kids did their homework and picked up their toys with no complaints.  Sooooo…I won then?

p.s. If you try to give me parenting advice after reading this, and you do not, nor have you ever had a pre-teen daughter with pneumonia that reverted her temporarily (hopefully) into a gigantic toddler, I will hunt you down and make sure you spend your last moments on this earth in agonizing pain. If you would like to share your own frustrating parenting stories I welcome you with open arms and a shot of Baileys for your coffee.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My Facebook Status:  "There are a lot of rather sizable people on scooters here at Disney.  I can see where they got the inspiration for the movie Wall-E."

Normally when I go on vacation I turn into a totally different person.  I am suddenly content with everything and everyone.  The only unfortunate side effect is that Happy Vacation Katie is not nearly as funny as Dissatisfied "Normal" Katie.  The kids and I just got back from a week at Disney World and even though it was wonderful to be away from work for a week, Vacation Katie did not show up at all.  Let me tell you a few reasons why.

The theme parks made me realize that ninety percent of children under the age of five smell like poop.

They have ten channels on the TV at the Disney resorts and five of them are the Disney channel. There is such a thing as Disney overdose.

I discovered that as soon as the Florida morning sun hits my son's head he melts into a whiny ball of goo.  I feel the same way, I just hide it better.  I don't want to pay for the stint in the mental hospital that would result from me throwing myself on the ground and screaming in public.  I only do that sort of thing at home.

We had to wait in line for everything, even for meals, every single one.  The older I get, the quicker I turn into a raving lunatic when I'm hungry.  At one point I contemplated stabbing a Disney restaurant cashier with whatever plastic utensil I could get my hands on because she lectured me about my son getting an adult meal instead of a kid's meal.  I admit that stabbing (even with plastic) is generally out of line behavior but when I think back, I kind of regret not pouring some salt packets in her eyes.

For seven days we ate the only type of cuisine available to quick-service diners (read people who can only "afford" $40 a meal vs. $80 a meal) which was junk food.  I was afraid I would gain weight but we walked non-stop the whole week and I couldn't stop throwing up after the Harry Potter ride so I think it all evened out in the end.

I couldn’t afford a plane ticket for my Keurig so I had Keurig withdrawal all week. I also have an eensy teensy bit of a cheese addiction.  There were no cheese plates at all at my resort.  I tried to defect to Fake France in Epcot so I could exist solely off of cheese plates and espresso but they wouldn’t take me. Snobs.

My son was afraid of every single ride and my daughter relentlessly taunted him about it.  When we were in line for The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios he saw movie clips from Mary Poppins and from Alien.  He started crying and said he didn't want to see the alien.  I said, "Son, what kind of sick bastard would put Alien and Mary Poppins on the same ride?".  I forgot I was talking about the same sick bastards that drew a boner on the priest in The Little Mermaid.  Whoopsie.  I also told him there was no way a dragon was going to come up to him and breathe fire in his face on the Harry Potter ride.  Again, whoopsie.

Speaking of the Wall-E's, I did not see one genuinely handicapped person riding a scooter around the parks.  It seemed like there were a million people on them though.  I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the sweltering heat for an extra 10 minutes waiting for them to slowly inch their scooters up the bus ramps.  I saw an overweight woman and her overweight mother, who were the sole caretakers of a toddler, riding around on scooters.  I know these women could walk because they stood up to take up more seats on the bus instead of staying on the scooters. Anyway, the toddler was walking behind them crying. He should have been sitting in a cushy, shady stroller being pushed by his mother. That really has got to be some form of child abuse. I am hoping the kid survived the day without getting his toes crushed.  Sincerely, Judgy McJudgerson.

As I was walking out of the Magic Kingdom, I happened to overhear an old, Italian man talking about wanting to rip someone's heart out and shove it down their throat.  I did not feel fearful of this man, instead I felt a special kinship.  As if, no matter how different we are on the outside, we are really all the same on the inside.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Luck Sucker!

My Facebook status:  "You'll notice that my blog is devoid of parenting advice.  That's because after almost 11 years of parenting I still have no idea what I'm doing.  Parenting is really an every man for himself situation anyway."

Actually, after 11 years I must have learned something about child rearing.  Let's give this advice thing a shot.  Maybe I can be the Dr. Spock of the 21st  century.

DO NOT let your child start crawling.  That is the point at which you will lose all control.

Give away your child before the pre-teen years.  Just have a new one, you've completely screwed this one up. 

Make sure you teach your kids to say "please" and "thank you".  People are always impressed by this.  Then only you will know that your child is a complete lunatic.

If you have more than one kid, just know that you will spend the rest of your life refereeing the ultimate death match going on in your living room.

If you only have one kid he will be an odd child who can only relate to adults and who can't entertain himself.  Your child will never have a successful play date or relationship.  Ever. 

Once you decide to have kids you have resigned yourself to having only $10 in your checking account for the rest of your life.  Actually, the PTA is going to demand that last $10 too.  They're going to use it to have a party you're not invited to.

If you enjoy yelling at other people's children after work and on Saturday's at the crack of dawn, coach your child's soccer team. 

Encourage your child to go to community college.  It will result in said child never finding a real job and living with you for the rest of his life, but it's still cheaper then sending him to a university.

I’ll pray for you.  Good Luck. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living For Today

My Facebook Status: “I finished my homework that’s due at midnight and it’s not even 11:59 yet! I’m going to do my hair and nails and maybe even eat some non-fat frozen yogurt! My life is so exciting!”

I was really sick for the majority of my 20s.  I promised myself that if I recovered I would live life to the fullest.  Well, so far I've been a big fat liar.  I haven't been living life to the fullest at all.  In fact, most of the time, I am a giant stick-in-the-mud.  I stopped drinking because I don't like hangovers and I get them every time I drink now.  I stopped dating because I think 99.9% of single men over 30 are ass-hats.  I stopped going out with friends when the kids are at their dads so I could get ahead on my homework.  I even stopped eating chocolate because it makes me feel like a fatty and my cholesterol test came back as “slightly elevated”. Well, Fun Katie is making a comeback.

Next time one of the snooty booty school moms gives me an "okaaaaayyy" and looks at me like I’m the alien, I'm going to say:  “Anyone over the age of 16 shouldn't be wearing bedazzled jeans and you passed that 400 years ago.”

When the principal calls me because my son said something smart-assed that made another kid cry, I'll laugh before I get off the phone.

My cholesterol test be damned! I'm going to eat egg yolks with my whites once in a while!

I’m going to drink one alcoholic beverage to every three glasses of water! (I really don’t like hangovers)

I’m even going to let the kids run with scissors so they can experience the adrenaline rush that comes with living dangerously.

I’m still not going to date, 99.9% of single men over 30 are definitely ass-hats.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How To Make Your Dreams a Reality

My Facebook status: “I came across some of my grade school assignments today.  Apparently I wanted to be an artist and a dolphin trainer when I grew up. How did I get so far off track? I could be frolicking with dolphins and having deep conversations with my artist friends in dark coffee shops. Instead I deal with corporate shitheads all day long. See what happens when you give up on your dreams kids? See!”

When I think about how far away I’ve gotten from my hopes and dreams, I get really depressed. I am a credit analyst for a large corporation so this is how I spend most of my day:


This is how I should be spending my day:


I’m thirty years old and I have two children to support so I think my dolphin dreams are long past over. Although, I’ve always said, “if you can’t win, create an alternate reality in which you did win”.

I could find ways to make my job just like dolphin training. My coworkers are pretty close to dolphin sized. I suppose I could ask them to frolic with me on the way to the doughnut table. They will do anything for fat-filled-chocolate-covered goodness. Although, I don’t think I could get them to jump fifteen feet into the air for one. I could hang one over my desk and see what happens. I think at the very least they would go on a ladder hunt for a couple of hours and I could get some quiet time.

Maybe if I could get the entire department to do choreographed tricks the sales people would like us a little more. That could really cut back on some of the arguing. I think a few bottles of whisky in the morning coffee could get this accomplished pretty quickly. I really need to get them exercising after all those doughnuts anyway. I couldn’t live with all those heart attacks on my conscience.

All the verbal abuse from my superiors can be taken care of with a little creative thinking. When my psycho boss says, “You really aren’t meeting [my unrealistic] expectations,” I’ll hear, “Eeeeeeeeeeek, eeeeek, shreeeeeek, I’m an asshole, eeeeeeeeeeeeeek.” See how easy this is?

Reality 0
Alternate Reality 2,000,001

As far as the artist portion of my dreams is concerned, I’ll just keep writing this blog. I like to pretend that because it’s on the internet, millions and millions of people read it and adore me. I’ve gotten 2,336 page views so far, so that just means 2,100 people are sitting comfortably behind each computer reading and laughing hysterically together. The only reason the paparazzi isn’t beating down my door everyday is because of my secret Single Mommy-fied identity. Someday my secret will come out and I will make billions of dollars from my writing. I will be able to sit in coffee shops, surrounded by my adoring fans while creating brilliant new pieces on a daily basis. Life couldn’t get any better than this.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Creatively Crazy

My Facebook status: I cranked out my first creative writing assignment. So far being creative is a lot easier than being opinionated about something I don't give a shit about (Academic Writing).

This is the result of my first writing assignment.  I took multiple conversations with my friend, some random ideas, and some lines from my blog posts, smooshed them together, and this is what came out.  I'm sure my classmates think I'm very strange now.  I guess it's good that they found out sooner rather than later though. 

I remember coming to this cabin as a teenager with Susan.  Now, years later, Susan and I are here with our kids.  I don’t think we look any different than when we were sixteen but somehow time flew by and we got old enough to have kids.  It’s an odd thing to walk through these woods watching my daughter push Susan’s daughter in a stroller.  I wonder if our girls will have a friendship like ours.  I wonder if their personalities will complement each other the same way.  I hope they don’t get in as much trouble together as we did.  Hmmm…maybe I should stop this friendship before it starts.  “I should have had a cup of coffee before we left.  I can’t focus anymore in the morning without it,” I said, breaking the silence. 

“I can’t even focus with coffee since I had kids.  I have mommy-mush brain.  I keep hoping my boss hasn’t noticed that I have gotten markedly dumber in the last year,” Susan replied. 

“That gets a little better when the kids get older, but not much.  I still can’t remember things the way I used to be able to.  It seems like my brain only has room for really important information now, like my phone number.  Even the important things disappear sometimes…like my mom’s phone number.  Maybe that’s a bad example though, that might just be my subconscious at work.” 

"How do you feel about the big three-oh coming up next week?" she asked me. 

"I am feeling alright about it.  I do feel like my body is slowly dying as the days go by.  Can you hear that?  That’s my hip popping."

"Turning thirty didn't really affect me too much.  I still felt like I did when I was in my twenties.  Although I'm thirty-two now and I swear to God I looked in the mirror the other day, saw the little wrinkles around my eyes, and thought 'This is it!  I already hit my prime!  It's all downhill from here,'" Susan said with a stone-cold, serious look on her face.

“I am not really afraid of the wrinkles; my biggest fear about getting older and living in the suburbs is turning into a Republican.”

“I have a public service job and a ton of school loans.  I think I’ll always be too poor to turn into a Republican.”  

I giggled, "Seriously though, I had kids when I was twenty which means my prime was right around a day before I got pregnant.  That ship sailed a long time ago.  Although, I have noticed that my attitude has changed a lot in the last couple of years.  I walked into a jeans store the other day and saw a pair of jeans for seventy-five bucks with giant holes in them.  I loudly proclaimed that anyone who would spend that much money on a pair of jeans that already has holes in them is an idiot.  I was by myself so everyone looked at me funny, but anyway, where did that come from?  When did I turn into my parents?  More importantly, when did I start talking to myself in public?”

“I think when you have to work all day at a job you hate to earn enough money to buy one pair of jeans, your standards just get higher.” 

“Maybe that is it.  Speaking of working all day for nothing, I really thought I would be making more money by now or at least doing something more important with my life.  Instead I spend my day being belittled by lesser human beings.  Is getting older about realizing that you’re not as special as you thought you were?  Is it about letting go of the fairy tale once and for all?”

“You’re raising two kids by yourself; I think that’s pretty extraordinary.”

“Maybe raising kids that don’t need years of therapy is the only really extraordinary feat left for me.  It amazes me how many of our friends have kids now.  I read a Kurt Vonnegut quote the other day that reminded me of us.  He had said:  'True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.'  Isn’t that the truth?  I can't believe that our friends are parents, cops, teachers, doctors, for goodness're a lawyer!  How did that happen?  We’re collectively responsible for some very important things, which is terrifying.  Honestly, if any of our friends go into politics, that will be the last straw, I will move to another country." 

We looked at each other with a glimmer of terror in our eyes.  We walked on to the sounds of my hip popping and the birds chirping, both silently contemplating a move to Europe. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to Be Subpar

My Facebook status:  “On the 8th week of woo-ork, my new job gave to meeeeeeeeeeeee…8 asshole salesman, 7 gossipy coworkers, 6 broken promises, 5 delayed insurance requests, 4 nasty rumors, 3 creepy cubemates, 2 late paychecks, and 1 unsatisfied, underpaid, burnt-out employ-eee-eee-eeeee….

Alright, alright, I know what you're thinking.  You are thinking “this girl just doesn’t know how to be happy!”  You are wrong.  Again.  Shut up and let me tell you what happened before you get all judge-y and start telling me all your disgustingly optimistic rainbow-striped life mottos.  I started a new job about two months ago in order to work closer to home.  It is in the same crappy credit career path I am going to school to get away from so I did not expect a job that is markedly better than the last one.  However, I did not expect to be lied to right off the bat.  My boss’s boss did all the interviewing, he looks like the dad from Back to the Future so from here on out he will be referred to as Mr. McFly.  Anyway, Mr. McFly lied to bate me into taking the job.  I am especially astonished by this move since there are so many people out of work right now that would have been happy to take any old crappy job.  Just one of the fabrications Mr. McFly told me was that he was paying out maximum monthly bonuses to several of his people.  He said even his mediocre people were getting healthy sums every month.  My new coworkers are quite the talkers and they started offering up their bonus amounts to me once I started training.  They are not getting anywhere near what was told to me.  Surprise, surprise, someone high up in a corporation bent the truth to get what he wanted.  To add insult to injury Mr. McFly jacked up my goals to ridiculous numbers and then called my performance “subpar” when I inevitably did not hit them.  You can take my money sir but no one calls me subpar and gets away with it (except for my mother).  This ridiculous little slam lit a fire under my exhausted behind.  I asked Mr. McFly what his goal calculations are (because they didn't align with the outline he gave me in the interview), ran my numbers, and demonstrated that it is an impossibility for me to make my goals because of the terms he gave to my biggest customer.  He never responded to my email.  I asked him if he had read it and he walked away mumbling something about having to fire that smartass, uppity-schmuppity new girl.  I think he was talking about someone else.

I understand that companies do not want to give out raises or bonuses.  I think it is completely socially irresponsible, but I understand why it happens.  What I do not understand is why some managers decide to crush your soul along with not doling out your well-earned money.   What is psychologically wrong with these people?  For instance, at my last company we had a meeting to go over year-end results.  We were told that the company was on target with their plan from before the recession ever even hit.  Oh great!  Hooray!  We’re back baby!  And then we were told we would not be getting full raises like before the recession hit.  Wait…what?!  Really?  There are half as many people working here doing three times the work they used to and we're not going to get anything for it?  And then you're going to brag to us about it?  Along that same note, I have too many friends that are managers to believe that performance reviews have any other purpose then to crush your self-esteem until you think no one else would ever hire you.  People really are not that motivated to leave their benefits and vacation days anyway, why is it necessary to grind their inner being into teeny, tiny pieces of poo too?

I was reading an NPR article the other day about psychopaths in business (here is the link if you are interested:  (On a side note I’ve decided to let NPR make all my entertainment and political decisions for me.  They have more time to research this crap and they will make sure I don't turn into a Republican when I’m not looking.)  According to this article, "Robert Hare, the eminent Canadian psychologist who invented the psychopath checklist, ... recently announced that you're four times more likely to find a psychopath at the top of the corporate ladder than you are walking around in the janitor's office".  AH HAH!  So people who cheat, lie, take risks, who are able to appear charming when they feel like it and generally lack any empathy are likely to succeed in the corporate world?  Oh.  Okay, that makes a lot of sense.  Shoot.

What do you do when one of these people has their grip on you?  Do you wait for their inevitable psychotic break (hopefully this happens somewhere other than work), which will definitely result in their firing and prosecution on murder charges?  Do you stay, assimilate, and take the mental beating?  Do you run away, screaming dramatically, as fast as you can?  Does anyone have the answer? 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Work Speak

My Facebook Status:  “I am amazed by how many words corporations come up with to de-humanize humans.”

When I said this I was coming out of a meeting in which people were repeatedly referred to as “resources”.  During my extremely boring, extremely long meeting I started jotting down some typical “work speak” that is thrown around by management.  When someone uses one of these phrases, it tells me that they really want to sound intelligent, which of course means they are severely deficient in the intelligence area.  Below is a table of “work speak” and my plain English translation of what the terms actually mean.  This is the kind of stuff that should be taught in college…

Work Speak Plain English Translation What this really means
Resources People Completely disposable lemmings
Electronic Suggestion Box Email used for suggestions Please email the President’s Secretary’s Secretary’s Assistant and we will never get back to you.  Thank you!
Visibility Making someone noticeable Hey!  Hey!  Over here!  Look at me!  I’m making my people do all my work for me and I’m taking all the credit!
Process A set of rules that need to be followed Completely useless steps that your coworkers make up so they are deemed indispensible to the company.
End of Job Finish This doesn’t exist.  You will never reach the end of anything….not until your company works you into a fatal heart attack.  That is the only rest you will ever get.
One-Offs A rare circumstance Every time you try to do anything you will have a one-off issue.  Like the department responsible for approving all your work deciding they hate you and they will never ever approve anything you ever do.  Ever.  Never.
Career Pyramid A lateral career move This means that the career ladder is gone so you will never make any more money or advance in any way whatsoever.  You will die in that same cubicle, in that same chair with that same shitty printer that never works.
Action-item Log List of things I need to address Ex. I hear your concern and I will add that to my Action-item Log.  I don’t give a crap about your opinions and nothing you say will ever matter.  I don’t even have an Action-item Log you worthless loser!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Collaboration Working together as a team I made my assistant do all my work for me while I went to Vegas and hired five hookers, two of which are now dead.   
Root Issues The real problem The real problem is that the entire management team is incompetent.  The only reason they graduated college was because they paid some poor nerd to do all their work for them.  The reason they have been promoted over and over again is simply because life isn’t fair. 
Functionality Performing a  function This software will never work the way we told you it would when you paid twelve bajillion dollars for it.
Roll-out Introduction of a new product This is when we introduce a new product that wasn’t ready at all and doesn’t do anything it is supposed to because if we don’t produce something NOW then we all will be fired and have to live in our cars. 
Go-to Person A person who always gets the job done This is the person who gets taken advantage of and is expected to finish four hundred projects at once, within a week.  This person is the one most likely to hang themselves in the supply closet. 
Target Date When something is supposed to get done This is the date you tell your boss a project will be finished to make them go away so you can continue playing solitaire in peace.
Turn-around This is how fast something gets done Every department aims to have a faster turn-around time to avoid being laid off and replaced with Indians, Guatemalans, or Texans.
Deliverables The end result or outcome of a project This is something you will see fourteen years from when the project was started.  It may take even longer depending on how many project managers get laid off in the process.
Business-Users The people who use a product. These are the people you scam into using your half-functional product.  You make loads of money off of them when they buy it and then you charge them even more to fix it when it inevitably doesn’t work.
Team Meeting Department meeting This is a meeting in which your boss tells you about all the de-humanizing new HR rules and processes you have to follow or else be thrown in a tank full of sharks, eels, lochness monsters and company executives.
Tasks Things you have to do This is what your day is filled with.  This is what is on the endless list of crap you have to do in order to keep your crappy job with your crappy benefits and crappy salary so you can pay for your crappy house and two crappy cars and be demeaned by your crappy managers every day for the rest of your crappy life.  Crap.
Kick-Off Event start These are gatherings the HR department has (the term was stolen from the project managers) to start an event because they have nothing to do when they aren’t laying off hordes of people. 
Enhancements Improved Quality This is when we made something do what we said it was going to do twelve years ago but just now got around to fixing it.
Focus Something management wants to improve Just pray the “focus” is not on anything you are responsible for.  If it is, quit before they start focusing.  You’re screwed no matter what you do.
Self-Evaluation A process in which you review yourself. Your boss has no idea what you do during the day so please tell him so he can go ahead and not give you a raise…no matter what you say.
Any Acronym A set of letters used to abbreviate and refer to a longer term No one knows what any of these actually mean.  People use them so you get confused and stop talking to them.
Fitness Facility Gym This is the state-of-the-art workout facility the execs built in the company basement instead of giving you a decent raise.  This gives them more time to work out so they can continue to attract younger and younger mistresses.
Group Lead, Supervisor, Manager, Director, Vice President Management People with no job responsibilities except the following:
1. To schedule meetings all day long to make you talk about the work you need to do and take up all your time so you can never actually do the work because you are explaining the work needed to everyone else.
2. To yell at you when you don’t get the work done because you were in meetings all week.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard of Stupidity 2011

My Facebook Status: “I just read a story about a woman who said she thought she was going to die when she got stranded on a bus on Lake Shore Drive yesterday. Ummm…wouldn’t you have just walked to one of the hotels or high-rises a couple of blocks away? Maybe I’m missing something.”

I live in the Chicago area. We were hit Tuesday afternoon with the third worst snow storm in Chicago history. I really don’t know how they qualify “worst” here. We only got 10-24 inches of snow in the area but the wind and the snow drifts were amazing.

There was an article from The Canadian press ( about a bunch of people stuck out on Lake Shore Drive during the storm that I just could not believe. Apparently a bus or a couple of buses (according to the article) had jack-knifed and blocked off Lake Shore Drive. There are quite a few really amusing quotes in this article.

A woman is quoted as saying: “I got 100 feet, everything was an orange hue, there was snow in my face, I couldn't see anything, I turned around and couldn't see the bus and I thought I was going to die”. Apparently she turned around and went back to the bus after attempting to hoof it with a group of people. Alright listen, I know visibility was bad out there. I talked to someone who was out there and got off of Lake Shore Drive right before these accidents happened. But really, I am so seriously disappointed in the human race. There is a hotel like every half block off of Lake Shore Drive. By “off” of Lake Shore Drive, a mean the buildings are a half block to two blocks away depending on where you are. You don’t even need a compass in Chicago; you turn your butt to the lake and keep walking until you run face first into a building. If you are an able person who can walk, there is no need to die on Lake Shore Drive because of a snow storm. Now you may be thinking…well maybe it was un-walk-able…maybe these people could not physically walk to a building nearby. After all, there was 70 mile an hour winds out there. Well, here are a couple more quotes from the article that prove that it was walk-able: “Orozco said more than 130 firefighters, some on snowmobiles, and 100 police officers were sent to the road. As they sat and waited, the stranded motorists gratefully gobbled down granola bars and drank coffee and Gatorade, brought to them by Good Samaritans who climbed fences and railings to deliver them” and “a 28-year-old nurse, just waited in her car and talked to her husband on the cellphone. He caught a ride as far as he could get, then started walking. He peered into windows until he spotted her just before midnight, six hours after her ordeal began. He climbed in and waited with her for three hours until firefighters took them to a warming centre at a nearby hospital.” I think this was a case of people not wanting to abandon their cars. I do not know what the people on the buses were thinking. I have been on a few Chicago buses and I would not hesitate to abandon one immediately upon knowing it was not going to take me anywhere. I have abandoned a few because of weird people and/or smells even though they were still moving.

Another quote from the article: “Some motorists came away angry, frustrated and puzzled at why the city didn't close the crucial thoroughfare earlier, or why officials didn't anticipate that a bus accident could clog it up like a cork in a bottle”. Hmmmm…couldn’t this happen on any roadway? Screw you Chicago authorities for not being psychic and not telling people to stay home. Oh wait, you did tell people to stay home, the governor even issued a disaster declaration on Monday before the whole thing even started.

Here’s another goody: “’The bus driver kept yelling,” We are all gonna die,” said Ron Nelson, a 51-year-old salesman who was on a bus bound for a northern neighbourhood where he lives. It wasn't clear if the driver was joking and ‘nobody thought it was funny,’ Nelson said at a hospital, where he was taken.” Alright, Chicago, I think it is time to do more mental health testing on city workers.

Here is another article by the Naperville sun: Classic quotes from this article include: “’The snow was coming down and blowing like crazy, and this one guy just had to go out and buy a case of pop,’ Albert said. ‘He goes out and he gets stuck’” and “One woman who was in a motorized scooter who went out for a loaf of bread to a convenience store several miles from her home became struck on the sidewalk and they had to call a tow truck to get her out of the snow”. I mean…plows were getting stuck. Scooter lady really thought she would make it? I bet she was trying to get to a Wal-Mart. If she had no other food in the house which is entirely unlikely she couldn’t possibly starve in ONE DAY!!! She probably just had a grilled cheese craving she couldn’t control. If I was a rescue worker, I would have been slapping people once I rescued them. To all the rescue workers who had to leave their homes to save these people, I emphatically apologize. We are all not like this. Well, a small percentage of us are not like this anyway. I work with a lot of people like this…but we are not all this stupid.

My friend told me she heard a story about a woman who said she was going to starve because her power went out and she could not cook anything on her stove. I couldn’t find the article so we could all read it and laugh at it. Do reporters go to a neighbourhood, IQ test everyone in the area, then pick the dumbest person out there to interview? Is that what “good news” is made of?

I do put some blame for all of the under prepared people on the weather men. This was completely like the boy who cried wolf story. Every time a snow storm comes the weather men play it up like it’s going to be the biggest storm in the history of the world and then we only get three inches of snow over twelve hours. I did not believe them that this was going to be a big deal at all. Although, other people seemed to believe the weather men, demonstrated by the mad rush of people in the grocery stores. How long did these people think we were going to be snowed in? They were clearing the shelves at the grocery stores. My friend took a picture of a completely meatless meat aisle on Tuesday. I went to the store Monday because I forgot I was snack mom for one of my kid’s clubs on Tuesday. I saw one of the other moms at the store; she said she was stocking up for the storm. She had a box of Cheez-its and some cupcakes in her hand. Nice job stocking up lady…your kid will live through the storm but die of heart disease at 50 years old. She asked if I was stocking up for the storm as well and I said “No, I stock up for Armageddon every Sunday just so I don’t have to go to the grocery store after work during the week. I could live off of the boxes of macaroni and cheese in my cupboard for three years if I had to.” This is exactly why none of the other moms talk to me; I have a smart ass answer for everything.

My kids and I had a perfectly lovely snow day. One of the neighbor kids came over and played until the wind died down. Then we went outside and unburied my car. Speaking of stupid…I did not buy a shovel before the storm. I rent and haven’t needed one in my entire rental history. Anyway, the kids dug my car out with their saucer sleds while I supervised. They had so much fun doing it; I didn’t have to lift a finger. We stayed home the whole day (as advised by authorities), played video games, watched movies and trekked around in the snow…for fun.

The only thing I can conclude from reading these news stories is that the human race has evolved into a bunch of useless morons…who are really good at video games.

Monday, January 24, 2011

All the Reasons I Will Die Alone and Have my Face Eaten by my Pet Cats

One of my favorite writers recently made an announcement to bloggers that making lists does not qualify as writing.  Well I guess I am a blogger and not a writer because I am making a list.  I am even going to put fucking numbers on it AND I’m going to make it a top ten list. 
The following is my TOP TEN list of reasons I’m going to be alone forever:
10.  I am always right and you are stupid.
9.    My cats have claimed my lap for their own…it’s hard to remember but I THINK that’s an important area in a relationship.
8.   Last time I went on a date, the man asked me why I was looking at him like I thought he was the biggest moron in the world.  Obviously dating isn’t my thing…
7.    I set six alarms to wake up in the morning.  If anyone else were there they would beat me to death with my alarm clock.
6.    My TV set is set to the Disney Channel 24 hours a day even during major sporting events.  My Netflix recommends things like Mary Kate & Ashley movies because I’m not the one who uses it the most.
5.    At my house if you close the door to the bathroom then that is an automatic invitation for any kid or cat to barge in.  If you remember to lock the door, you will see tiny fingers and/or paws under the door desperately trying to gain access to your private space, along with a million questions and/or meows yelled and/or howled through the door.
4.    You don’t think I am as brilliant as my audience of Facebook friends does so I am not going to pay that much attention to you. 
3.    You will never be able to convince me that you work harder than me so I feel no obligation to:
a.    clean up after you
b.    cook for you
c.    do your laundry
d.    rub your back
e.    let you have the remote control
2.    As soon as you meet my family (excluding my sweet, wonderful, smelly children), you will be convinced that there is no God and the Devil reigns free over the universe.
1.    I’m too tired to deal with anyone’s weird sexual fantasies, and contrary to what most men think…you do not deserve a blow job on a regular basis unless you also do wonderful, fantastical things on a regular basis.

“Everyone knows that dating in your thirties is not the happy-go-lucky free-for-it-all it was when you were twenty-two and that the honest answer [to the question ‘How’s your love life, anyway?’] is more likely to be, ‘Actually, last night my married lover appeared wearing suspenders and a darling little Angora crop-top, told me he was gay/a sex addict/a narcotic addict/a commitment phobic and beat me up with a dildo, “than, “Super, thanks.”” –Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’s Diary)