I love our tree.Tomorrow we'll start taking it down, and prepping for what is shaping up to be a Big Year. Also, a Great Year and, possibly, one of the Greatest Years. I'm excited.
Archive for December, 2009
I haven’t exactly had a close relationship with my mom since…well, since I was about 8. It’s certainly not worth getting into the lengthy explanation or stories or emotional dysfunction that’s ensued for the past 25 years or so, but let’s just say that I went years without having a conversation with my mom, haven’t seen her for a holiday celebration in over a decade, and although we recently both make some efforts to sort of keep in touch (-ish) most of our conversations revolve around things like the weather and my dogs.
I recently saw my mom in person for the first time six or seven years. It was, as you would imagine, awkward at first. But also, not awkward in a way that I can’t exactly describe. Behold my literary brilliance!!
Since then we’ve both made better attempts with keeping up quasi-regular emails. Also, I sent her a Christmas card. I know, right?
Yesterday she emailed me and asked if I’m “on facebook” and have I seen “[my sister] on facebook” (my sister and I have been Facebook friends since she signed up) and let me know that she’s “on facebook” and I can find her “on [my sister’s] facebook”. She, it seems, recently learned of and signed up on Facebook! I replied to tell her that I can’t access the site from work but will look her up later and send a friend request.
And I did.
Obviously I spent the next 30 minutes engrossed in Facebook stalking her. Yes, Facebook stalking my mom. She only has a couple of status updates and nine friends (mostly family) but it appears she only signed up within the last couple of days. Her profile info lists my sister and me as her children, her birth date (minus the year, of course) and offers a brief statement to let people know that she is witty (literally. She wrote, “I’m witty!”) Complete with two emoticons! She also has a photo album posted.
It seems my mum is fairly computer savvy! Who knew?
(Probably everyone who actually knows her.)
Her pictures show her cross country skiing in the backyard that I grew up in and sitting around her dining room table for Thanksgiving dinner with her gentleman friend and his three kids.
It seems that she is quite well and overall happy, and that’s a nice change from the woman that I once knew. I’m actually looking forward to following her on Facebook and keeping in touch and the truth is that I long, long ago gave up on any feelings of animosity towards her. And the older I get the more I feel like it would be nice to have a relationship – any positive kind – with my mother.
It is weird, though, to “meet” your mom through Facebook status updates.
This week has started off right with twice a day workouts. Mostly because of this. And also partly because I ran into an old friend a couple weeks ago who asked me if I’m still working out.
Um, ouch, dude.
Since I am totally motivated by public shame and self-loathing I feel pretty good about the next 12 weeks being a success! I’m already sore from yesterday’s hour long push-up and pull-up routine, followed by Abs.
I have no desire to go out for New Year’s Eve for a gajillion reasons so I am attempting to host a game night. Except one couple already has plans to be at a charity event, and the other couples have both said “probably” but haven’t confirmed, and I don’t really care either way because the first two bottles of red from my new Wine of The Month club will be here this week and I totally plan to BRING THE AUDIENCE TO TEARS with my rendition of Hello Goodbye.
Beatles Rock Band, yo. Bring it.
I am obsessed with baby names even though Yaz has 99.9 percent guaranteed me that I won’t be reproducing any time soon. But for some reason I can’t stop checking the top 500 most popular baby names of the last decade and being annoyed that my favorite girl names are all near the top, and that I basically have no favorite boy names.
Maybe I need another dog.*
Speaking of dogs! Mine will not sleep past 8 a.m. and that means that no one else can sleep past 8 a.m. Surprisingly**, Kima is the one that starts this whole process. Keeping in mind that Kima stands face level with me while my head is on the pillow she starts with the happy breathing. The “OH HI HOW ARE YOU I SEE YOU I’M HAPPY AND AWAKE ARE YOU HAPPY AND AWAKE?” breathing. Then she yawns, loudly, in an arm-over-the-shoulder-at-the-movies sort of way. Then Easton realizes it’s party time and starts shaking his head. And at that point I wave the white flag, get up, and take them out. It’s a good thing I love them so because they are seriously pains in the ass sometimes.***
*There is no way in hell I need or want another dog.
**Not even the tiniest bit surprising
***Would anyone like to share their assvice about closing the bedroom door at night so they can’t come in and wake us? Because I totally never thought of that! What would I do without the interwebs?!
Because WordPress is an asshole and won’t host a video without a $60 upgrade, I uploaded this video of the dogs playing in the snow over at my old Blogger real estate:
Yes, I’m sure you’ve all heard: it’s the first snow of the season in these here parts and, um, it’s a lot of snow. A couple feet of snow. The sky opened up started throwing out snow at 9:00 last night and it literally has not stopped since. Not even to catch its breath or anything! We took the dogs for their last walk of the night fairly early while there were only a couple of inches accumulated.
I fell twice, handed my leash over to HP and it goes without saying that I will not be walking them alone until the weather eases up a bit. In fact, I may not be walking them at all and just tagging along for moral support.
See, here’s the thing. My dog, the Rottweiler? She’s 83 pounds. Small by breed standards, yes, but she’s 83 pounds of pure muscle. She’s 27 inches tall and she’s powerful as hell. Easton is tiny for a Boxer, he’s 56 pounds but that doesn’t mean that he can’t knock me to my butt when he pulls (It was his leash I was holding last night in the two inches of snow when I went down.) Normally I walk them alone first thing in the morning, HP gets them mid-day, we both take them in the evening, and then HP takes them for the last walk of the night sometime after 10. It’s a good mix for us because I loathe the late night walk and he loathes and early morning walk. The problem is that I kind of suck at walking them alone. When they’re good, and the weather is nice, and there are NO OTHER DOGS OR HUMANS AROUND it’s easy peasy. They’re both well behaved, for the most part, and walk nicely. However. If they decide they want to investigate a person or dog I am fucked.
One bright, weekend morning this summer during our morning walk there was a middle aged couple about 12 feet away who was SO EXCITED to see them. “Can we pet the dogs, oh my gosh we love dogs! They’re so pretty they’re so good!” The dogs sensed the excitement and it was all over for me…my face hit the sidewalk so fast I didn’t see it coming and they just straight up dragged me for three yards. Aside from being embarrassing, it was a little scary. Thankfully they were headed for the love and affection of two welcoming people and not trying attack some frisky canine, but still.
On a dark, rainy morning in early fall I was out with them and we happened upon a woman walking her dog about 20 feet away. I was going to turn and take Kima and Easton in another direction, but the woman’s dog was rambunctious and instigated a greeting. My dogs went for it and in the slick grass without traction I was doubly fucked: I ended up in a water skiing position with my two dogs pulling me and me finally sitting my ass on the ground while they pulled me the last dozen feet. I screamed, “OH SHIIIIIIIIIT!” It was involuntary. You would’ve screamed it too.
Also, both of these incidents occurred while Kima had her choke collar on. In fact, she never, ever gets walked without the choke collar because she is just that strong. I ASSURE you that it doesn’t hurt her. In a zillion years I would never consider the collar if it caused her one bit of pain. The goal is that at a certain point (the point where she is MISBEHAVING) that it causes her discomfort. At least enough for me to reign her in.
(It doesn’t really work that well, but it’s monumentally better than me trying to walk the two of them and not have the choke collar on her.)
Basically, I am terrified of the equation SNOW + MY DOGS + JUST ME = PAIN, CONFUSION, BROKEN PHALANGES.
Of course they seem pretty pleased by the whole thing.
HP wanted Z Pizza for dinner last night. When I heard the knock at the door I was excited for my wheat crust, low fat cheese, and organic tomato sauce topped with veggies – after all, I did get notice yesterday that another job opportunity fell through and I needed some emotional eating – but when I opened the door and took the warm boxes from the 40-something year old woman whose nose was crimson from the 17 degree weather I didn’t feel like eating anymore.
“Do you think she has kids at home, lost her job or something?” I contemplated the various scenarios out loud and decided, “Delivering pizzas is what teenagers should be doing to earn enough cash for new school clothes.”
And then I cried for her.
As an unpaid gig I’m going to be submitting some writing to a dog-themed blog. It’ll also be good for the resume, diversify my portfolio, and help keep my confidence up. I will, of course, share all the details and links with you once I get started this weekend.
We know a guy who had his girlfriend move in with him this summer. She moved from another state and came here without a job, and hasn’t worked since. I know she’s applied and interviewed but hasn’t had luck so far. I also know that she is being supported by him 100% and has refused temp work because “they wanted me to answer phones!”
I have to admit that the past five months have been beyond humiliating for me. I don’t know why it matters so much, but the fact that when I walk in for a new temporary assignment that people assume I am uneducated and inexperienced is a bludgeoning blow to my self-esteem. Or, I suppose, ego is more like it; my dwindling self-esteem is just an effect. I think I would be more embarrassed, however, if I was too proud to work. I hope I would be, at least.
In the past few months I have humbly done the following in exchange for a signature on my time sheet:
-made bulk photocopies
-typed and printed labels
-drafted a letter for a mail merge and then
-stuffed, addressed, stamped envelopes
-sat at a receptionist desk for 8 hours; answered 10 phone calls
-data entry; God help me, so much data entry
-accounts payable coding
-created an Excel table (seriously)
-graciously assured a client that I had appropriately filed his invoice after being referred to as “just a temp”
Am I less smart than I was when earning a six figure salary? Am I a less valuable potential employee? Am I to be taken less seriously? Do you think less of me? Because I’m ambivalent, myself.