2015-05-17

Things 100 Year Olds Are Tired Of Hearing

The person I was raised to be wants to follow up that title "Things 100 Year Olds Are Tired Of Hearing"
with something like,
"Nothing. They're glad to hear anything at 100!"
So tacky, right? As people are living longer, the idea of 'old' is quickly changing. 100 is the 90. So don't tell a 100 yr old person they look great with complete shock in your voice, or say things like:
"My God I can't believe you're still alive."

You don't have to share that you really hope you don't live that long, or wonder out loud what is the point of living that long. Just get them something soft to gum and listen to their stories, trying to gleen lessons from history.

What am I getting at? Oh yeah, the TToT turns 100! Very exciting! It looks great and is still getting around, with plenty to teach all of us.
Who doesn't love blue cake balls?
Or do you say Cake Pops?
I would like to pre-apologize for that picture. I made it, I'm terrible at those kinds of things. It's so bad it's funny and I'm out of time for anything that isn't doting on my family so I'm going with it.

The Ten Things of Thankful is a blogger experience, kind of like a blog hop except it's not just a place to drop a link like it's hot and get the heck out of there. It's a place to meet amazing people, doing wonderful things in this sometimes dark, cold, lonely world. This weekend is the 100th happenstance of that. 

I wanted to write up something really special, then I remembered who I am so here is what I came up with instead.

I'm beyond thankful to the good people, okay all people (nyuk nyuk) of the TToT. They have made it possible for me to continue blogging through times when it was really hard to do so. Even after I learned I'll never make any money doing this, they made me realize you can actually do things in life without getting paid if they make you happy

For way too long I forgot about that as an adult. Which sucks about adulting, but it's a reality of having to pay bills. Especially in a world where everything you have to buy goes up in price every year, but you don't get salary increases. 

The Ten Things of Thankful is a great practice. Every week, no matter how bad the week, you find 10 things you're thankful for. Some weeks are easier than others. It's the tough weeks, that's when I need this the most. To change my perspective, to remember how far I've come, and how much we have that we take for granted.

If you haven't joined in, try it sometime. Click here to link up. If you don't have a blog, just list 10 things you're thankful for in the comments. Any 10 things, big or small. Some things feel like more than one item, like this list right here. It's worth 10. The SBoR (Secret Book of Rules) says this is okay.

It's very important to take time for ourselves and do things that feed our spirit. That is priceless, and in this time in very short supply.

Thanks everyone, for the reminder.

Thanks Lizzi, for never-ending support and everything you do. 

Cheers and glitter and cake to you, my friend! LOVE YOU.

Aaaand since I saw AmyCake and the Dude do this, I'm totally copying her!
I was tagged for the FOUR questions by Vanessa of Heels and a Tool Box, which if you don't already follow you really should. She's hilarious and this blog actually teaches you real life things, without boring you to death with book learnin. Often I learn and laugh, and what's better than that?

She asked me some questions, here are some answers.

Four names people call me other than my real name:
  • Mom. Mommy. "MOMMMIIIEEEEEYYY I NEED YOU" like it's all one word.
  • Shrimp. My dad's nickname for me. Flattering yes, and also true. I'm delicious with garlic and butter.
  • B*tch. In my family, that's not an insult. Sometimes in life you have to be.
  • Dah-lin'. My husband Alex would come home from work and say "Hello Dahlin" and my youngest caught on and will still randomly say "Hello Dahlin" or say things like, "Come on, Dahlin it's time for books" and whatnot. It's hilarious.
Four jobs I’ve had:
  • Waitress – in an Illinois Bell training facility, so not as many drunk jerks as the public.
  • Receptionist, BEFORE voice mail. I had to scratch people's messages on the side of caves. I started writing about it, I just started the latest installment which talks about how different that job used to be.
  • Customer Service for a pager company. Imagine the type of clients that needed pagers in the 90's. Yeah, not a lot of doctors called us panicked about being cut off for non-payment.
  • Office Manager for the worst kind of evil our country has ever faced: Rich white dudes.
Four movies I would/have watched more than once:
  • Fight Club "The things you own ending up owning you."
  • Reservoir Dogs "Nevermind what you normally would do, just throw in a buck..."
  • Any Harry Potter movie "I solemly swear I am up to no good."
  • Monty Python The Holy Grail "You could have called me 'Dennis'." "I didn't know you were called Dennis, I said I was sorry about the woman thing, but from behind...."
Four books I would recommend:
  • Anything by George RR Martin SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series is the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. and I have 3 kids.
  • Anything by Stephen King, especially DUMA KEY
  • Anything by Dean Koontz, especially LIFE EXPECTANCY
  • Anything by Jonathon Kellerman especially DEVIL'S WALTZ
  • and John Irving, haven't read everything yet but A WIDOW FOR ONE YEAR is amazing.
Four places I have lived:
  • Illinois. I moved a lot, they were all pretty much the same: Crowded, horrible weather but lots of jobs and things to do because we're less than an hour from Chicago. The greatest place on earth to live. Except for the weather. And taxes. And traffic.
Four places I have been:
  • California. Lovely, too many cars
  • London. LOVE IT. Want to go back. Also in the city? Too many cars.
  • New Orleans. The music and the food? Amazing. Too many drunks.
  • Florida. Fun place to visit. Too much humidity.
Four places I would rather be right now:
  • See the four places above. ALL OF THEM. Plus Michigan, where my sister's lake house is located. It's a great place to get back to nature, and by that I mean drink in a lake.
  • Also Las Vegas, but only for 3-4 days. That's all I can handle.
  • My bed. Always and forever. 
  • My bathtub. Until I get bored. Or sleepy.
Four things I don’t eat:
  • Kale. It tastes like the floor of a haunted cave.
  • Arugula. It is just awful. I don't care how good it is for you.
  • Tea. I'm sorry Lizzi, but it tastes like ear waxes. Don't tell me to sweeten it with Honey. It's bee poop and it smells and tastes like it.
  • Arby's. How the hell are they still in business?! Seriously. Are they a front for terrorists? That seems appropriate in so many ways.
Four of my favorite foods:
  • Tacos. Forever.
  • Soup. I'm gonna be an awesome elderly person. I'm ready.
  • Hamburgers. Though that may just be bc someone was grilling yesterday.
  • Chocolate
Four television shows I watch:
  • Game
  • of
  • Thrones
  • Daily Show. 
Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
  • My daughter being potty trained. PLEASE HAPPEN THIS YEAR PLEASE.
  • Watching new kids. I'll leave it at that.
  • Lola is starting kindergarten in the fall.
  • Bug is supposed to start pre-school, IF she's potty trained. PLEASE.
Four things I’m always saying:
  • GO TO THE BATHROOM if you have to go. (1 million times a day)
  • It doesn't matter what ________ (other people) do, we do it this way.
  • I'm tired. I really am.
  • I love you. I say it a lot.

2015-05-05

Nothing Ever Happens

I have a treat for you. No it's not cookies, but that's pretty funny. It's a guest post, and you know what that means: Complete sentences! Proper grammar! A well-defined point about something important! In honor of Mental Health Month.

From Lizzi at Considerings blog.


Nothing ever happens (but it needs to)
“Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before
And we'll all be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow”
Nothing ever happens 
– Del Amitri

Have you ever encountered someone with a mental illness? What was your experience of them? Let me take you through a few scenarios I’ve encountered in my life:
Sitting across from the man who was supposed to love me forever, as he explained with deadened eyes that he loved me, but not enough to want to be alive at the end of the day. Hearing that he was only happy when he was with me, and he wasn’t really all that happy then, and it just didn’t balance out how utterly shit the rest of life was.

Flinching at the peculiar atmosphere in the mental hospital, listening to my best friend in all the world laugh, as she recounted how eventually she’d realised her overdose wasn’t going to kill her, and she’d lain in the bathtub for three days waiting for death, and it hadn’t happened (while outside, we who loved her had all been driven frantic with worry).

Trying to keep an accepting face on, whilst a man in that same mental hospital explained that the reason he was alive was because he was too stupid – he hadn’t understood enough about anatomy, and so when he’d cut open his own chest to take out his heart, he’d been stymied because he’d cut open the wrong side, and had been saved, but now was facing discharge from the hospital, and a lonely house to himself, and the thought of that utterly terrified him, to the point where he was planning his next attempt on his own life to get sent back into the hospital, where he could feel safe.

Living with my guard up at every moment, and treading on eggshells, waiting for the next explosion of anger or hatred or undermining; wondering who the next victim would be, and not having enough wits to wonder if this was normal for everyone – then begging for the family to split up, so we could be rid of him, and safe (if he’d already rejected us, and didn’t love us, and saw us as a burden to be dealt with, why stay?)…but never having the confidence to run away, because he would get me back and that would be worse.
A boy and a girl huddled together on a bed, shaking, after their mother screamed and swore at them and told them awful, terrible things, and the girl crying, and the boy, with his bravest face on, telling her that he would look after her and cuddle her and love her…and in the next room, their mother, having slammed out, crumbled to the floor in pieces because she knew she was propagating the cycle of abuse she had suffered as a child.

Hearing sobbing over the phone, as the world of someone I love, crumbled about her ears again, and trying to empathise as she expressed how much she wanted to die, and how she was no good, and everyone would be better off without her, and that nothing she could ever be would be enough, so why bother – why put herself through the agony of living?

Seeing the anguish in a friend’s eyes as he talked of his friend of nearly 40 years, who lost his job and was put into a system by the government which required him to volunteer for normal working hours, whilst still expecting him to somehow find gainful employment, and how this had been too much, and he’d been unable to cope, so had thrown himself from a bridge into the river which runs through the city, and died…and how my friend still sometimes sees his friend’s identical twin in passing, and it sends him crazy with grief because he thinks for just a second that his friend is back…then remembers that he’s never coming back.

In each case, there was isolation, a feeling of aloneness, hopelessness, and not being heard or understood. 
The interventions were often inept, or were notable by their complete absence.

And society spins on, focusing on new royal babies, what the Kardashians have been doing with their bums, the repercussions of punching your television producer when you’re the star of the show, and which political party is the most vehemently against which other.

Society trudges against the uphill onslaught of advertising, media, conflicting stories shouting at each other, telling people where to shop, what to eat, how to exercise, when to sleep and why they should keep going and keep going and keep going, and go to bed for your eight hours sleep whilst the needle returns to the start of the song and we wake up and do it all again.

There is little attention paid to those who struggle with this system, and who find the uphill struggle insurmountable. There is precious little funding or intervention or care. There is an abundance of stigma and the preference that a distasteful matter like mental illness please be swept firmly underneath the carpet and we can all carry on without the boat being rocked.

Until someone snaps.

And then their nearest and dearest are left to pick up the pieces and deal with the fall-out, and try to put together what’s left of their loved one.

If there’s anything left.

If there’s anyone left to care.

And we all go along like before.

And it needs to change.

We need mental health issues to be dragged out from under their carpets and placed centre stage in the medical and social care communities.

We need people to feel able to talk about mental health matters or access support services without feeling stigmatised or experiencing prejudice or ridicule.

We need to take the needle off, throw the record out of the window, and CHANGE how we approach this.

But we can only do that collectively, and we can only get collective if people care.

We must appeal to their imagination and their sense of empathy, and make them use it, and nurture that use. We must engender compassion. We must create relatable scenarios from which they can extrapolate into real life, if they have no-one in their ken who struggles with these issues.

And one way we can do that is through entertainment – movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Perks of Being a Wallflower; songs like ‘Don’t let me get me’ (Pink) or ‘Marry the night’ (Lady Gaga); books like Girl, Interrupted (Susannah Kaysen) or Dear Stephanie (Mandi Castle)

I work best with books – I immerse in them, and both those I’ve listed took me to entirely different worlds and made me care. Girl, Interrupted has been around for ages, and there’s a movie version too, which is brilliant. Dear Stephanie is brand new (going to be released on May 11th) and I’m excited, because new and interesting is easier to get people talking about.

It follows the story of Paige Preston; an intelligent, fabulously rich beauty, whose only objective in life is her own pleasure, and manipulating others to get it, whilst trying to battle her inner demons and resist another attempt on her own life. It’s sexy, it’s gritty, and it WILL get people talking.

Let them talk;
And then let them CHANGE.

Pre-order Dear Stephanie here








_________________________________________




Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible.  She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her - building community wherever she can.

Lizzi is a founder member of Sisterwives and #1000Speak, and hosts the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop each weekend.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Considerings
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LRConsiderer
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LizziR/posts
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2015-05-01

What You Should Know About Your Free Choice

A couple of people sent me/tagged me the story of the Cookies-for-Lunch-Mom. If you don't know what that is, basically a mother sent packaged cookies (brand name purposely omitted. She also sent string cheese and a sandwich) for her daughter's preschool lunch. A teacher sent the cookies home, giving the child a healthier alternative and told the mom she shouldn't send those. Instead of considering what's best for her child, the mother got very defensive.

Naturally I agree with the teacher, as she is 100% right. Unfortunately, these days you can say almost anything you want to as long as you're not trying to tell Americans to put down their guns, let alone their packaged pre-made convenience foods. 

Whatever your opinion on the matter, the rule remains: 
Kids should bring a "healthy snack." 

Even Dr. Oz couldn't spin an argument that packaged cookies are a healthy snack.  

Yes, what you feed your kids is your choice, however:

Here's the THING about your free choice.
When you send a lunch or a snack for your child to eat at SCHOOL, in front of all of the other children, it is so important to follow the school's rules. They are made for good reasons. There are children who have allergies, or medical conditions and you aren't being fair to those kids.

Some kids are, for one example, deathly allergic to peanuts. As an American you're free to feed your child peanuts in your home. If you send peanuts to school, you could cause a serious allergic reaction. 

This isn't your choice anymore, now you're choosing for other children. 

This is similar to the debate on vaccinations. You may think you should be able to choose for your child, and in a perfect world maybe you should. Unless, that is, you ever plan on your child interacting with, talking to, or being around, other children. 

And if you don't, you can stop reading because I don't have any idea what you're about in this world. People need each other. Society is a necessary tool for human survival. This predates The Wildlings asking for help from The Watchers on the Wall in Game of Thrones.

Fictional medieval characters aside, keeping your child from society would be like Texas getting it's ultimate wish and seceding from the United States. Then the next day when Cuba or any other country declares war on a single state, I'll give you ONE guess who would suddenly decide they do need the help of federal government after all?
from kernelmag.dailydot.com
To get all the benefits of a society, you have to consider the laws and rules. They are in place for the well-being and safety of everyone. 

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. That's actually from Star Trek, as if we needed one more nerdy pop culture reference, but it's absolutely true.

When you don't vaccinate your child, you're forcing your choice on others. That's not okay. 

You don't get to choose for others.

When you send your child to school with candy, crackers, cookies and anything else in a package full of chemicals and artificial colors and ingredients, now it's not just your choice for your child. You are now undermining every parent who chooses a healthy path for their child. 

Besides establishing healthy eating habits, there are several legitimate, medical reasons why parents might choose certain foods for their children. Some children are more sensitive to artificial colors, preservatives, and yes, also sweets. 

Some kids have juvenile diabetes, or allergies, or even ADD. They may need to avoid certain foods due to medical testing, and other doctor's orders. 

Whatever the reasons, your choice affects other kids. 

While it's almost too late at the teen stage, the younger years are the developmental years to from good eating habits. It's beyond unfair to ask a child to watch another child eating something like cookies if they're not allowed to have them. That would be like me eating cake in front of your child and then telling your child, "Sorry, you can't have any." 

That's about the most cruel thing you could do to a kid. That is Harry Potter living under the stairs level torture. A kid would probably rather live under the stairs than watch that.

The point is, the "healthy snack" rule is there for many reasons. If you feel the rules are unfair, take it up with the director(s) of the school, away from children. The time to argue is NOT during the school day, it's not by sending whatever you big fat want. Set a good example for your children, by following the rules. 

Kids will have plenty of time in their teen years and as an adult to rebel and be a non-conformist. The time for that is not preschool. First we must learn to conform before we can understand what it truly means to be a non-conformist. 

Besides the fact that we should strive to set up healthy eating habits in our kids, we need to remember that there are other children in their classroom from different backgrounds. 

Rules are made for all of us, by people who have a much different perspective than we have.

As far as the school lunch debate, there really isn't anything to argue about. 

No one is taking candy from your baby, you can feed your kids canned bread and cookies while teaching them how to load their guns at home. I'm pretty sure that's what our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution.
From Spongebob Squarepants. He gets it.
At home, it is certainly your choice. I also really want you to know, my sarcasm aside, that processed foods affect different people in different ways. You may not notice any change in your children, but the fact remains that as soon as these Western foods are introduced into a civilization's diet, people start to get sick. 

Down the road, if you and/or your family start to develop health problems, just know that our government and modern science probably isn't going to be able to jump in wearing a cape and immediately save the day. In pill form.  

Because there already is a cure, it's called Prevention.

You can opt out, but please don't force other children away from this option before they get a chance to get started.

If you feel the urge to debate this, please use that energy to Google what free radicals are and what antioxidants are and what processed food does to your body.

I'll link a few articles below. 
On food additives and cancer

Food dye and ADHD:

Processed foods:




Note:                                             
People tagged me, I imagine, because I have been very verbal about my struggle to keep my kids on a path of eating healthy, whole foods. My son was/is a typical ADHD child, textbook case. Whatever you believe in, know that once I changed his diet and removed processed foods, not just sugar but artificial colors, ingredients and BLEACHED FLOURS, he got a lot better. With NO medication.

I saw this happen. I'm not quoting an article, or a chiropractor or anyone with a hidden agenda. I'm not selling anything. I just want my family to be healthy and happy. Period.

That doesn't mean they can never have treats, quite the opposite. If you follow my blog, you know that recently my husband had to stage a full-on cake baking INTERVENTION. I needed to be stopped, or at least paced better in terms of sugar and butter intake, before I turned into a Willy Wonka character. 

Food is my weakness. You know this if you've ever seen any picture of any part of me. You know this if you've seen my hands and the fat that has grown around my wedding band, making it impossible to remove unless it, or my finger, were surgically removed.

That said, I still struggle to put and keep my children on a healthy path. That means something else to every person. For me? That means limiting processed foods, and keeping sugary foods as a treat instead of a normal part of meals. They can have treats, AFTER eating nutritious foods that contain some sort of vitamin and/or mineral. And not after every meal because I don't feel setting them up to expect dessert after every meal is realistic, let alone healthy. I wish someone did this for me. 

I have always struggled with my weight, and that's okay. A few extra pounds are a lot more healthy than filling my body with chemicals and diet products. That's a choice I make, and I'm okay with it. 

This is why I don't get angry or defensive if someone disagrees with me. If people don't accept me the way I am, that's their problem. Not mine.

2015-04-13

The Thing I Remember That Happened After "I Hammered A Cop"

This post is Part 2 of my "I Think I Hammered A Cop" story, a lovely Daddy-daughter memory. 
Click here to read Part 1 if you missed it. If you're thinking 'I wouldn't say I MISSED IT, Bob' you said it.

Continued:

The thing that I remember happening after the 'I think I hammered a cop' thing, was my first Office Job job interview. So yes, it's totally fitting that a scene from Office Space is here.

The company developed workforce software for large companies and grew very quickly in the early 90's. For many reasons, some of which included the president of the company caring more about his extra-marital affair with the head of marketing than the actual company, it went out of business. 

Not before I managed to accrue thousands of dollars of medical bills that their self-funded insurance would never cover. I'm calling it a personal Win, however, for reasons I'll get into later.

Cut to my interview. 

The Vice President of the company, and I really want to make up a dramatic, soap opera name for this story, but I simply MUST share the actual name of the company. They're long gone, or bought out or acquired or whatever happened early 90's but the name is just so classic 80's software company.

I came to work there in the the early 90's, but the logo name and font screamed 80's:
Infotronix 
Right? 
or was it Infotron-X
I think the X was capitalized at the end.
Meh, either way.

Can't you just see the blue 8-bit font when you read that name? InfotronX. I hear it spoken in a computal robot voice. 

There are still things floating around the internet with that name, but it doesn't have the logo they had then. Kind of this.
This was the font, but in IBM blue. Literally. Probably.
from lucapedroti.com
The VP asked me how I heard about the job, and I told her honestly,
"My father's friend's girlfriend Dee works here. She's Assistant to the President." 

The President (I guess this was before "CEO" became the lingo) turned out to be the VP's brother. She was suddenly very interested in my dad's friend, and asked me a lot of questions. 
What was his name? 
Dwayne.
Dwayne?
Yes.
(She asked his last name, I don't know if I knew it then. I didn't remember it at all when I started writing this, but my brother reminded me at Easter. I'll leave that out even though it would hysterical to see how many police reports, court articles and restraining order-type internet results would come up from searching it. It's a rather common name, so I would hate to incriminate any innocent people with that name.)

How long has this been her boyfriend?
I really don't know. He's my father's friend.
(How the hell would I know that?)

Thank all the gods old and new, I avoided Dwayne even more than I avoided my old man, because I didn't know anything about him. Except that he was a big ole drunk, bumbling ass of a man. I didn't mention that to her.

After answering many uncomfortable and obviously personal questions, I finally got to meet Dwayne's girlfriend. Not what I expected.

She was much younger than Dwayne, I was shocked by how pretty she was. And you know, sober. If you missed last week's post, Dwayne was a walking whiskey bag. 

She was a very polite, professional woman of the 80's, (even though 90's) all smiles and tight dress and very high heels and all 'so nice to meet you' and 'I've heard so much about you.' 

Then as soon as we were alone, she morphed completely. Her face melted from a calm, confident ear-to-ear all-perfectly-white-teeth smile into an urgent grimace of evil. Her eyes wanted to melt me down into a puddle of water. That could not talk. That could not for Christsake say anything else. 
She demanded,
"WHY would you tell her that Dwayne is my boyfriend?!"

That's what my father told me, I explained innocently. And truthfully.

Ooohh noooo, she assured me. That father of mine, what the hell?! She noticed how confused I was, kind of paused and went with, 
"Oh, your dad, he's such a goof." 
Dwayne just couldn't be her boyfriend, she literally insisted through clenched teeth: She is MARRIED. 

And everyone at the company knows it. 

Silly me.

This isn't true, my father is just teasing her. He just loves to tease people, he's really just too much. You don't know the half of it, Missy. Well, it turned out she did.

Buuuut, anway....

This was my introduction to the world of Office Jobs. 

One of the most uncomfortable situations you can possibly imagine in life, let alone for your first interview for a job with insurance benefits.

Somehow I got the job. Either the VP loved me, she always helped me while I was there, or more likely she just wanted to gleen more information about her brother's assistant from me. Or mayhaps my old man had something on Dee and was successfully able to convinced her to put in a good word for me or something.

Either way they hired me and I learned oh-so-very-much about the political back-stabbing, cheating, walk on top of people to get ahead, two-faced, lying liars who lie world of Office BUSINESS. 

The VP definitely did try to get more interesting information out of me about Dee, this woman who was her brother's assistant. And bat shit crazy. Again, I'm not being dramatic here. She was having an affair. With my dad's disgusting, smelly drunk drug-addled friend, who thinks he hammered a cop. Just exactly how all modern love stories begin.

The confusing tone of the day of my interview would be the nature of mine and Dee's relationship. She would smile and compliment everyone, and be as polite as Jane Fonda in 9 to 5. Then when people walked away, she would tell me their darkest secrets. 

She would tell me who was having an affair, though it was always obvious. This was before cell phones and email, so you had to dramatically follow people around, talking and whispering, at work, because you couldn't communicate with your affair AT HOME. She would tell me who was smart, who was stupid, who got their kid a job, though again it was obvious because they had the same last name, would go to lunch together and the daughter called him "Dad" all the time. But she told me. 

She told me who had to be dropped off at work, or take a cab when their wife was out of town, because he had his license revoked. She told me who lived in a giant mansion, who drove a Porsche, despite the fact that this man walked around in a Porsche jacket and hat all the time. She told me. 

She told me who needed to quit smoking or "she would die" even though I sat at the reception desk and waived to this nice lady 10 times a day when she smoked in the center of the building. You could still smoke inside, but most people kindly went to a 'designated area' separated from offices, by glass doors. When the doors opened, you could smell the smoke.

But in front of people? She was all sweet sunshine and big-sisterly advice:
"You need to get yourself some nice, figure-flattering dresses and high heels for work." Barf. These were her workplace weapons: Secrets, low cut tops and high, high heels. Though, it was a man's world and she survived in it.

"You need to work on typing faster." She somehow got me an electronic typewriter with this awesome little screen, so you could SEE THE WORDS, about 2 sentences worth, and make corrections before the typewriter typed them! They let me keep it at the reception desk, saying I could help fill out forms and whatnot. Yes kids, I'm learned to type on a typewriter years old.
Ah, sweet nostalgic 80's technology. This story takes place in the early 90's, but a lot of the technology and mindset was all 80's.

"You need to learn WordPerfect." Actually I think this was the VP's idea. She said if I took a class the company would reimburse me for it. And they did.
You kept a cheat sheet of F commands at all times! from stsci.edu

WordPerfect was the MSWord of the 90's. Once the company figured out I could do other things, they gave me more tasks and eventually put a computer at the reception desk. This made one of the company's secretaries, Lisa, very angry. Lisa was the roommate of the marketing director who was having the affair with the President. Lisa hated me so very much it gave her Multiple Sclerosis. I believe she stressed herself out SO MUCH worrying about my every move, that she broke herself. She was on a 'leave of absence' for a long time. 


This would not hold 1 of today's Facebook pictures
from kupaterapist.com
But me, with my 90's black-screen and green font computer, I started with simple things like FORMATTING floppy disks, because people had to actually physically do that before using them, and these kinds of tasks. 

That company didn't promote me, but if you can wear dress clothes, type and do a few other tasks? You can be an assistant, an Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant and lots of other titles that pay more than the receptionist gig, and come with medical, dental and paid vacay. 

Not a bad damn gig for a 17-yr old whose entire discussion about college with her parents went like this:
"Dad, my counselor told me to have a talk with you about college."
My Dad: "You won't go."
Cue my old man leaving the room to really drive home the point that this discussion was OVER. Forever.

So I got this receptionist job, learned some things, and my next job was a secretarial/assistant job. In that job I learned some things, took classes at night, got better jobs and just kept doing that. My whole life. Because I had no other option. 

By the end of my time with this company, my parents announced their divorce. My father got stuck with my brother and my mother got stuck with me. Not sure if they rolled dice or what. My mother had actual career options, in another part of the state, but tried to hold on to a household up North so my brother and I had options. But those options included my working full time.

The End.

Not really, but this is where I should end this post before starting the next strange chapter of my life story.

I'm forever thankful that job came with insurance. That saved me from some major medical issues (I believed they called it 'pre-cancer' at the time) which would have gotten much worse if not caught in time. The surgeries were necessary, the bills eventually got paid somehow.

The company was run by a terrible family of fictional-level villains. I'm talking Lifetime Television movie of the week evil, I should write a book about them, and they left everyone in a lurch when eventually everyone was let go. 

I have no idea how the story ends for the company, the owners, or my dad's friend for that matter. Since then I've tried not to look back. My brother says somehow Dwayne still lives. As does his 'girlfriend' or whatever, Dee. I know Dee is still alive and was still sketchy sanity-wise as of about a year ago, but let's nevermind how I know that. That's a loooong-ass story.

Or mayhaps it's several short stories, presented to you once a week in these posts. Technically I think I could write about some of it now. Seeing as my old man is dead. I don't think Dwayne can read. And I also know that Dee has informed her mother never to speak to my family again. True story. So almost 30 years later Dee is still helping me in her own way without really knowing it. I'm assuming that means that she won't speak to us again, right? 

I'm hesitant to open that Pandora's box. Though I know that one day I must. I don't know if everyone in my family wants that box opened.

THE END.
For now, okay?

Well, one more thing.

The VP did have the company write me a 'bonus' check for $1,500 to immediately get a new car when someone forced her to take a look at the car I drove.

TO BE CONTINUED

2015-04-11

BoxBall & Christmas In April

I may actually TToT 2 weeks in a row.
Holla.
Though sorry if I didn't get back to you last week, like Marsha Brady "something suddenly came up." Called Life.

We have so much to be thankful for. Usually I'm taking the crappenings and just being thankful they're not worse and whatnot, but I don't even have to do that. Good things are in the air. 

First thing on my mind:
Game of Thrones is starting again!
Cersei and Tyrion, in honor of National Siblings Day
If you don't know what that is, please let me go on and on about it for you. The books are the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life, my family are happy to report, and the show is the next best thing. I wrote a post about it here, CLICKforAWESOMEpost click that and I will be glad to even tell you more if that's not enough. 

I may be performing another 'emergency' wedding in the next couple of weeks! Reader's Digest Condensed story:
Friend of a friend has a diagnosis with immediate, urgent treatment necessary. She was engaged and now wants to be married before starting treatment. The church isn't able to help her move up her wedding for whatever reason. As long as they have their paperwork, I'm happy to help. And feed my cake addiction. Mostly help people grow their love.
Love, and the proper paperwork. from pamelagottfried.com
And thankful to have such a wonderful friend, who is trying their best to arrange a wedding and reception in 2 weeks using whatever means necessary. 

Thankful we don't live where tornadoes ever touch down. No  superstitious people, that will not make one . 
We might be too close to Lake Michigan or something. They had some to the West, gods help them, but don't here.

Shout out to Daniel Tosh, who calls the Midwest a place for people who gave up on their dreams. Now with the ungodly amount of snow in the northeast this year, and the drought in the west, it's not looking so bad I guess.

Thankful we don't live where this is a water shortage. Not yet anyway *knocks wooden table made in 1937 because we don't feel the need to get new everything all the time

I'm not thankful for any water shortage anywhere, but I hope to soon be thankful for desalinization of ocean water, which they are FINALLY going to do again. 
California started at one point, but it's expensive, and they stopped sometime in the early 90's. Hopefully they can tweak the process and/or technology and make use of the planet's water.

Thankful people are starting to (hopefully) be more aware of what we do to our planet. Instead of shutting our eyes, pretending we have little to no impact and throwing everything in the garbage as our country loves to do. Every day needs to be earth day for awhile.

This weekend is our annual family Polish Christmas party. In April. We'll sing Christmas songs, exchange a few gifts, eat Polish food and laugh at each other. And with each other. Sure.

Thankful my future BIL, the one I'm going to marry in September, is going to help us with our basement. It needs so much work, we're not sure where/how to start. We can't just hire a construction company and write a check, so it's nice to have an affordable option to move forward in some way. 

The last occupants, bless their hearts, nailed dark wooden paneling right to the studs. It doesn't feel like there is any kind of insulation or anything. In the winter it's like living over a giant freezer.

We also may open it up and take WALLS down. Leaving any load-bearing studs/posts, I'm hoping. I'll be sure to include before and after photos, for insurance purposes if nothing else. NO I'm kidding. It'll be fine. It literally cannot be any worse, so what the heck. (Yes, insurance is thankfully paid up.)  I'll be beyond thankful to make that brighter, warmer, and more COMFY because it is, after all the basement of Comfytown. And it doesn't look like it. 

I really want the Graceland TCB blue and yellow and mirrors basement, but I doubt Alex will go for that. He's gonna be like,
"NO thank you vera'much" with the Elvis lip thing.
Actual Basement of Graceland. We visited on our 1st actual vacation (3-day weekend) together.
AWESOME, right? TCB = Takin Care of Business
We DO have a jungle room, but it's not like Graceland's jungle room. It's just painted blue on top, green on bottom. I wanted to FILL THE CEILING with fake plants, but thankfully the hobby store guy said his cousins' in-laws did that and they're always overwhelmed with dust, super hard to clean. 
As part of preparation, we're cleaning out my son's room. He's never in there, so we'll store stuff in there and move the girls eventually. I've come across lots of memories, making me thankfully nostalgic. I may do a post, depending on timing and whether it seems interesting to anyone other than me. Doubtful.

This is one thing. It's, well, it is what it is.

It was a box. Now it's a ball.

For what?
For BoxBall, of course.

Boxball is a game my son and I made up when he was younger. We used to play all the time in our tiny apartment with the cinder block walls. I'm so thankful to be reminded of those times. Tiny apartment, not a lot of money but just tons of fun and happy, thankful togetherness.

BoxBall is pretty much volleyball played with a box, while standing on your knees, and random rally-point scoring. The original box we used was a 30-pack of soda, or maybe beer? That square-ish type of case. It was perfect. Until it ripped. 
from sodayoda.com
Those boxes are harder to find than you might think. Things usually come in the 24-can variety, but that rectangle box won't work. 

I'm here to tell you: You can't volley a rectangle. 

Most square boxes? Are too heavy for this game.

Then we tried to get fancy and use that box in the picture covered in duct tape. Don't do that. That made the box way too heavy and it kills your wrists. And lamps. And anything else it touches. That has to be 10. 

This lovely list (it's almost a list?) is part of the greatest online community of all time that doesn't include porn, The Ten Things of Thankful.