gone corporate

July 1, 2008

A year or so ago I put down fourteen bucks and a sizable chunk of my soul to buy a CD at Starbucks. Don’t hate. It is amazing, especially on those sunny winter days when your car is really warm and you turn off your phone and toss your kid in the back and have yourselves a long drive through a neighborhood that doesn’t have a lot of bare trees. You can almost convince yourself that it is summer. And 1965. The beauty of my town is that it hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years so taking yourself back ten years before you were born isn’t all that hard. It’s like regressive therapy.

They got me again today with this. How can I resist something that headlines Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Nick Drake? How can anyone resist? Hell seems a small price to pay for a little pre-mortem soul soothing/searching. I figure as long I steer clear of Wal*mart and McDonalds for the next six months, dropping $20 at Starbucks today isn’t all that bad. I think I can even out my universe. Pity on the souls selling their music to these companies, right? Makes me look like a damned saint. I really need to stop using the word damned as an adjective. It confuses people. Like a saint. It makes me look like a saint.

In other music news, I hear I missed an awesome Black Angels show last night at Johnny Brendas and I’ll be missing a $10 Smoking Popes show there this weekend. Oh well. I’m too tired for a ten o’clock start time these days anyway. And it is so far up there in the ghettoey part of NoLib that I have to worry about getting home and sometimes I’m not responsible enough to pocket a tenner for the cab ride home before I spend all my money on beer. Blah. I’ll just listen to the CDs. But if you’re around, definitely go. I won’t be the girl there in the back, standing around and holding a hand-drawn Yards but you can pretend she is me. We’ll have an awesome time.

In other other music news, I picked up a special treat for Jake, in honor of our very long car ride to Erie and the upcoming adults-only trip up to the 51st state. I’m pretty excited to hear it. I love bands who totally capitalize on the fact that their fanbase is breeding. So incredibly genius.

If you need me before next Tuesday, I’m sorry. You will just have to wait. I’m taking a real vacation and turning off my cell phone. I don’t know if I’m covered in Canada anyway. I’ll be giving my mom my kid, his insurance card, and the number to the hotel and taking a break from the world.

Have a magically safe Independence Day. I’m hoping to catch some Buffaloian fireworks from the Canadian side of the falls if we get the energy to drive down there from the tiny town where we are hiding out for a couple days before moving on to a bigger locale. Or maybe I’ll just belly up to a counter somewhere and stuff my face full of poutine until I explode. One or the other. It’s bound to be a good show either way.

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conspiracy theory #123r78scq

June 17, 2008

Not that this is relevant to anything but there is no one here at work who I’m good enough buddies with to talk about it so I’m going to post it.

Every time I get work-related public (pubic!) health oriented STD literature I swear Geo.Bush and his Conservative Dept of Health Minions are flooding the American people with horror stories of rampant viral underpants nightmares and way exaggerated statistics:

1 in 4 Americans have HERPES! Quick! Button your jeans!! Yeah, um, it’s called cold sores. Cold sores on your mouth will make you test positive for herpes in a blood test. Big deal. Pop a Valtrex and buy some Carmex. Or Blistex. Or something else that ends in -ex. Stridex maybe. Kotex. Whatever.

Holy crap! HPV starts with H and ends in V so it must be just. like. HIV! Every single HPV germ is deadly and warty and it will surely kill every single one of your daughters after rendering them sterile and unattractive to the community. Vaccinate! Vaccinate! Vaccinate! Yeah, no. There are hundreds of kinds of HPV’s out there and you can catch them in a billion different ways and the vaccination may or may not work for some but it certainly doesn’t work for all. They aren’t all deadly and sexually transmitty. Relax. Your daughter is such a skank anyway that HPV is the least of your worries.

Really gross gynecological pictures are plastered all over the halls of our nation’s high school nurses offices and health classrooms and college dorms and doctor’s offices and social service organizations.

Guess what?

I don’t buy it.

Sure there are diseases out there, but come on. With all the press they’ve been getting lately you would think we were a nation full of crotch rot. People aren’t getting laid because they are scared, and then I have to deal with these people who are super cranky and not getting laid and yelling at me because they are uptight and miserable.

Or something like that. Regardless of the issue, people are uptight and yelling and it’s bringing me down.

Do you know what I love? The herpes commercials. They always (ALWAYS) show a couple wearing wedding rings, and the man always (ALWAYS) has herpes and his loving wife, who, unlike her horny fornicating bastage of a husband, remained a virgin until her wedding day still (STILL) doesn’t.

I think that there is a clandestine underground right-wing laboratory somewhere in the Midwest with secret government agents who get paid to Photoshop lamprey mouths on people’s naked crotches and develop scary tri-folding glossy-print full-color brochures that tell you to wait until marriage to do it or your thing will rot off and to stop being so damn gay because that’s how you die and go to hell.

Seriously. Who do you know that would let their nasty ass chassis get so out-of-control scabby that it would end up in a text book?

Other than your mom, I mean.

OOoohhh. I haven’t wrecked your mom in awhile.
It feels real good.

Your mom feels real good

skip this one

June 13, 2008

I struggle with the shortened form of pus-filled. Is it pusy? Pussed? Pus-sy? Pussy, perhaps?

I really struggled with not writing “festering, infected pussy wound” just to be funny in a work report for a public health agency this week. I love playing with oxford comma omissions and the American version of the English language because I’m a huge loser. And I could have totally gotten away with it because I was ghost writing for someone who doesn’t have the foresight to proofread.

I chose to write something about an “infected cut”. I thought about typoing an “n” in there just to be disgusting and lewd but I didn’t.

Stop reading this blog. Forever.

Seriously.

Go find something wholesome to do while I try to untangle my foot out of what appears to be a handbasket of some sort.

why?

May 20, 2008

There seems to be a great deal of blog neglect around the world lately. Everyone has an excuse- spring cleaning, spring break, weird readers, weird family, weird life, busted up carpals, busted down computers, wonky providers(or trying to self-host and failing miserably), attempting to withdrawl from the addiction of writing all about yourself and thinking people care, no time, no ideas, no whatever.

I’ve been backing off a bit too. I’ve been getting out of the house more, working at work more, doing stuff around the house more, and trying to see if I can actually break my own little addiction to blogging. It’s like a sickness.

I’ve been tempted to ask everyone to delurk so I could get an idea of who keeps coming back. The site meter is good for a few things, but I know way too many people in way too many cities to figure out who my readers actually are. Plus your provider can be hundreds of miles away from you if you live somewhere remote or you work for the government. I’ve been tempted to not ask everyone to delurk because I might get upset that my 50 or so hits per day are the same five people coming back ten times in a 24 hour period.
Or at least the same sixteen of you that have me on your Google Reader. Okay, okay. Fifteen. I’m on my Google Reader. For shame. Big deal. Who are you fifteen by the way? And what is this bloglines reader? Do I need one? Who has that? And which one of you in Austin keeps finding me by Googling me? We need to have a talk about feeders and readers. SO much easier. You never have to go to an un-updated website ever again. Think of all the time you’ll save! More work will get done! Your blog will be better!

You know what? Delurk. Go ahead. What’s the worst that will happen? I’ll feel unpopular? As if.

All this talk makes me think about why I’m actually blogging in the first place. Originally I wanted to keep my family up to date with what was going on in my belly and then in my house. Then this blog kinda caught on and I was making internet friends and people I never even met actually liked me. I got comments thanking me for putting an honest account of motherhood out there and I figured I’d just go with it. Husbands understood their wives. Wives understood themselves. Friends understood friends. I understood me.

Then I started to realize that I was keeping an excellent account of my life, and Jake’s life, and maybe even your life if you are involved with my little family, and maybe Jake would appreciate knowing what his mom was like way back when before she got really old and weird(er) and (more) crippled up and cranky and maybe if he ever has his own little kid someday he could relate to me a little bit better and know that I went through the same things with him that he is going thru with his brat.

Then I started to realize that some of my friends and family members were starting blogs just because I did and they were jealous that their moms were reading my blog instead of loving only them. I think that it is really nice that other people are documenting their lives for themselves, their kids, and the world just because I am.

I’ve always been a leader, you know. I have an uncanny ability to make you do things and you won’t even realize what hit you until after you’ve done it. Remember when my entire grad program cut their hair uber-short, exactly like mine? That’s when I knew I had powers that are better used for good. Some of those girls had really uncomely faces and looked terrible. You are lucky I’m nice, or I would suck you into the vortex of my being and then where would we be?

Guatemala, sipping Koolaid.

newsworthy

May 7, 2008

I boycott the media from time to time, whenever current events seem a little much for me. I focus on something that I can do locally and it makes me feel a little bit better about the state of things. Isn’t that obnoxious? That I’m so overwhelmed with OPP that I have to stop listening to the boxes and do something good to make ME feel better?

Did I ever tell you that I don’t believe in pure altruism? I am a firm believer in good deeds and compassion, however, so it all makes up for itself in the end. Things get done and turn out a little better than they were at the beginning of the day.

I am doing my reading for my work-class this afternoon, and I ran across something that Mr. Rogers’ mom told him when he was little and afraid of what he saw on the news. “Look for the helpers.”, she told him, “You will always find people who are helping”.

I’m gonna go ahead and bet Mrs. Rogers was a pretty good mom.

you can’t interfere with destiny

April 25, 2008

I was watching the movie Election last night. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I still find it funny after watching it seventeen times. My favorite scene is when Tracy Flick, Paul Metzler, and his sister Tammy are saying their bedtime prayers. I’m laughing right now just thinking about it.

When I was little, I used to pray for California to fall into the ocean, the Mississippi River bed to flood, volcanic eruptions in the Pacific, tornadic disasters in the Midwest, and a flat chest. And a unicorn. I’ve always been WAY into earth science/natural disasters/vengeful Old Testament stuff and a little insecure about my chest size and a lot slighted that I never saw a unicorn. And that’s it. I never asked for blessings to be bestowed on me or my family. I just wanted to watch my world fall apart from the back of a unicorn and be a bit more comfortable while doing it.

I would also leave change under my pillow with a note to God telling him to prove to me he was real and take the money and feed the kids that he obviously didn’t care about in China and Africa, because I cared enough for the both of us.

Please take note: God never took those pennies.

So, I wrote him notes saying he was terrible because he let people suffer. I did this long after I got over him neglecting my tithes. I would put them in pew envelopes and throw them in the collection plate at church.

Isn’t that terrible? I

going broke

April 24, 2008

The following is an excerpt from a Memo I got from HR the other day:

“Soon you will receive your first quarter statement from Principal, the investment returns on your account will be negative for the second consecutive quarter. We have not been exposed to these market declines or volatility for about five years. This is not unusual or unexpected over long periods of time. As investors, we enjoyed record low volatility in the stock markets from 2003 to 2007with very consistent positive returns.

In the current market environment, we want to remind you that your retirement plan investments are for the long-term (unless you are nearing retirement). Unfortunately, many investors overreact during periods of stock market volatility, thus negatively affecting their long-term results. We encourage you to resist the temptation to panic and change your long-term investment strategy after reviewing your statement.”

I prepared myself for a 50% loss, just in case. I don’t care much, because my company is awesome and matches 9% of my salary into an investment package of my choosing and I don’t add a dime. I’ve been fully vested for almost two years because my company is superawesome and we are 100% after only five years. Plus I’m only 31 years old, and I have half a lifetime before retirement and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will be looking up by then.

The good news is that my rate of return only dropped 7.58% in the last three months and dropped 5.44% in the last nine. Not so bad, especially when I thought it was going to be worse. My colleague in the next cage over lost almost 25%. Sucks to be her.

I’ve been trying to save some dollars here and there. I’m aggressively paying off debt because the return on my savings is next to nothing so I may as well stop collecting finance charges like it is some kind of sick hobby.

Remember my resolution to stop buying junk? It’s working, every now and then. Turns out I still need some stuff. I can’t live like I did when I was in college. I’m way to classy for that now. But I’m not pissing so much money away anymore, which is huge and much less painful and awkward.

If your culinary preferences expand past the dollar menu, you’ve noticed that the price of groceries is somewhat alarming. I remember when I was little my grandmother would tune into the farm report every day and I thought that to be kinda archaic, considering we lived in an industrial town. I passed it off as her tying herself to her childhood days in Iowa and Oregon and didn’t pay it much mind.

Yeah, so… I watch the farm report now. Can you believe the price of wheat? The bread that I have bought since college has gone from $2.89 a bag two years ago to $4.89. Every effing thing at the grocery store is five effing dollars. What the eff?

Eff.

Even pet food is either more expensive or diminishing in quality. Unless you are feeding your animals one of the big vet-recommended brands that are regulated a bit better than the stuff you pick up wherever, your poor animal is probably eating a lot more filler lately because the good stuff is just too damned costly to put in the kibble while keeping the price reasonable. You’ve probably been noticing when you are cleaning up poop. Gross, right? Poor doggie. Poor us.

I’ve stripped our kitchen down to barebones nutrition. If it isn’t healthy, it doesn’t warrant my money. Unless Popsicles are half off, and then all rules are off.

I’m not meat cooking people, so I’m not sure what the price of that is. Beans are still 59 cents per 16 ounces. Nuts are still affordable, which is good because I eat a lot of nuts. I love me a good sack of nuts. Sometimes I like nuts in the can. A few times a day I stick a handful of nuts in my mouth and suck all the salt off before I swallow.

If I want some junk so badly that I can’t stand it anymore, we scrounge up some change out of the couch. Jake gets a half packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast each day to ensure that he is getting all his vitamins. Plus he eats the daycare lady out of house and home Monday thru Friday so I’m not so worried. He snacks on sunflower seeds and fruit and raisins and cheese and cereal. Last night he turned up his nose at birthday cake.

I didn’t.

Did I tell you that I’m making the switch to organic milk? I drank it exclusively back in the olden days when milk was only $3 a gallon. Organic was about $4. Now regular is $5 and organic is $7 or so, but I think it is well worth the extra 200 pennies. Plus it’s ultrapasteurized and lasts longer than a week. We rarely get through a gallon before it expires. I’ve almost broken myself of the “babies need milk to grow” mindset. He just gets some in the morning for his “milkshake”. Babies need nutrition to grow, not udder pus.

That’s gross, isn’t it? Udder pus? A friend of a friend used to have a job at Rosenberger’s Dairy. His mission was to separate the bloody, pus-covered (I always want to put an extra “s” and a “y” at the end of pus to convey the fact that something is all covered in pus. But no one wants to see the word “pussy” next to the word “bloody”. No one.) scabbed-over udders from the stainless steel milker machines. He did it with a hot-water power-washer. Blood and pus and hot water run into the tank of milk which runs into your belly every time you drink milk. It’s inevitable. Even if you are drinking organic milk. Mmmmm.

It’s a good thing Jake likes soy and rice milk, btw. That’s the next step. In fact, we just may go that route immediately.

Does soy bleed?

“we interrupt this program to annoy you and make things generally irritating.”

April 16, 2008

I remember going to the circus as a kid but not being totally into it. I was more of Sesame Street Live kinda girl.

When I was eight my mom got my brother Brian and I passes at a Ringling Bros. Circus to be plucked out of the audience by a clown and taken down to the floor and get shoved in a chariot and driven around the Civic Center a few times. That didn’t go over for my coulrophobic brother nor for me who had serious separation anxiety issues. Or maybe that’s what started the whole thing for us. Either way, if you ever want to scare him just show him a clown and if you want to terrify me leave me at the YWCA. Or school. Or the mall. Or with the circus.

Because I have a general hatred for people and a true love for animals I was always kind of put off by Ringling Brothers, but I had a thing for the Shriner’s Circus, with the trapezey tightroper acrobateurs and motocross death wheels and the lady who was suspended above Veteran’s Stadium by her ponytail and other whackjobs who were more than thrilled with putting themselves inches from death for my amusement. Sword swallowers, YES! Fire breathers, PLEASE! Freaks and dare devils have always intrigued me. They had the horses and elephants too, but I would go get a snowcone when they were doing their acts. You couldn’t escape watching the animals with the Ringlings. I remember one year they had a shark tank.

A Shark Tank.
A traveling Shark Tank.
I cried because I didn’t think it was fair or natural to cart sharks around the country, and of course I assumed that the shark was probably detoothed for the safety of the shark diver. It was so sad. I remember the day perfectly, I was with all my Jones cousins, escorted by our grandpa, and we were in the upper level, and I had cotton candy, and even that I was wearing a turquoise shirt over a magenta one, sleeves rolled for the layered look (because it was 1986), a Swatch watch (with guard), madras shorts, and pink Converse high tops that I was staring at so none of the boys could see me cry. Seriously, what is my problem? I should have been focusing on the bigger problems that I had in sixth grade, like the fact I had Sally Jesse Raphael glasses, braces, badly feathered hair styled with VO5, and I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs or wear make up. Have I ever mentioned what a hideous child I was? I actually could have been part of the circus.

Anyway, the point of this whole rambly post is that the circus is in town and even though Jake is too young to (a) sit still for that long and (b) care, I’m realizing that I’m getting to the point of parenting when I have to start to start thinking about values and morals and other hard stuff. Do I tell him how I feel about animal exploitation, or do I let him go ahead and do kid stuff just for the sake of letting him be a kid? Do I let him go if someone else pays for the ticket so I can sleep at night knowing that not dollar one of my money is aiding and abetting the lion whippers and shark toters? Or do I put my foot down and apologize to my poor soon-to-be deprived baby because he can’t see a real live-action tiger because he is lucky enough not to be born in India where little boys like him get eaten by real live-action tigers? He knows what a tiger is, and what noise they make and that they are big cats and that they are awinch wif bwack stwipes. Does he really need to know what one looks like with a grown man’s head in it’s mouth or jumping through a ring of fire?

And for your visual enjoyment, here is a picture of an elephant in its natural habitat. In South Philly.



Go Flyers.

what goes on in my brain on company time. part one.

April 15, 2008

Sometimes I wonder how karma hasn’t torn me a new one. Like right now, when I saw a link to a feature in the online paper that read: “Q&A with Marlee Matlin“. And I almost totally lol’ed at work because all I could think of was this:
Q: Hello Marlee, how are you today?
A: What?
Q: How are you today?
A: What?
Q: How… forget it. Are you enjoying Dancing with the Stars?
A: Excuse me?
Q: DANCING WITH THE STARS! Are you enjoying it?
A: Dancing up on bars? I’m not sure what you are talking about.
…and so on.

See, I can say stuff like that because I was deaf. Once. Sure it was over twenty-five years ago and I’ve had corrective surgery and now I can hear dog whistles, but as a fellow hearing-impaired person I can make those types of jokes and all you can do is chuckle uncomfortably and feel sorry for those who have suffered the same plight as Marlee and Me. Its a cold dark and lonely world for us. Well, her. I’m all better.

Although I do know how to say “my mother has my hearing aid” in sign language and with a dead on slur. Sometimes I pull that out in bars when creepy guys are talking to me. It works almost as well as telling them I’m married, and when they ask why I’m not wearing a ring I tell them it’s because I’m four months pregnant and my fingers are swollen. Then I resume drinking.

two things about my town

March 17, 2008

Thing one about where I live, there is a lot of skin in the news today. Like this. And this. Okay, so none of that actually happened in my town, but I’ll bet 90% of the people who live in those towns will say they live right in Philadelphia if they were away from home and someone asked. Isn’t that weird how people do that? They have some icky little smalltown life but then they lie about where they actually live when it’s go-time. What is up?

Thing two about where I live is that we get a lot of second rate celebrities who walk around thinking we should kiss their asses but everyone ignores them and they look so confused. It’s so cute. And by second rate celebrities, of course I mean to include hugely major political figures and B-movie stars and sports people and local personalities and stuff.

One time I stuck my finger in Mel Gibson’s Shepard’s Pie and dipped a french fry in Gwyneth Paltrow’s honey mustard.

I’m passive aggressive.