Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Random Thoughts

I don't know about you people, but between the weather and the economy, I'm feeling a little down in the mouth. This state of mind doesn't even take into consideration that I have finally admitted that I am cosmically cursed. Which I wallowed in and shed a few tears over this past weekend, but I'm getting over it. PLUS I keep getting colds, which does not improve the mood for the most part. Anyway, at the same time as this pity party was happening, I also discovered Twilight. I know I'm behind the times and I'm cool with that, but I did NOT expect to like these books. Twilight got my attention so much that I actually BOUGHT the sequel, New Moon, which is unheard of for me. I never ever buy books - they are just too freaking expensive, especially right now. So, now instead of complaining about the lack of sunshine, I am looking at people more closely so that I can determine if they might be vampires or not. Yes, I do have more important things to think about, thank you, but thinking about this kind of stupidity is what keeps me sane enough to DO those important things.

I also think that I want Samantha Brown's job. Isn't time for her to start popping out kids or something? But if I can't have her job, couldn't we at least be BFF's? She's interesting and fun - I'm interesting and fun. What's not to like? Even better - we could be a travel TEAM! Now to determine how to present this idea without seeming like a stalker...if she's not down with it, maybe I could steal Anthony Bourdain's show, only I'm not good at being that much of an ass, so I'd need some time to practice.

Next, my daughter informed me yesterday that she wants to go to Irish school. What is this, you ask? She has two friends at school who both go to language school on the weekends; one is Jewish and the other is Chinese. She wants to have a defined cultural background, other than white, which is what we are. My family on both sides has been here forever and my husband's family has been around almost as long, so we don't really have distinct immigrant flavor. I hated to inform her that Irish people generally speak English and therefore don't have a school here but at the same time, I think this is a good opportunity for hands on learning. I am trying to figure out a way to show her where we come from, without getting over her head, so if anyone knows how to explain genealogy to a seven year, please let me know!




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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

13 Points of Interest About My Workplace (I'm not complaining, just observing)

1. There is no hot water. Ever.
2. We have three kinds of carpet in one room.
3. We have a serious critter population. Which is why using something other than a designated trash can could get you beat up.
4. It's not unusual for employees to carry weapons and occasionally use them.
5. It's not unusual for employees to have alcohol in their desks. See above.
6. We have lead pipes. Which explains a lot of things.
7. One of my coworkers has pink hair. But not in a punk rawk way.
8. We have one of those old school coffee vending machines where a cup is 50 cents.
9. The janitor speaks English but it's so geechie you need an interpreter.
10. A police dog once fell through the ceiling.
11. We have two Steves, two Shelleys, and three Joes.
12. The geechie janitor is magic. He can vanish and reappear at will. He also knows where everyone is at all times.
13. The TV in the break room only gets one channel and it is always on "the stories".




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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who is "they", anyway?

My daughter's school emphasized MLK day yesterday as they were out of school on Monday. She and I had a lengthy conversation about how things were, how they are different and the importance of treating all people fairly. I was a little concerned however, that she did not seem to have been told that not every white person in America treated black people badly and that there were white people pushing for equality alongside their black peers. Please understand that I am in NO WAY minimizing the impact of the Civil Rights movement or to trivialize the plight of black people in American history and beyond, but to ensure that she understood that, like most things in life, not much is absolute. Generalized extremes are dangerous - think about the words everybody, nobody, always, never - they are inaccurate representations of situations and people; using them can be deceptive or misleading, even if unintentionally. I was telling my husband the other day that the best thing I took from my time in college (academically anyway) was the importance of defining "they", realizing that there are two sides to every story, knowing that numbers can be arranged to support anything, not taking opinion as fact and to never, ever deal in absolutes. This in itself is how racism breeds and grows...black people do this, white people don't do that, Asian people are good at math, etc. - none of this is true in entirety. Think about it - if you take out the adjective, it's just people. And that's an absolute that can't be denied.


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Monday, January 19, 2009

Blond Ambition, Part Two

I am one of those people who was pretty much born holding a cell phone to their ear. I refuse to use Bluetooth but I do have a headset for when I just really can't drive, talk, drink coffee and play technical director for the kids' electronics. So you can imagine my dismay when I picked up my trusty sidekick and found that it was powered off. No big deal, right? WRONG - it wouldn't come back on! Very distressed by this, I get on AT&T's website first thing and can find no indication of how to resolve this problem. So at my first opportunity, I dash to the store, which is not exactly around the corner.

Helpful sales guy: "What brings you in today? Anything I can help with?"
Me: "My phone won't come on. It worked yesterday, but this morning, it doesn't."

Helpful: "Well, let's take a look. What's your number?"
So I tell him. While he is looking up the number in the computer, I hear the very distinct sound of my phone turning on.

Me: "How did you do that?!" (amazed, in case you can't tell)
Helpful: I pushed the power button. (not smirky, but amused, I can tell)
Me: "What?! I pushed that button a million times this morning!!!"
Helpful: "Which button were you pushing?"
I point out the one.
Helpful: "That's the camera."

I can't remember the last time my face flushed like that. My husband likes to say that you have to be at least ten percent smarter than the machine you are trying to operate. What does it mean to not even be ten percent smarter than a very basic cell phone? I mean, that's about the same smartness as a loaf of bread! GAWD.




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Monday, January 12, 2009

There's creatures in my house, y'all

Sunday morning was going really well. I had been awake and up for about six minutes and was enjoying the day. Should have known that it was entirely too quiet and serene to last. Frank went out, just like every morning, and I began making coffee
and chatting with Celi. Suddenly there was a noise under my house that sounded like
a combination of thunder, a howler monkey on acid and screeching tires. I run for the door, get outside and realize that it's raining and I am barefoot. Run back inside to get shoes and the husband (still sleeping peacefully, which I was happy about), yelling, "Daddy! Help us, help us"! This probably was not the nicest way to wake him up but I couldn't help it - it sounded like a bloodbath was going on under the house. I grab Shelley's snow boots and charge back out the door, picking up an umbrella on my way. As I round the corner into the backyard, I spy the shovel (no idea why it was out) and grab it, too. There was no way in hell that some rabid wolverine or whatever was going to run out and attack me without getting knocked into next week! Lawton comes running out, dressed and wielding a flashlight, catches a look at me and begins laughing. A lot. Once again, I find myself in awe of the bravery and tenacity of Jack Russell terriers as my 13 pound dog shot under the house like a rocket. That bitch is FEARLESS when it comes to critter hunting! Next thing I know, the screeching thunder started up again and a tomcat came running out as fast as I have EVER seen. I didn't know cats could run that fast and I've had a lot of cats. I really am not sure if it even WAS a cat - there was not much other than a grey blur! The dog was in hot pursuit of course but the wolverine/cat made it to the fence in time to escape, which was a good thing because I'm not sure Winnie would have wanted a piece of that. I still have the umbrella and shovel just in case the cat wasn't the worst culprit, but it turns out he was working alone. Frank came strolling out a few minutes later, unharmed and unaffected, completely nonchalant about the fact that two people and a dog came to his rescue. I mean, I was in the rain, wearing my blue PJ's, black snow boots, holding a pink umbrella and a yellow shovel ready to defend him against the murderous wolverine gang! Ingrate.



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Flying Monkeys

We live in an average neighborhood, in an average house with average neighbors. This being said, there is some kind of phenomenon surrounding the house leftways across the street. Last year it was a likely meth lab, lice and involved DSS and this year brought us the flying monkeys. Not really, but there are two boys that no one pays any attention to, who are always outside and NEEDY. Don't get me wrong-these kids are friendly and polite but they are constantly out front, riding their bikes. So the instant we go outside or pull in the driveway - there they are! Lately for some reason, I have heard the Wizard of Oz music when I see them - you know, the da dada da dada that plays when the Wicked Witch is shown riding her bike and have since named them the flying monkeys. Which is mean but so it goes.

I am going to Chicago for work tomorrow, which I am very excited about, sub-Arctic temperature notwithstanding. Luckily for me, I work with people who have lived all over the country and own the necessary outerwear, so I didn't have to buy anything for this trip! Very pleased about this because I am really trying to stay on a budget right now and hopefully forever. I can't speak for the rest of my generation, but I can tell you for certain that this person has learned the lesson of credit, spending and waste - not one that I want to learn again! Anyway, back to the trip. I'm such a weirdo - I have major travel anxiety. Not flying anxiety but more of the packing/planning variety. So stupid. I'm going overnight on a direct flight to a Fortune 500 company's showroom/conference - should be pretty idiot proof, right? We'll see! Pics/update to follow...









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Friday, January 9, 2009

The House that Never Sleeps

So it seems that no matter what time of night it is, someone in my house is up. Usually its the humans, but the animals fall victim to this phenomenon occasionally too. It does not matter what time I might awake - it is inevitable that I will run into some member of the household. That is, if the offending member is not the reason I woke up in the first place. More than a few times, I have gotten up to use the bathroom or get some water and run into a child, an animal or a husband in the hallway. Sometimes it's the usual - bad dream, thirsty, bathroom, etc. - that part isn't interesting. The mystery is why it happens ALL THE TIME!!! I have called our house Casa de Connelly for years now but I'm considering changing the name to The House That Never Sleeps. I can't really hold it against the cats - they are naturally nocturnal and it takes awile to diffuse the wake up switch on an animal but even the damn dog will start pacing the hallway for no reason sometimes. I am thinking of getting some serious Feng Shui up in here because I am so sleep deprived that I can hardly remember my own name most of the time and the nighttime reindeer games aren't helping! Maybe we need to face our beds in a different direction or something.


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Monday, January 5, 2009

The Backyard Death Trap




This went over pretty well. No one has gotten hurt and they burn tons of energy jumping, so I'm pleased.




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Clicking Refresh

Now that we are finally done with the holiday season, there was some actual time to kill this past weekend. Which, as anyone who knows me understands, was difficult for me. I am not much of a homebody or a couch potato, but totally admire those who can successfully do nothing for extended periods of time. My Zen must not be as good as theirs because I am pretty much incapable of just hanging out. I like to play with the kids but even then, I need an organized effort of some variety to work with - a framework, if you will. The weather has been working against me on this front as we have had record breaking warm sunny days during the work week and several crappy weekends in a row. This brings me around to the point of this post. Now that the hard core hands on child rearing is morphing more into observing and encouraging independence, I find myself bored. Yes, bored. This is not to say that I don't have anything to do, it is more that I don't have anything I want to do, and we have already established how I feel about doing nothing. Compound this with limited means and I turn into a pacing, circling, irritable lunatic coming up with insane ideas to entertain oneself, like dragging my kids to the park to play on the playground. Sounds perfectly sane right? Yeah, not really - it was during a rainstorm. They had fun all the same but still. I think the bigger issue is that I don't have anything to really really think about or care about (this is me personally and is no way a reflection of my feelings about being a mother, wife, employee, etc.) I need a hobby, class, skill, interest - SOMETHING to be into. I was chatting with a friend earlier today and she feels the same way - you wake up in the morning and click refresh. I'm beginning to investigate a solution and will update you all as soon as I am inspired. Maybe I'll become obsessed with health and exercise. Right.






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