Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sleep is sooooo good

One caveat to my "pull back your focus" technique?

It does not work when you are tired.

Which is why everything feels sooooo awful when you are tired.

Sam only slept for three or four hours last night.  Which means I slept for only three or four minutes.  And today everything was so terrible.

It's okay for today.  But if someone else joins the no-sleeping club tonight, I will spontaneously combust tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2012

At least I don't have to worry about tigers

Somebody I used to know texted me recently.  And while it was a pleasant text, it stirred up all kinds of memories and feelings of hurt and pain and misunderstandings and really kind of unpleasant things.

Also, boy it is not fun being solely responsible for all errands that require driving.

And work?  My tenuous position there as line leader?  Which gives me a million problems but precious few tools with which to solve them?


I try not to get too caught up.  Too engulfed in negativity.  Be grateful for what I have and focus on the important things in life.

But work FEELS important.  My relationships with other people FEEL important.  Sitting on my butt FEELS awesome.

So here's what I do.

I picture an early homosapien.  (Spell-check just tried to correct that to homophobia.  Context, man.  This is not that blog post!)  This homosapien is striding across a hot and dusty landscape.  Worried about a tiger, or something.  And I think, that person probably thought that tiger was a big deal.  Probably really, really cared about that tiger.  But now, a million years (5 million years?  5000 years?  A lot of years.  I don't understand much about evolution and that THAT'S NOT THE POINT EITHER) later, nobody cares.  Nobody even knows.  That person got eaten by that tiger.  Or didn't.  It was all so inconsequential in the larger scheme of things.

I pull back my focus, and realize, so is all of my crap.  In a million years, nobody will care.

So I might as well chill out.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fire-y passion of a thousand suns

I don't have a lot of anger.  I don't think I'm repressing it.  I think I'm just too busy with guilt and fear and regret and embarrassment.

But holy crap do I want to kill people who are turning left in front of me.  Without a turn signal.  Where there are two optional lanes.  And I chose this lane.  After carefully verifying no turn signal.  Then the light changes, and the car in front of me doesn't go, but scoots a little and, "oh, hey, I should go ahead and turn on my turn signal.  I mean, I wasn't turning before, I was waiting at a light, so obvi I wouldn't have my turn signal on at that point."

And there I am.  Sitting.  As all the people in the right lane go WHIZZING past.

You are soooooo lucky I can't cause people pain with my brain powers because MAN would you have a hell of a UTI.    

That burning you feel?  It is like the burning I feel as I sit through an entire light waiting for you to turn instead of being somewhere on time.

But I would probably regret it later.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Every Parenting Magazine Ever

I get Parents Magazine and Parenting Magazine and Your Young Child Magazine and Working Mother Magazine - and I enjoy getting these magazines.

Maybe not as much as US weekly, but still good.

Every month I read these articles as if they are actually going to fix my life.  But they don't.

And here's what I'm finally noticing.

They are all the same 4 articles.  Over and over again.

1) How to Make a Fast/Cheap/Nutritious Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

This article will provide brilliant recipes for PBJ/PBJ/PBJ.  Cut your sandwiches with a cookie cutter!  

2) The Scary Thing That Could Kill/Maim/Irrevocably Harm Your Child.

This article will helpfully inform you about a new disease or potential injury that you hadn't known to uselessly worry about.  Seriously.  Last month it was Strep causing Bipolar disorder, this month it was a kid who strangled himself on his mom's purse straps.  THANKS!  I wasn't worried about my purse killing my child before.  Thank god you told me so I can remove all straps from my life.


Go to a spa!  Get a babysitter!  Loosen up!  Stop worrying so much!

4) But For God's Sake, be a Better Parent!

Never leave your child unattended!  You are definitely not buckling your kid in the car correctly!  Your life is too easy, you should be trying harder!  Babysitters are mostly serial killers!  You are doing it wrong!  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Let's just go for gold in mediocrity.

If I've learned one thing from watching the Olympics so far it's that I don't ever want one of my kids to be there.

I mean, Jiminey Christmas, how stressful does all that look?  I can barely watch and I don't know any of these people from Adam.  

Don't get me wrong.  The Olympics are awesome and I sure do appreciate that they work so hard to entertain me for two weeks once every four years.  That's super nice of them.  But watching them actually just makes me kind of sad.

Best case scenario is that they win.  But then it's still over, you know?  They still probably have to cope with what what happens to their life after the goal they've been striving toward for their entire lives is just . . . over.  And what if they fail?  Their life was kind of a waste, no?


Let's never experience that.

Plus, let's be honest, those events are of no practical use.  This is not a life skill they are practicing.  You could make anything an Olympic sport and there would be somebody who'd be hella good at it.  But we're not talking things like the "Dinner-making-for-five-people" event (They also have a 2 person and 10 person event).  This is stuff like, "Wow, you sure did jump really far."  In ten years, who are you impressing with that besides 4-year-olds?  In real life nobody cares about far-jumping except little kids.  You can't get a job with that!

Do you hear the way these athletes talk about their families, though?  "I couldn't have done this without my mom."  "My dad drove me to the gym every morning at 4:00am."  "My family moved to Ypsilanti for my training."  "We sold our house to pay for my coach."  Really?  None of that sounds like fun to me.  And that's even assuming they would go and win or something.  You know damn well that most of these kids don't even make the Olympic team.  Then you are just a homeless family in Ypsilanti with a kid who is pretty good at the pommel horse.

So I've decided I'm just going to stifle any sparks of greatness my kids might show.  Just go read a book.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How gracious!

I got home from work tonight and Lilly was in bed.  I walk upstairs to see her and see her perk up as I walk in the room.

"Oh, mama!  I so glad you here!  This," she pauses as she grandly sweeps her arm, "my room!"

I am aware.

You miss ONE dinner, and all of a sudden, it's like you don't even live here anymore.

Here's my card. You look like you need it.

I was thinking yesterday that, like it or not, I'm a little bit trapped in my job right now.  The job market for research people has collapsed as grant funding has slowed to a trickle.  And that's okay.  My job is not horrific.  There are many worse jobs.

But then I was reading a book last night, and it occurred to me that maybe I just need to switch careers.

I'm gonna be a writer!

Stop.  That's ridiculous.  I don't have that kind of self-discipline.

No, I was reading a book, and a situation occurred and then the two characters were having a fight about it and I was thinking, "they are going about this all wrong."  The guy in the book was very wrong, but the girl was approaching it at a completely pathetic angle.  And it happens to me all the time!  In books, movies, even when friends are recounting their fights.  I'm not saying I could win every fight (because sometimes you're just wrong.  Or partly wrong), but I could at least keep everybody on topic.

I think people should hire me as a "fight coach."

Um.  On second thought, seeing that all written out, I think that title might give the wrong impression.  Let's call it a "discussion coach."  Because, let's be real, I'm not going to win a fight.  And if all you want to do is yell at people, I'm not going to be much help there, either.  And I'll do what I can to help you, but my contract stipulates you can't win against crazy, and you might as well not try.  

So here's the plan:  you would call me up and tell me about the situation that's irking you.  For a modest fee, I'd tell you if you were right, or mostly right, or a little right, or completely wrong.  Then, if you want to pursue the matter, I'd tell you what your talking points are.  I think a lot of the time people are upset, but they  have a hard time pin-pointing exactly what about a situation is bothering them.  I can do that!  If you want to purchase the whole package, I'll even go and have the discussion for you - provided you can show proof that your opponent isn't crazy or violent.

In the meantime, do you think it would be weird to write to the author with a revised manuscript where her characters have a "discussion" that isn't ridiculous?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Little pitchers and all that

The teacher approached me as I picked up the boys today.  She asked, quietly, if Chris was alright.

She said the boys had told her that Chris had had a seizure.

It's funny, because, if you had asked me (and some of you did) I would have said that the boys didn't really seem to be registering what was going on.  They didn't seem bothered, and they weren't talking about it.  Probably because, unlike Lilly, they didn't see it happen.

Poor Lilly.  Walking around all, "My Daddy is, alright?"  "My Daddy, had a seizure?"  "My Daddy, fell down?"

But even she has been talking about it less, so I was surprised that the boys had brought it up at school.

"Yeah," the teacher says, "they were saying that he can't drive for a while and that was upsetting . . ."

Awwww.  Poor boys.  They are so much more aware than I knew.

". . . because now they can't ride in the van with the DVD player."

In good times and in bad . . .

A couple of weeks ago Chris and the kids and I all went to a casual outdoor party.  It was nice.  Ish.  We didn't know many people there and while they all seemed nice, they also all seemed like they all knew each other and we still felt awkward.

So we're sitting around, trying our best to make conversation, because we're grown-ups and all that.  The boys are standing around looking suspicious, but Chris and I are trying to look approachable.

We do manage to get involved in a conversation.  I don't remember exactly.  Probably about kids or babies or something.  That's really all we talk about.

And I was saying something and I drooled on myself.  Hardcore.  A big, giant drool.  But, you know, I wiped it off all casual and I thought to myself, "Yeah, probably no one noticed that."

But when we were walking home though, Chris turned to me and said, "Yeah, so you drooled on yourself a little back there.  What happened?  It looked like you were having a stroke or something."

Thank god I know I can count on him to be honest with me.  And to laugh at me when everyone else was politely ignoring me.

Sweet retribution though, because Chris had a seizure this past weekend.

Let me tell you, that's a lot more noteworthy than drooling.  In fact, it INCLUDES drooling.  

He's okay now.  But believe me, first thing driving home, I was like, "Yeah, so you had a seizure a little bit back there."