Monday, June 29, 2009

anti pink slips

These are the jobs I've had. These are the jobs I've had that have their own logos, I should say, as I'm afraid there have been a few more. Amazingly, with all the jobs I've had, I have never been fired.

There was, however, one time where technically perhaps I was fired, but I consider it a quit. This was at Black Angus, I had already put in my two weeks' (most people don't think to put that apostrophe there) notice, and Karen and I were on our way to a concert in Bellingham. Restaurants are such bitches about giving you a damn day off, so I called every single person that worked there, even the person everyone hated. No one would take my shift, so I called in. I never claim to being sick if I'm not, so I told the truth. I said, "I'm on my way to Bellingham, no turning back, and no one will take my shift, so I won't be in tonight." He said, "if you're not going to be here tonight, don't bother coming back." You call that what you'd like, but I had already put in my notice and I initiated it, so I consider it a quit.

There were many times I assumed I was fired. While in college, I worked at the Keg, Newport Bay, and the Original Pancake House all while taking 18 credits a semester, not to mention drinking very heavily. I had to be at the Original Pancake House at 6 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday morning, so, as you can imagine, I overslept atleast half the time. Not always by much, since my friend and I had a buddy system and we called each other when pulling into the parking lot and seeing a missing car. Once I overslept my multiple alarms and multiple phone calls and figured I was fired. I had just done this last weekend, too, and no manager wouldn't fire me. Well, I decided to face the music and not pussy out. I drove over there and asked for the manager so she could fire me in person, and she told me to get on the floor. "I'm not fired?" I asked incredulously. "Are you crazy? This is our busiest day of the week, I would never fire you on a Saturday." And so comes into play my amazing streak of never getting fired from a single job. That is, of course, if you count Black Angus as a quit.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I started my garden today. I've been waiting for this day for years now. When I was a kid and mom would punish us by making us weed, I was the only one who didn't think it was a punishment. Embarrassing maybe, that I was on my hands and knees with a midget rake while the neighbor kids were rollerblading (the 90s), but I certainly didn't hate the work.

Steve and I hit up Lowe's (this is what married homeowners do on the weekends - if it sounds pathetic to you, there are two ways to prevent it: (1) don't get married; (2) don't buy a house). There I bought my flowers and hanging baskets, came home and wanted to immediately get started. I did take a nap first because I had a couple drinks too many, but after that and a walk, I got started.

The dirt here has never been tilled, I'm afraid, so I have a lot of work to do. I struck roots which I have no idea what they connect to, so I ripped them out. After just one mishap with my hanging basket falling to what looked like it's death, I finished. It's amazing how a few flowers can really make a house look like a home. Now I have grandiose plans of ripping out trees and transplanting hedges, but I'm going to take it one step at a time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top 5 - media edition

Because I'm currently reading "High Fidelity," my top five lists (the difference being I don't feel it's necessary to say 'of all time' on each list heading). After making a couple of these, I realized you can make these lists about absolutely anything, so this blog will only contain media-related lists.

Top 5 books:
1. Catcher and the Rye
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
3. Huckleberry Finn
4. Where the Red Fern Grows
5. The Bell Jar

Top 5 love story movies:
1. You've Got Mail
2. When Harry met Sally
3. Goodbye Girl
4. Forget Paris
5. The Courtship of Eddie's father

Top 5 family films:
1. Houseguest
2. Rookie of the Year
3. Home Alone
4. Mr. Mom
5. Beethoven

Top 5 cable shows:
1. Sex and the City
2. Entourage
3. Always sunny in Philadelphia
4. Californication
5. Weeds

Top 5 reality shows:
1. Big Brother
2. American Idol
3. Project Runway
4. Biggest Loser
5. Make me a Supermodel

Top 5 game shows:
1. Who wants to be a Millionaire
2. Password
3. Jeopardy
4. Wheel of Fortune
5. Family Feud
(and Supermarket Sweep really wants to squeak in here)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

signals, outlaws, celebrity arms

Yellow is the new green, and red is the new yellow -- as far as traffic signals go. I love the yellow light. I love speeding through them, hoping to make it through before it turns red. For us law-abiding citizens, it's the little things we have to count on to give us criminal-sized thrills. I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually slowed to a stop because of a yellow light (and I have regretted all of them).

Now that Omaha is in the talks of installing those cameras to take license plate pictures of us small-time outlaws, I may have to find a new vice. Or I could always follow in the footsteps of my father. In his area of Washington, those cameras are pretty standard, so he bought a license plate cover that blurs out the characters of his license plate to a picture. But no, maybe not, because apparently those are illegal -- just ask my mom, she got the ticket.

I'm on my third day of eating healthy(er) and exercising again. Once upon a time, this was the norm, but it sure is easy to slip out of the habit. Especially for those of us who live for food (and no, I will not use the word "foodie" here because I hate it almost as much as I hate the word, "anywho"). If I am not eating, I am thinking about what I will eat next. It's not an emotional eating thing, it's just because I'm perpetually hungry. I heard that after just one week of neglecting your weights, you begin to lose your muscle mass. Not that I'm really the next cover of Women's Muscle and Fitness, but I used to have some pretty defined pipes (Jennifer Aniston defined, not Madonna defined). It's depressing how much work it is to not look like a slob.

Monday, June 22, 2009

my Grandma

As far as grandparents go, I am an orphan. But I have had interesting, loving grandparents that I still love very dearly. My dad's mom (you laugh, but her name really was Gertrude) used to take care of us when mom and dad were away. Us kids would climb head first into our sleeping bags and squirm around, making her guess who was in each sleeping bag.

We would play hide and seek and hide in the most ridiculous places that only children who are too skinny can fit into. I remember hiding under my bed (captain's bed mind you, behind the drawer) while Amber closed the drawer and hid inside the bathroom cupboard. After what seemed like forever and Grandma still looking, I started giving her clues by yelling out, "Grandma, over here." She came into my room and still didn't find me, yet marveled at the talking bed.

She made us the most delicious sandwiches with moist white bread, gave us our own cans of pop, and gave us each a bag of Smartfood white cheddar popcorn to eat while we watched a movie. Once, when she hadn't brought over her special food, we picketed her with cardboard signs until she caved and took us to Wendy's.

I remember one time Grandma was helping me with my homeschool about genetics, and I told her I thought she had a square head. She laughed so hard I didn't know whether to be pleased or afraid that she actually would die of laughter.

At Grandma's house, Chad and I would crawl into her attic and look down through the peephole into the garage. That is where I put together puzzles: Grandma had two Charles Wysocki's (the Butcher shop and the Antiques store). I once helped her finish her crossword by telling her the Mr. Strauss' first name and thought I was a genius.

Joel and I would come over and help dad mow her lawn, prune and garden. She always gave us each a $50, but we told mom she only gave us $20 so she wouldn't make us return it. When Steve came to Washington to meet my family, we stopped at Grandma's. By that time, she wasn't able to talk, but could still write scribbly letters that were barely legible. She wrote, "I'm glad to have met you."

That was the last time I saw her, and Grandma, I wish I would have said to you, "I'm glad to have met you, too."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

epiphanies #4

1. Why must all housing developments come complete with an adjective and a noun? Mockingbird Heights, Tomahawk Hills, Autumn Ridge, Quail Hollow, Harvey Oaks. Why can't we just have a simple, single word to describe this lot of shoebox homes that looks like all the others? How about "suburbia," or "ditto"? Making a fancy sounding name doesn't make the house values increase, so let's cut the shit. I can tell you my housing development is called "Millard Oaks" and the only oak I've seen has been chopped up to create our kitchen cabinets.

2. It is really not necessary for Hy-Vee to employ 60 teenagers on a Sunday night. Just because you're the only employer that disobeys child labor laws doesn't mean you have to give every single underage kid a job. I'm also not really sure how standing around near the redbox is teaching anyone work ethic. Get out of my way kid, go clean up the yogurt I just dropped for the mere purpose of keeping you busy.

3. Why are Speidi telling Al Roker to stick to predicting cloudy days? They are trying to make fun of him for having a job? I'm sure he would have a sassy retort for you two, but wait, you don't have jobs. I know Heidi climbs around on rocks while Spencer holds his camcorder and tells her to try flying, but last I checked, that's called mixing magic mushrooms with tequila, not employment.

7 years in 4 paragraphs

When I was 19, I saw this guy sitting at our group's table at Buffalo Wild Wings and I thought his crooked smile was so cute. I've always been a sucker for unconventional beauty. Rumor has it, I loudly said to him, "I like your smile." (I say rumor has it because I am embarrassed of my 2002 self. I was so obnoxious that I choose to forget certain memories because it's more convenient for me than believing them).

I was very sheltered, immature, and outspoken. Not outspoken in the endearing, likable way, but in the way where you just want to slap them. I wore terrible clothes (in fact, I could always be counted on to wear a promotional t-shirt and sweat pants). I had obviously spent the majority of my life learning from a $2.49 Kmart curriculum, but somehow believed I was smart. Somehow, this guy with the adorable crooked smile and filthy "The Herd" hat must have found me endearing.

Apparently he went to my school, but I had never seen him before. Somehow, he knew my friend Patrick and procured my AIM screename (it was 2002-AIM was still popular). Writing this now, I wonder how many of the married people I know would be married if it weren't for Patrick. Every college couple turned married couple seem to somehow be connected through him. Perhaps he should kick Patti Stranger off her show and start his own matchmaking business. Hell, their names are even similar.

That last paragraph spoiled the ending, but I'll insert the obvious anyway. The owner of the crooked smile and the filthy hat is now my husband. Steve was my first boyfriend, and he treated my obnoxious self like I was a better, more interesting, more attractive person than I actually was. I didn't appreciate him until quite awhile after we broke up and I moved away. Steve will be both my first and also my last kiss. All the kisses belonging to the kissers in between never could compare. In fact, in 2004 I compiled a list of best kissers, and Steve was at the top of said list (in 2004, I could have been even more obnoxious than I was in 2002). I am proud to be a person who, in the end, gets the best.

Friday, June 19, 2009

almost became the next Rachel Ray

Back when I was much younger and we were all blissfully unaware of how undomestic I would turn out to be, mom forced me to join 4-H. I had no interest at all, because I went to the Puyallup fair every year and saw the girls holding their pigs and pining for those stupid blue ribbons and I wanted no part of it. But alas, mom had spent the best part of her childhood in 4-H actually winning those ribbons for sewing dresses and making pies, so as all parents do with their own hobbies, she forced me.

I hated the meetings. I could never remember the fourth H (Heart, Health, Hands and ______?). They had a hierarchy with a president and a secretary and took minutes at the meetings and possibly even followed Robert's rules of order. They were stiff in their gingham jumpers in a way you wouldn't expect of lonely horse girls. I hate horses and pretty much all animals and even then, I didn't give a shit about a ribbon. I had plenty from saying verses, and they tatter, tear and get wrinkled, and no one except yourself cares. What's the point of an award if you aren't praised for receiving it? Although I did spend ten years being homeschooled, I still knew I was somehow above this nonsense. They collected dues much like a church passes around an offering plate and it was much too cultish, even for my simple, uncultured mind.

My mom allowed me to start off with just two classes, so I was enrolled in a bread making class and an arts and crafts class. For the bread making class, I had to do a demonstration, much like Martha Stewart, where I was to talk seamlessly about flour and dough rising all while whipping and rolling dough. I picked the easiest recipe known to man: flour, water, and drop it in hot grease. My demonstration was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so while at Grandpa's over Thanksgiving, mom thought it would be cute for me to do a mock demonstration.

Eating anything found in Grandpa's kitchen was a gamble: expiration dates ranged anywhere in the last two decades, and sometimes were nowhere to be found because he stored things in those plastic containers. I figured flour would be safe though. I mixed the flour and the water, but somehow it was so sticky that I couldn't even roll it. I added more flour and more flour, but the stickiness refused to be beaten. I got so frustrated that I decided to start over (this was also my strategy at piano recitals, which also didn't go well for me). The second time yielded the exact same results. I threw away the two lumps and sat down to watch "Cheers" with Grandpa. He seemed relieved he no longer had to act interested in my little skit. Later, I realized the ingredient I believed to be flour was actually malt-o-meal.

To this day, the only food I make starts with the instruction: boil water and ends right there after with strain.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

personas to find a personality

While scanning radio channels today, I heard "In Da Club" by 50 cent. It's amazing how one song can remind you of complete periods of your life that you otherwise would have forgotten; they recreate sights, sounds, smells, emotions. This song was very popular the summer of 2004 when I spent too much time drinking and not enough time studying.

Until college, being myself consisted of following rules; so when I got a taste of living for myself and not for anyone else, I found I didn't know who I was at all. This resulted in trial and error of different personas. I bought CDs, not because I liked the music, but because people I knew did, and maybe I could learn to like it too. I bought black jeans (not punk ones, but GAP ones). I drank Hefeweizen.

Summer of 2004 was my clubbing girl persona. The girls I lived with liked to club, so I thought I could morph into that too. I'm sure it was quite comical to watch me try to bump and grind like a pro, when anyone who knows me can imagine what a trainwreck that would be. I didn't think, though, of the consequences of being a clubbing girl. Clubbing girls go home with clubbing boys (everyone pairs up at 1:51 am, to be precise). This was not a reality I was prepared to deal with. As a result, there were some awkward moments of driving complete strangers to their homes, only to snub them in the driveway and drive off to the comfort of my bedless room.

It took me years and countless mistakes until somehow, I was doing things because I wanted to. If I enjoyed someone's company, I was their friend. If I thought I would be arrested for merely being in someone's presence, I scooted away. After working at Black Angus, I realized black jeans are not something I would ever wear by choice. Thankfully, someone stole most of those CDs I bought that I never listened to. And I hate Hefeweizen.

So here I am: very sure of what I like and hate, what it means to "be myself." I lost some of my naivety and learned that a person isn't defined by simple epithets, but changes, matures, and develops as a result of different experiences. I could still become a clubbing girl, a punk, or a jock (stranger things have happened). But if no more changes come, and I'm done morphing and I die this way, that's ok too. I'm quite sure I could've made myself into a better person - but who I am today just fits.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The sheltered life

A dozen things I've never done that most people have:

1. Mowed the lawn
2. Been to a college world series game (and I live in Omaha - it's a shame, really)
3. Been to Disneyland/world
4. Left North America (I would say America, but there was that one night when Naomi and I drove to Vancouver B.C. for a couple hours for the hell of it)
5. Watched "Wayne's World"
6. Read "Animal Farm" for a book report because it was the shortest one on the reading list (but I have read it)
7. Replaced my first car
8. Owned a Barbie
9. Gone fishing
10. Ate asparagus (it smells like hot piss and grass)
11. Worked retail
12. Streaked

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cleanliness is next to godliness

We walked through our new house last night, and the sellers had left it absolutely filthy. I'm talking they didn't even wipe down the toilets or empty out their crap in the unfinished portion of our basement. I cringed at the kitchen sink, and mentally prepared myself for a day of yellow rubber gloves and elbow grease. So I was pleasantly surprised when we went to close and our lovely agent said she was embarrassed by the condition the sellers left the house, so she was paying someone to come and professionally clean it for us. CBS Home didn't foot the bill, but she did out of her own pocket. I'm encouraged to know there is still good in the world.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goodbye, Apple Creek

Our Apple Creek apartment is now merely stacks of boxes. It's the end of an era. I've lived in these apartments all of my non-student Omaha life. This is where I lived when I was proposed to and got married, got my first (and second) dog, and first lived on my own. To pay homage to my old home, I've compiled a list of my top memories here:

1. The craziest night ever. If you weren't there, it involved a dead skunk, a bloody head, some puke peppered with jalapenos and a high speed car race. I think you can fill in the rest of the story for yourself.

2. Was that the same night as the UV in the IV? I forget. If not, I will add that to the list. All of these "craziest nights ever" have become jumbled to me.

3. Telling Steve I loved him (and having him ask me the next day if I meant it)

4. Coming home and seeing little Tucker, who Steve had bought while I was at work. He was whining in his kennel, and so small I didn't know if I would break him. Not much after that, I felt like a proud mama the day he first tumbled down the steps.

5. Taking out the shelves in the fridge to fit the wedding cake. Also that day, my mom frantically ripping out the seams in my wedding dress (if you want it to fit, best not to buy it online).

6. Scraping my third degree sunburn off my body after our honeymoon

7. Assembling the treadmill by myself and not getting upset

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The newest Carter

Our sixth niece, Shannon Rosemary, has arrived. Welcome, the Carters love women!

Friday, June 5, 2009

epiphanies #3

1. Must toothpaste commercials always star models with cosmetically bleached teeth? It's all so unrealistic. People who eat organic and get nine hours of sleep a night and don't indulge in any body-harming activities don't even need toothpaste. They could wake up and chew on a mint leaf and are good to go. If Colgate really wants to sell some tubes, what they ought to do is show a bachelor party where guys are drinking, smoking, and rubbing their faces in sweaty tits all night long. The next morning, they wake up with what feels like fuzzy slippers when running the tongue along the front of the teeth. After brushing, Colgate substitutes in the model's teeth as a double. Instead of boasting about cavity protection and strengthening enamel (which none of us really believe or give a shit about), perhaps they should boast finding the answer to nicotine stains.

2. I'm flabbergasted that Kinko's (a) exists, and (b) has thousands of locations. If you think about it, all it really offers is copying and faxing. Am I missing something? Why are we paying for these services? Don't you know you can do that from work for free? Shove it in a manila folder and it looks work-related. It's a victimless crime, a penny here, a nickle there from a giant corporation who pays their executives in a year what the rest of us make in a lifetime. You think you're ethical for not printing your novel at work? Get off your high horse and feel the rush Wynona Rider gets all while you're clocked in.

3. I've been listening to the radio lately, and I am not impressed with the newest hits. They are very similar to the songs I used to be forced to listen to when babysitting with Barney and Friends playing in the background. Any song with counting as lyrics is not music, that's a rip off of the nursery rhyme, "Buckle my shoe." Also, we should not include colors and shapes in our songs, it makes my car feel like a preschool. I thought we were supposed to be evolving and improving, but this could just be proof that we're getting stupider. Thousands of people actually buy this shit? Please. Although then again, we get excited now about ugly people who can sing (Susan Boyle) as if it's some sort of freak accident. Is this the beginning of humankind degressing?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the Hollywood Holly, e coli

Every episode of Californication season #2 is now available On Demand. I've been waiting for this for months now. I'm not stating this to suggest you watch the show, because it's definitely not a Seinfeld-type show and I wouldn't want to taint anyone and be responsible for it, I'm only stating this for the paragraph that follows.

What I've heard of David Duchovny parallels his character on the show quite well. I imagine David does spend a Tuesday night indulging in all types of behaviors that would make a saint shudder. That made me think if my life was a show, what actress would be the most like me that she would be cast for the role? I would love to pick one of the sexy, slim, centerfold-type models, but that wouldn't be realistic. I came to settle on Renee Zellweger because I know she doesn't have a problem gaining a few pounds for a role, and she married Kenny Chesney and then quickly got that annulled (probably once he finally took his hat off and she realized he's bald). That seems like the type of stupid, impulsive decision I would make and later regret.

I was thinking of all of this while I was waiting outside for Tucker. I would say taking him on a walk, but there's not much walking that goes on. It's really more of him sniffing every branch and blade of grass an creature has ever sniffed or peed on. While standing there pondering some of these deep thoughts, I noticed the bag the apartments provide us to clean up after our pets are the exact same bags the grocery stores put out for gathering produce. Thank God, I think, that we haven't yet become so earth-friendly that we recycle these. But I could be underestimating the human race here. After all, that would explain all these e coli outbreaks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TOP hates

Some people say I hate everything, but I only hate some things. To prove this, I've created a list of my TOP hates (if it isn't listed, I could probably get over it):

Chinese food, split-levels, lipstick residue, red bumps after shaving, "anywho," those quizzes on Facebook, being trapped into a work project at 4:58, Joel Olsten, mayonnaise, cats, missing or yellow teeth, the smell of "the Body Shop," Lil' Wayne, tennis shoes with skirts, screaming babies in public, used gum, stupid questions, "if I told you I'd have to kill you," talking in third person, face makeup on clothes I try on, driving on ice, my clammy hands touching carpet, being cut in lines (or in traffic), collagen lips, overalls, instantly overrated shows and stars ("Lost;" Will Ferrell), people condemning others to hell, crocs, waiting at the checkout for someone to dig up correct change, stop 'n' chats, Runzas, losing things, J├Ągermeister, brands that suddenly feel the need to put an animal logo on their shirts.