Thursday, February 24, 2011

25 things

25 things you don't know about me
or maybe you do - that all depends on how well you know me.

1. I still have all my wisdom teeth
2. I collected basketball cards as a kid
3. Ten years of homeschool is the secret of my brilliance (is "homeschool" one word or two?)
4. I have seen every Sex and the City episode multiple times - even the ones with Aleksandr Petrovsky
5. I have only had two cavities in my life - both were when I was on hiatus from my Sonicare
6. If I was to be a brand ambassador for one company, it would be Sonicare or Camelbak water bottles. Those are two products I completely believe in.
7. I type 76 wpm. Just tested myself.
8. I have hyperhidrosis
9. I'm not into movies that much, but I can't live without TV.
10. I walk or run 20-30 miles per week. 20 in the winter, and I get better with the weather.
11. I hate white walls.
12. I am reading all the Newberry Award and Honor books. At this rate, I should finish by the year 2025.
13. I have a wave pattern/cowlick thing right above my neck. I can never get hair to look right and wish bald really was beautiful.
14. Pink, JLo, Ke$ha, Christina Aguilera, and Rihanna make me run faster.
15. I read the Bell Jar every Thanksgiving and Catcher in the Rye every Halloween.
16. I've only owned this one car that I'm still driving
17. My dad was a state representative when I was 11. I helped him on his campaigns with sign waving, canvassing, cold calls, fund raisers, and a parade.
18. I was a camp counselor for two summers: I think I made a grand each summer. Now that's truly minimum wage.
19. All I can cook is pasta and pancakes
20. I always wear heels, unless I'm exercising or lounging around the house. Or if it's summer.
21. I have never been in a tanning bed (it shows)
22. Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch
23. I will never wear a bikini again after having a baby
24. I haven't been on a vacation where we didn't visit family since my honeymoon.
25. I love making pointless lists.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

tasteless parties

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I don't do parties that sell shit. I don't go to candle or jewelry or food or makeup or any other parties that try to lure you in with the promise of appetizers. I don't believe in preying on the easy sell of a woman who feels obligated to do something for her friend. I also buy anything I want myself, and certainly don't need to start buying shit in my friends' homes: I mean, if you let it go that far, when does the buying stop? I don't even take the time to RSVP "no" to them because I don't think it deserves my two seconds. I hate them. I have made my life goal to never attend one. Lofty, I know. Dream big.

I remember my mother coming back from a candle party years ago and she felt terrible. She felt terrible because she never wanted to go to this party in the first place, but would have felt bad not going, and once she got there, she felt guilted into buying this ridiculous candle holder that cost $45. $45! This was paid by the woman who once stretched $300 to cover the food, clothes, presents, and general expenses of four children and herself each month. Knowing how hard it was for her made me vow right then and there to never attend one of these stupid things. If I want appetizers, I'll go to TGI Fridays anyway - I doubt your party has pot stickers.

But, I broke my vow. Although not by choice: I was duped. I was lured to a party under false pretenses: I was told we were meeting for happy hour and then meeting up with her sister. So I got to happy hour and as soon as I arrived was whisked away to the sister's house for a sex party. It's not as fun as it sounds: you don't go there to have sex, just to look at lingerie and dildos with other women, some of whom love to disclose what they have and wish they had. It's one part interesting, six parts repulsive. And of course, as I knew I would be, I was pressured to buy something. So I did buy something inexpensive, and was given it in one of those black plastic bags that porn comes in which makes you feel filthy. I still haven't used it, of course: it's in a drawer as all things bought out of obligation are.

I was still feeling pretty filthy about the whole thing-not because of my actions, but because of what I learned about the other women-when I went home for Christmas. That was when my mom told me and my sister about this sex party she went to. Apparently that candle party was just a rite of passage and now she's a regular obligation party crasher. She told us how much fun she had tickling the other girls with the feather and joking about sizes. Wow, I'm a prude. My mother is enjoying these things while I'm cringing and wringing my sweaty hands.

All that being said, I am always shocked when I get one of these fucking invitations sent to me: Tastefully Simple, Avon, Pampered Chef, Girl Scout cookies (oh wait, that's something different), you name it. How many times do people have to be turned down before they realize it just ain't gonna happen with me? It ain't gonna happen unless you lie to me about where I'm going, and then I just might show up and hate myself for being so gullible. These party hosts are predators and I'm simply prey.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

grinding away

This girl has some lofty ambitions. And all of them center around not having to work anymore. I would love to be able to wake up each day when I want, decide what I want to do. Maybe I'd write, maybe I'd read an entire book, maybe I'd kill three hours shopping for things I don't need, or maybe I'd watch an America's Next Top Model marathon. It doesn't really matter what I do, it matters what I don't have to do anymore. No more job, no more looking for a job: the perfect scenario.

But I've realized that you have to work hard to do nothing. You have to work hard and long enough in your job that you can get raises and promotions and have enough money to quit and live off savings. You have to pursue someone who has enough money that your contribution is minuscule in comparison, and then push his 10 lb child out your vagina to secure him (or at least his child support payments). Or if you have a talent, you have to perfect your talent and go to auditions or submit your art and hope someone finds it good enough to pay you for it.

And sometimes, if you do not have a job, you still have to clean the house and make sack lunches and pick up and drop off kids and that is really not avoiding work at all, in my opinion. I want to avoid all work. Maybe I'll wipe the toilets down each Friday, but don't ask me for anything beyond that. I didn't say I didn't want paychecks anymore, I said I didn't want to work anymore. How young is old enough to retire?

You know I've been reading about astrology lately, and here's what my sign says about my relationship with my job:

When a Pisces is under stress, all you want to do is hide, hoping reality will disappear or magically mend itself. The last thing you need when you feel your nerves on edge are major obligations and responsibilities to others —Pisces does not like to be confined; especially when feeling vulnerable. Therefore one of the best healing tonics for you generally is just being alone and escaping the day-to-day stress grind.

Great! Where do I sign up? I'm ready for that.

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
~John Lennon

Monday, February 21, 2011

dates

With each year of marriage that passes, dating life slips further and further from my memory. Going on dates is a thing of the past, for the most part. But I keep all of the memory I can of when Steve and I weren't married, just were together.

The time when people are pursuing each other, seeing if they should end up together is so sweet. When they don't yet think about bills and future children and home remodeling: they are still trying each other out to see if that is someone they could end up discussing those things with someday.

I remember the first day I met Steve: he was at a table, the only person I hadn't met before, but he was the only one I noticed. He had this crooked smile and a dirty white hat and I remember thinking about his smile on the ride back to my dorm room. I remember our dates when we still barely knew each other and conversation wasn't natural, so we listened to his punk rock CDs.

I remember even then, going on walks together, grabbing hands for a moment or two, relishing every moment we had together before retiring to our halls.

I think of how much is the same, only now we know each other better, talk either more or less based on what we are comfortable doing. We know each other enough now not to ask stupid questions, since we know the answers. We know each other enough to know how to and not to piss each other off. We know now how to react to each others' emotions.

We are the people we were then, just more comfortable with being that person. I don't feel the need to suppress my thoughts or emotions and he doesn't feel the need to wear collars. He can smoke a cigarette around me and I can drip hot fudge down my shirt without being embarrassed. We have become best friends, we have trust and a mutual respect for each others' ambitions and opinions. We have each other: and all that entails.

It's hard to believe that at one point, we lived independently from each other. It's hard to believe that at one point he was just a white hat at Buffalo Wild Wings. It's hard to believe we could have both gone on with our individual lives, not knowing what we were missing by not trying us out. It's hard to believe he could be with someone else, and I could be alone, and we never would have known this life we have built together.

Do you believe in soul mates? Or do you think that you can learn to love anybody given the right circumstances and timing? Because I have never been with a man like Steve, and don't think I ever would be again even if I was still out there dating.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

hoarders in the making

Objects around the house that tell you you're dangerously close to ending up on that show "Hoarders":

1. Puzzle glue
2. A TV guide (made out of glossy paper)
3. Multiple colors of that ribbon you curl with scissors
4. Expiration dates B.Y. (Before Y2K)
5. Pet items if you don't have a pet
6. Clothes in a mending pile are parachute pants and sweatshirts without hoods
7. VHS or cassette tapes
8. Decorative birdhouses or fake ivy
9. Longaberger baskets
10. Excessive amounts of lotion
11. A mound of old shoe boxes or recycled wrapping paper
12. Trophies if you do not have children in the house
13. Tomato plant cages sans tomato plants
14. Shoelaces that aren't on shoes
15. Anything being held together by hot glue

Consider yourself warned. I have listed some of the cheapest, most outdated, or useless items. If you have these lying around, it's time for Spring cleaning. Rent "A Quick Dump" and toss that shit out before someone subjects your house to A&E Cameras and you end up eating your dinner on an overturned 5-gallon bucket because your kitchen table is covered with junk.

This is my Public Service Announcement. There is no need to save old butter containers or Readers Digests or doo dah birds. The rest of us have moved on. It's time for you to do the same.

And for God's sake - clean off your table!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

out of focus

Yesterday's post reminded me of something I wrote five years ago. I plastered it onto the front page of my photo album, which I searched the house high and low to find. I just found it a minute ago, next to all my other pictures, where it would logically be. I didn't even think to look there...

My mom didn't take a whole lot of pictures. Well, that's not true. When us kids were still little and cute, there are a ton of pictures of us: chubby cheeks, striped sweatsuits, and scenes of us playing. But as all kids do, we hit the awkward stage: buckteeth, straight bangs, and slouch socks. Maybe that was just the eighties, though. But the pictures we have remind me of memories I would have otherwise forgotten.

I just wish there were more pictures in between my mom using a camera and me getting my own. I tried and tried to remember a picture that was never caught on film. I remember parts of the picture: what I was wearing. I was wearing one of those skirts with the three layers of ruffles. I think I was at a reception after a funeral. A grandparent's funeral, but I'm not sure which grandparent. I must have been seven, but I only know that from my mom's memory, not from my own. I remember these gaudy velvet chairs lined around the perimeter of a large room, and a temporary wall that my chair was against. We were in a restaurant, or maybe a hotel. There was a buffet, and there was punch.

But past that, I can't remember. I want to remember what I felt. I want to remember who I was sitting next to. I want to remember everyone who was there, and where we went next, and the conversations people had, and how we all interacted. But all I can remember is those velvet chairs, and my three-layer skirt, and that temporary wall.

Even though it never was one, it reminds me of something I would see in a picture. Only this picture is blurry; all you can see is a girl, about seven, swinging her feet off of a velvet chair, which sets in front of a temporary wall. There are faces on either side of her, but no one can tell whose faces they are. There are many details that have been distorted into a hazy blur.

You don't know which ordinary day is going to turn into an important memory. You don't know when it is the last time you'll see someone. You don't know when a memory will escape you. That's why we take pictures. ~July 2005

Friday, February 11, 2011

woman without a memory

My memory blows. It's terrible. People will recall memories they had with me and I'll say, "wait, was I there?" I can't remember anything. Most of the memories I do have were actually told to me by someone else; I myself can't remember it ever happening. I remember vague outlines, but few specific details. Or then sometimes I'll remember some stupid detail, like what shirt I was wearing, but won't remember something important, like who I was with.

Do I have early onset Alzheimer's, or am I just stupid?

Don't answer that. Really, don't. I already have blond hair and Polish decent stacked up against me; I don't need any more ammunition for people. So I probably shouldn't have mentioned this. Oh well, I don't believe in the delete button. Once it's out, it's out.

I told Steve tonight that I wish I would have kept journals my entire life, starting early, like age 8, and wrote an entry every day. Like Anne Frank. That girl was a genius. No seriously, if you haven't read her diary, you must. She had the brilliance of someone much beyond her years. Had I kept these journals, I could read back and refresh my memory as to what happened and how I felt. I could remember parts of me that are missing: the parts that can only be pieced together by other people's memories, and I don't know that I can entirely believe those. I would much rather listen to myself than someone else claiming to be an expert on myself.

I did keep journals when I was younger, but they all made their way to the bottom of the garbage can on trash day out of fear or knowledge of a nosy family member reading it. But if I could be a kid again, and if I didn't live in a house without privacy (we shared bathwater, for God's sake), I would keep journals ẚ la Anne Frank. I would remember my own life. I wouldn't be a mystery to myself. And maybe I could make some more sense of my senselessness.

At least I've got my blogs. I have chronicled the last two years of my life: my emotions and triumphs and frustrations and events. And this time, I'm asking people to read it. Try to make sense out of that. And if you can't, blame it on the blond or the Polish in me, or the Alzheimer's.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

losers cause excessive profanity

Let me bitch. I had a long day. I don't bitch enough considering my blog title. I could spout "fuck" non-stop for three straight weeks and still not catch up on the venting that has built up inside of me. So here's something that really pisses me off: blog commenters who write of how they were offended by your latest post.

Are you fucking kidding me? You don't agree with me? You think I'm an asshole? Am I supposed to give a flying fuck? Because I don't. It's my blog. I say what I want. You can choose to read it or not. I am not offended that you're offended. I'm glad! Get off my blog if you're so pissed, I don't need you and certainly don't need your approval.

Who are you again? Oh, some stranger living in your mom's basement browsing blogs so you can spam penile implant comments on them? Oh shit, I didn't mean to offend you! Not you of all people! You're third on my list of people I'd like to meet right behind David Beckham and Adam Brody (wait, what list am I referring to again? Did I say "meet"?). Write your own blog about what pisses you off or offends you. That's what the rest of us do!

You must think I had some stupid commenter on my own blog. That's where you're wrong. My commenters are few and far between, and pretty much all related to me. I'm pissed about comments on other people's blogs. How stupid is that? But like I said, sometimes I just need to bitch about something, anything. I had to contain it to one topic since I have a job to get to tomorrow.

In other related news: I'm thinking about seeing a psychiatrist. What do you think, good idea? You better fucking agree with me.

P.S. Got a running start on the "fuck" usage, didn't I? I don't have a lot of skills in life, but I'd say swearing has to be one of them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

looks good on paper

Resume bullet points are often usually always bullshit. People use words like “analyze” and “monitor” because it sounds impressive; whereas if they really listed what they did at their job, it would look more like this:

  • Clock in
  • Screen phone calls
  • Play Yahoo games
  • Get coffee for a pick-me-up
  • Minimize my internet windows when the boss comes around
  • Take a lot of smoke breaks
  • Bullshit with co-workers to make the time pass
  • Watch the clock
  • Check my Facebook news feed
  • Wish I had a different job
  • Look for a different job online
  • Procrastinate on projects
  • Take a pen and paper to meetings to look interested
  • Go get coffee again in the afternoon with the treat receipt
  • Delete my internet history
  • Clock out

And to think people who review resumes for a living wonder why it is so hard for job applicants to make one. Because unless you have a job description to copy and paste, you've got to remember what it is you're be paid to do. If work was mostly blue collar before, and we've "evolved" now to white collar, I shudder to think of what the next collar will be.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

astrological advice

I don't know much about astrology except that they sell little rolled up scrolls of them at Safeway in the checkout line. But today in my magazine, I read my love forecast for the hell of it. Because it's there and so am I.

It said that Pisces are dreamy, artistic and sensitive. And it said my best match is a Virgo because they encourage you to be more practical. So then I looked at what Steve's sign is and wouldn't you know it: he's a Virgo. By one day, but a Virgo nonetheless. And he is what they say: detail-oriented (they didn't expand on specifics much: best to be vague if you want to be right).

The stars fucking nailed it! That is our relationship in a nutshell. So then I thought the stars must really know what they're doing. I wondered if the couples I know that shouldn't be together (you know the type: the people who make each other miserable but for some god forsaken reason stay together) are suggested for each other by the stars. And no, they are not. The stars do not recommend the slut and the whiner be together. Sure, my research on this topic was limited, since I know very few birthdays. But from what I read, I was impressed.

Maybe I'll go to a psychic next. Or a palm reader (are they the same thing?) It's pretty fascinating to think stars know us better than we know ourselves. What kind of idiots are we, any way? Stars are rocks (well, technically they are some sort of gases held together by gravity, but that makes them sound smart, so lets go with rocks). Next time someone tells you you're as dumb as a box of rocks, take that as a compliment because the stars are geniuses. If only we were so lucky.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

restaurant hostess

Today, someone found by blog by googling, "is it hard to be a first time hostess at applebees" {sic}. Now I haven't been a hostess at Applebee's, but I have bitched about that establishment and worked as a hostess at other establishments, which in my eyes makes me an expert. So let me tell you why being a hostess sucks. There are many reasons, but I'll touch on the main ones:

1. The list checkers:
It's either a bitchy middle-aged woman asking "am I still on the list?" or sending her husband to ask the same question. Yes, you're on the fucking list. I didn't shred it: it's sitting right here like it has been the whole time. It's called capacity: we're at it. There are no empty tables to put you at, trust me: if there were, I'd be happy to rid my lobby of you.

2. The detectives:
These are the people who think seating is one big conspiracy against them. They are always sure that the person you just sat arrived after they did. Well guess what: they didn't. I quoted you a 30 minute wait, and you can just sit tight, before I do shred the list your name is on.

3. The empty table argument:
There are inevitably people who point out to you that there are tables that no one is sitting at. What these people don't understand is that a table does not come with service. Yes, there is an empty table in the corner - the table that rats have chewed most of the cushion off of. Be my guest and sit at it. No server is going to come help you, because we have seven servers and seventy tables. I'm a realist: you, apparently, are not.

4. The conspiracy theory servers:
Nearly as bad as the guests are the servers. If you're not dating them, they think you're screwing them (no pun intended). They will come up and ask why you are you giving them all the families with kids or foreigners or teenagers who don't tip, or the ugly young people. They think you hate them and you are ruining their night by not giving them all Wall Street brokers in pinstripe suits who order seven scotches. I tried telling them I was following a simple rotation: first Jen, then Diane, then Mitch. It's not some sort of restaurant science where I consider the square root of the number of guests multiplied by the number of servers divided by the date, eeny meeny miny mo and end up at table 12. Trust me, if I had those kind of skills, I wouldn't be a hostess in the first place.

5. The to-go orderers who don't tip:
Now things have changed a bit since I was in the biz; many places now have a to-go person and door and phone number and logo and federal ID# just for call-in orders. It's basically its own restaurant for impatient types like me who aren't going to wait around an hour for a buzzer to go off. But before all these advances in technology, the hostess answered the phone. The phone calls consist of the same three calls: 1) What are your hours? (2) Do you take reservations? (3) Can I place a to-go order? Oh, and the collector calls for Mitch, but caller ID was around back then.

To go orders were like my tables - the only tips I received. I made sure the orders were perfect: I put in plasticware and mints and made sure I got the freshest bread and put au jus in ramekins for all eight prime ribs. I bitched out the cook on your behalf about the temperature being wrong. And then you stiffed me. You signed your credit card receipt with just a dash through the tip line. Well fuck you. I'll remember you next time, cheapskate. I do have caller ID, you know.

You're spending $25 for a slab of prime rib and can't even give me a dollar per plate? Outside of drink orders, the service you get from a server is taking your order and delivering your correct food. That's service worthy of at least a fucking dollar. A dollar so I can buy myself a McChicken on the way home while you eat your fancy prime rib. If you didn't want to tip, you should have stopped at a place with a drive-thru window like I will be forced to based on your stinginess.

6. Whew, that last one took a lot out of me. A bit of a soap box, as you can see. It's been seven years, but I remember being stiffed like it was yesterday. What an insult. My hourly rate of pay is nothing worth noting, so the least you can do is give me a fucking bill. Any bill. OK, onto #6) Collecting:
Most don't, but a few restaurants require servers to tip out their hostesses. So at the end of your shift, you are walking around with an open palm, hoping for alms for the poor. Servers think they're better than hostess, so they will turn up their noses and walk quickly to the back for their fiftieth cigarette of the night. But when you do catch one, you would think you're asking for a kidney, not five bucks. They're still pissed that you gave them a couple with an infant and ask you for change on a five. That's when you forcefully flick a penny in their face and say that's all the tips you made on to-go orders, and that's only because it dropped out of someone's pocket. "There's your fucking change!"

Like I said in the beginning, those are only the main reasons. I could regale you with stories of sleazy managers and teenagers coming back, this time sans parents and asking if you found a sandwich bag full of..um..medicine after they left. I could tell you about the drunk people who spill their cosmos and then point out that you should clean it up - someone could slip. People love to bitch to you about the quality or quantity of toilet paper or paper towels in the bathrooms. But those aren't the big six.

So after hearing the main reasons being a hostess sucks, my advice for you, ghost IP address from somewhere in the Midwest, is this: skip the hostess shit and go for the big time: serving. That's where the tips are good and you can act like a total bitch to the lowly hostess who ended up in the spot you just narrowly avoided. The manager will tell you you need experience, and being a hostess first is your best way to end up a server. That's when you unbutton your shirt and say you're only interested in the big time. Let me know how it turns out.