Thursday, May 31, 2007
Worker Mommy has harassed – I mean TAGGED – me to do this meme:
INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.
2) Bun in the Oven3
3) You da Mom
4) Worker Mommy
5) Butrfly Garden
Next, select five people to tag:
Anyone on my blogroll (See: “Cool People”) that hasn’t done it yet.
What were you doing 10 years ago?
Let’s see… I was fifteen, so I was in tenth grade. At this exact moment, I was probably in my Child Development class making paper weapons. (Yeah, I was high.)
What were you doing 1 year ago?
Crying at Sunshine’s Preschool Graduation (Funny that Life As I Know It posted about it today!)
Five snacks you enjoy:
1) Baked! Chips…especially Doritos and Scoops
2) Act II 94% Fat Free Butter 100 Calorie Mini-bags
3) Breakfast bars (esp. South Beach Choco Protein and Special K)
4) Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins (They are so yummy and healthy!!)
5) Chocolate. Lots and Lots of Sweet (or dark!) Chocolate.
Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
That’s like saying “Five things you’ve seen in your life,” How do I choose five?
1) Most Incubus songs
2) Almost all Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks songs
3) Same with Madonna
4) And Korn
5) Two ICP songs (hahahah! Really!! NOOOO, I’m not a “juggalette”!)
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Start a nonprofit – probably a safehouse for abused families
2) Drive a WAY better car
3) Go to a party with Paris Hilton, Linsay Lohan and Nicole Richie so I could personally kick all of their asses and tell them off.
4) Go to the spa every day
5) Fly my family and friends to a remote tropical location for my dream wedding
Damn, that one was easy!
Five bad habits:
1) Swearing (glad I’m not alone in this!)
2) Clicking the Blue “E” (aka my Internet Addiction)
3) Not calling people – or answering the phone (I HATE the phone)
4) Engaging someone in a conversation that was already in progress in my head (does that make sense?)
5) Crying – is that a habit? I do it a lot.
Five things you like doing:
5) Getting better at golf
Funny how I do NONE of them, eh?
Five things you would never wear again:
1) stretch pants
2) the t-shirt I bought at Ozzfest a few years back
3) All the backless tank tops I own (I miss you Body!!)
4) My prom dress that’s STILL hanging in the closet
5) My incredibly sexy black strappy heels (both pair) – only because after pregnancy, my feet no longer fit. I should offer them up (Small size 8!). Or just keep them to look at. Yeah. Cuz they’re so pretty.
Five favorite toys:
1) my iPod (It’s my BEST FRIEND, it makes EVERY list!)
2) My digicam
3) My computer
4) MediaPlayer on days like today when I forget #1
5) NetFlix (does that count!?)
In *other* news:
As far as Scari’s visitation last night, I left work EARLY to make sure I was there when she picked them up. I got home and The Man said she called and said she had to work (WORK!? What about your Crazy Benefits!?) and could she take them tomorrow (No, because Wednesday is the only day NB doesn’t have homework). So she actually said “Let me call my work and see if I can start tomorrow.” START? That job sounds like it’s going to last!! Anyway, she got every Wednesday off showed up about six. Word on the street (or from the kids, whatever) is that her new job is COLD CALLING to sell MAGAZINES. WTH were we thinking when we said she wasn’t stable enough to raise kids?
It makes me think about Orlando Jones on Office Space and it makes me LAUGH!
“Good evening Sir, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack but now I am off it and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.”
AND…she’s still telling them that they’re coming to stay with her for the summer, which, NO. Just, No. No problems, though, we didn’t even talk to her.
Also, this is my 100th post. I meant for this to be my “100 Things About Me” post, but that just ain’t gonna happen. So, yay for me for making it this long!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I was so used to fending for myself and earning every cent I had. I was so used to being broke, it had become a way of life.
Suddenly, I was being paid solely for my presence. All I had to do was show up for a while and laugh at some jokes and I walked away with a handful of cash and a bag of coke. And I did that very often.
We’d go to the casino so he could play blackjack. There were the trips out of town for business meetings. Or he’d take me to MOA, where he’d buy me whatever I asked for.
I got to know The Punjabi a little more. He talked about my future and paying down my debt – I overheard a conversation with one of his friends about his plan to get my debt paid off so I could take out a large loan – I never quite figured out what that was supposed to be for. He also talked about me losing my “loser” friends. He said they were no good for me and they’d only bring me down. That pissed me off, but what really bothered me was when he’d talk about me meeting his family – that’s not why I was there.
I was there for the cherry flavored cigarettes that came in a tin. I was there for the unending drug supply. I was there for the money.
The thought did occur to me that I could probably marry him and live a plush life. I’d never have to work again. I’d have everything I wanted – but would I be happy? Could I bring myself to actually sleep with him?
No, I decided. But that didn’t deter me from continuing the strange relationship we’d established.
It wasn’t easy. I knew that someday, he would expect me to “pay” him back. But I always had a ready way out so I wouldn’t need to.
Then one day, he took me back to his brother’s house. “I need something.” He said.
I stood in the front room, assuming he would be ready to leave in a minute, but he coaxed me into sitting down. He sat very close to me and pushed his head up to mine to kiss me. I pulled away and tried to get up.
“Please!” He said as he grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me back. “Please, why?”
“I don’t want to do this here!” I loosened his grip and stood.
“Then where – we get hotel? My parents are at my home.” He looked anxious.
“No, I have to go. We just have to go.”
“Heartbreaker don’t want love.” He said sadly, “Heartbreaker just want money. How much money for you love me?”
“That’s not true, Punjabi! How could you think that about me!? You’re trying to get with me on your brother’s window seat! Aren’t I worth more than that? How could you insult me like that? I just want to go home – NOW!”
My attempt to turn the blame worked. Not only did he stop, he apologized profusely. “I sorry, please don’t be mad, I sorry, I am. I don’t think you like that”
But it also led him on. I let him believe there might be a chance for us. Now there was no going back to what we were. I had to follow through or get the hell away. I just wasn’t sure which way to turn.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Friday morning I was hit with a bomb. On our way out the door, I said, “I sure hope you get your toys off the living room floor before you go to your mom’s this weekend – I’d hate to see them ‘disappear.’” In response I got, “I’m going to go live with my mom,” from the Ninja Boy.
“No you aren’t.” I calmly replied.
“Yes I am. She said I could. When I’m twelve I get to pick who I’m going to live with and she can take care of me now.”
I was still a little shocked that he responded. I tried to put it simply, “No, she CAN’T take care of you,” type stuff, but he kept pushing it. “She has a GOOD job [as a cashier at Menards]! She CAN take care of me and I WANT to live with her!”
“Well guess what!?” Please, readers, don’t hate me for this – I hate myself enough, “Your mom doesn’t even have a job anymore! She quit it so she could get money from the government!! She can’t take care of you with THAT!”
While it was true, it wasn’t a nice thing to say. The Man got a call from the Social Security office on Thursday telling him that Scari had filed a claim. They wanted his and the kids’ information to see if they were eligible for benefits.
“Is she disabled?” you might ask. Nope. No physical limitations whatsoever. She’s fucking crazy. She must have finally proved that she’s schizophrenic (she started trying two years ago as a means to get out of paying child support).
RANT ALERT: (feel free to skip this part) You know how much this pisses me off? I’m here working my ass off and WILL be until I’m old enough to retire. Every month, I pay out two hundred dollars toward Social Security – and it won’t even be around when I’m old enough to use it. My brother, who suffers from a degenerative retinal disease, lost his benefits because he “wasn’t blind enough.” But apparently, you can be fucking CRAZY enough!! Apparently, if you want to go fry out your brain on METH, you can just go right the fuck ahead because once it’s gone, the government will pay you to live in a Section 8 ghetto and buy your smokes. But, a BIG sorry goes out to the homeless children in the city – there just isn’t money to help you! Let’s not be selfish now, these people may have done it to themselves, BUT THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO! Who cares if they fucked themselves up? It’s up to US as a COMMUNITY to support them and love them and pay ALL THEIR FUCKING MEDICAL EXPENSES.
And my number one concern over all this: If she’s too loopy to hold a job, how is she capable of caring for children?
< / rant >
Okay, so after I spouted a little more evil out of my mouth, I dropped the kids off at daycare and called The Man bawling.
That night, she called and confirmed what Ninja Boy had told us. “When he’s twelve, he gets to PICK where he wants to be!” Yes, Moron, every child at the age of twelve gets to decide for themselves what kind of live they will have. Me? I moved into Disneyworld and ate Sno-Cones and funnel cakes all day!! Oh, wait, right – not in REALITY! Because in REALITY, a judge would NEVER say “So, you are TWELVE now, boy? Sure, your schizophrenic mom’s apartment in the ghetto is the PERFECT place for you to be! Wish GRANTED!”
I asked Sunshine that night if her mom ever said anything to her about living with her. “Yeah and I told her ‘No, I don’t want to.’” My sweet little baby – who always tries to make everyone feel loved. What pressure she must have felt being asked that. But I am SO proud of her for saying how she felt.
I know I shouldn’t have gotten so worked up about it. I know that it’s not a viable outcome. My problem is that we were finally GETTING ALONG. We were finally to a place where we were happy with our situation and then she had to push it. The pickup went fine that evening, except we forgot to send NB’s ADHD meds. So Saturday morning on our way out of town, we stopped to drop them off. NB came to the car and I said, “Where’s your mom?”
“She doesn’t want to come down.” He said. Whatever, I gave him the baggie with the two pills and said, “Take these right up to her.” And he went back to the playground. We sat in the car for a minute wondering what was going on before we pulled up alongside the playground. Scari was standing on her second floor balcony screaming “NOOOOOWWW!!!! BRING THEM TO ME NNNNOOOOOOOWWWW!!!” Trying to get NB to bring the pills up to her. We heard him yell, “I’ll be back later!” The Man got out of the car and went after him. Never in his life would that boy EVER blow off something I told him with such disrespect. And yet, his own mom who he wants to live with SOOO bad – doesn’t get a shred of respect from him.
Though we felt uneasy about it, we left for Wisconsin.
Sunday at five, I checked my phone and had a message from Scari saying the kids wanted to spend another night. I called her back and said, “No, we are already on our way there.”
When we got there, only NB, Scari and her boyfriend were outside. Scari brought his bag to the car and started bitching at The Man about how we are such assholes for not letting them spend the night and we should do what the kids want and it’s still the weekend and we’re fucking idiots. I very dryly said, “It’s Sunday at six, the weekend is over.” She got in my face and told me to “Shut the fuck up” because it was none of my business. It was between her and her ex-husband about HER kids.
I am an extremely reasonable and calm person until someone pushes my buttons. And that bitch had.
“So where have you been the past five years while I was working to raise them, bitch? Out getting fucking HIGH and screwing the neighborhood!”
To which her super-smart boyfriend replied, “Can’t someone make mistakes?”
No, you stupid fucker. You don’t get to desert your kids for FUCKING YEARS and call it a ‘mistake.’ There are no do-overs when it comes to raising kids.
So, anyway, NB refused to get it in the car. They refused to let him. She held him back screaming, “He doesn’t want to go, he fucking hates the bitch!” and telling him he could stay if he wanted. I finally called the police when they wouldn’t get Sunshine.
After I called, they were suddenly willing to cooperate and Sunshine came running to me. She was visibly upset – as anyone would imagine. I tried to comfort her and tell her that everyone was just very upset and saying mean things and it wasn’t their fault at all. But it should have never happened in the first place. They put NB in the car, trying to reassure him that they were taking us to court so that he could live with them.
We waited for the police and The Man talked to the officer telling him what happened and that we just needed a report made. NB was screaming in the backseat that he didn’t want to go home that he hated us and we hated him and we should just let him go.
I stopped him and said “I don’t care what you believe about anything else, but you’d better believe that we love you – we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t!”
Halfway home, he’d gone back to my regular Ninja Boy. Not the screaming, hate-spewing monster he’d been just a half-hour earlier.
That night, he asked me why his parents weren’t together anymore and I told him he’d better ask his dad. Up until now, the answer had always been, “they just didn’t get along.” But that wasn’t going to cut it anymore. We have no idea what she tells them when they are there. And for the first time, we felt our silence would end up hurting us rather than making us look like “the better person.” So TM explained, “Your mom found someone else she wanted to be with and left. When she finally came back, I let her take care of you. But then she started using drugs and wasn’t taking care of you guys. You had no electricity, you had no food and you had nobody to watch you. So you came to live with me and your mom went on with her life.” “Don’t you remember when your mom wasn’t around?” he asked them, “I almost lost my job because she wouldn’t help me watch you and I almost lost you when she finally did.”
And, even though I’d debated over it since we got back in the car, I asked NB, “Why do you hate me?”
“I NEVER said that!”
“Well, that really hurt my feelings when your mom said that. I love you and I do everything I can to give you a good life. It really hurt to hear someone say that you hate me.”
He snuggled up in my lap and pulled my arms tightly around him. And that was the end of it – until tomorrow, when she uses her “weekly visitation” night. I’m scared. I am. I’m not even afraid that she will get custody. I’m just scared about what this is going to do to our happy family. I’m scared what it’s going to do to the kids. I’m scared what it’s going to do to me. It’s going to be a long road – I’m just not sure I’m ready for it.
For anyone who made it through that – you deserve a medal! And for anyone who just scanned to the bottom, I totally understand and my regularly scheduled posts will resume tomorrow.
Monday, May 28, 2007
...Can only mean one thing....
Somebody was in Wisconsin this weekend!!
Here are some pictures from my very long, very interesting and very emotionally trying weekend.
If I weren't so darn tired, I'd try to fix it so it fit. And make is stop ZOOMING all the pictures. It still gets the point across, right?
Friday, May 25, 2007
Give the meaning of your kids’ names, and write about what or how or why you gave the name to your kids. Tag five people to play along and leave a comment at their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
Ninja Boy was given this name because since birth he has been obsessed with Ninjas. We coaxed him into going to Kindergarten and First Grade by telling him that ninjas have to graduate before they can really be a ninja. I suppose I don’t have long before I’ll have to change his name to Ninja Man. Ooooon second thought, No. He’ll always be Ninja Boy. His birth name is actually The Man’s bff, Cowboy's, name and TM’s name. When Cowboy has a son (which, may be never) he is supposed to switch the names around. So his child will be The Man Cowboy. Or, would it be Boy Ninja?? You get what I mean, right?
Sunshine’s pseudonym came to me immediately. Since she was a baby, she has been the sunshine in my life. Plus, her appearance had a lot to do with it - She has the most beautiful “light up the room” smile. And she is a natural blonde with a natural tan. She’s also a total summer girl. I have a feeling this one will be leaving me for the West coast when she gets old enough. If she could, she would live in flip-flops and skirts or shorts.
My sweet Isabella – we had a really hard time picking names for this one. I really wanted to name her Hazel after my great-grandma, but The Man said “No way.” He actually – seriously – wanted the name Holly. I wish I could tell you all what his last name is because the combination is just ridiculous. Like, INSANELY ridiculous. So anyway, we were at a hotel visiting with my grandparents and they asked me what we had come up with for names. Out of *nowhere* The Man says, “What about Isabella Grace?” and I was set on it. I have no idea how he came up with it, but it was seriously the most beautiful name I’d ever heard.
I have to tag five people! A lot of you go by pseudonyms yourselves, so this could be hard.
So instead (because I break all the rules), just tell me in the comments how you came up with them. Or! If you have a lot to say, feel free to consider this a tag. :)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I have a new addiction.
It used to be that I would compulsively check all your blogs throughout the day, waiting for a new post. (Why yes I do have a job, why do you ask?)
I feel shut-out. Left behind. Abandoned. Like all my friends are off partying and left me and my broken blog reader behind. Needless to say, it's been a very long afternoon.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Wearing my tight Calvin Klein jeans and tall black boots with a low-cut white top, I pulled into the market’s parking lot.
The Punjabi swung in immediately after.
I climbed into his truck and he smiled at me.
“Very good,” he said, “look very good.”
The drive to Rochester, I tried to ignore him. He droned on about some crap going on with one of his stores. He always seemed to be talking, yet never revealed anything of importance. Like, where we were going.
We arrived at a building in a manufacturing district and parked in the dirt lot.
“Come with me.” He instructed.
His ‘business partners’ met us in the entrance and led us to a meeting room.
“This,” he laughed, “This is my driver!”
“Well, certainly is something to look at, isn’t she? Driving all she does?”
I smiled, but I wanted to punch him.
They got down to business and I spaced out, thinking of what I was going to do with the $250 he was paying me to sit through this. I was so used to being broke, the thought of having a little extra money excited me.
Before I knew it, the meeting was over and the men had invited us to get drinks at a bar just outside of town.
On the way there, I told The Punjabi, “I have to be home BY six. I have to meet my mom.”
“Oh, no problem, we be back early.” He promised.
Inside the dim smoky bar, people stared me down. I wondered what they were thinking as they silently watched us find a seat. The Punjabi’s associates pressed me to drink with them. I wasn’t about to tell them that I wasn’t 21 yet. I repeated, “I’m the driver,” to everyone that asked. But they kept pushing me until I ordered a beer.
I tried to be polite and witty and sweet. I played a game of pool and pretended to be interested in what they were talking about. I laughed at all their jokes and let them light my cigarettes for me. But soon it was nearing six o’clock.
I pulled The Punjabi aside, “You told me we’d be home by now!” I said.
“We go in a bit,” He replied.
“NO!” I got serious. “I have your keys and I’m leaving, whether you are in the truck or not.”
“Oh, settle down, Heartbreaker!” His attitude just pissed me off.
“Thirty minutes, Punjabi – then I’m gone.”
When his time was up, he was ready to go. I smiled and thanked everyone for the nice time and hurried to the truck.
Driving home, I literally had to push him off me. He was slobbering drunk, professing his love to me. “Why you no love me?” He asked. “I too old for you, Heartbreaker?”
“Go to sleep.” I said, the sickened tone in my voice was apparent. He did and thankfully slept the rest of the way.
When I reached my car, I asked him if he’d be okay to drive himself home.
“I be alright.” He said, and he apologized for acting like an ass.
“I just don’t need that in my life,” I replied.
“You need this though, don’t you?” He asked, handing me my pay.
The cash felt good in my hand. It was more than I made in a week, with a little “sugar” on top. And here, all it took was putting up with his shit for a little while.
“I see you later?” He asked.
He knew he would.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I’ve tried a couple products and have some more on the way. (I SO heart you, Internet Shopping!) So the upcoming weeks will be filled with eco-friendly product reviews.
I’ve also still been trying to change my unfriendly habits. The area I have been really trying to improve on lately is grocery shopping.
Normally, I go to Cub Foods for my dairy, meat and produce. Then I go to Wal-Mart for the non-perishables (So Much Cheaper!). This usually leaves me with about 20 plastic bags that I have absolutely no use for (because I already have so many). I recycle the bags, but it’s always better to Reduce before Reusing and Recycling. So when Cub Foods offered their Cub canvas tote bags 2/$7, I managed to get the last one.
It has been wonderful! I never imagined it would save so many bags. I can fit almost everything from one trip into the bag and have used it at least five times. It makes me feel really good to walk out of the store using it.
I still need to find a solution to Wal-Mart’s excess baggage. Since they started recycling their bags, the bags have been weaker. The cashiers solve this by using two. I think my only solution is going to be to buy another tote (or do you think it would be okay to use my Cub bag there??) and make them let me bag my own stuff. Knowing how many bags I save at Cub makes it hurt that much more when I walk out of Wally’s with three times that.
I’ve also been trying to cut out the extra packaging. The kids take sack lunches to school so this isn’t very easy. I’ve been on the lookout for those little single serve holders for Pringles – something I saw EVERY time I went shopping before and now that I want them can’t find them for the life of me. Chips are not even the worst of it, though. They usually take a cereal bar and juice box as well. Thankfully, school is almost out and I won’t have to worry about that until next year. And then hopefully next year, I’ll be able to get them all kinds of reusable containers during School Shopping Season.
We’ve also been working on our meat consumption but that’s a whole different post!
Want to get your hands on a canvas tote? I did some searching and found these:
Amazon.com has a wide variety. But these are my favorite.
These are from ECOBAGS. What I loved most was reading the reviews and seeing that both people had the same comment about feeling good walking out of the store.
I also found ECOBAGS’ website, where they are slightly cheaper (and you get a deal when you buy more) – I didn’t, however, check shipping costs, which could make it a toss up on who is cheaper.
Uncommon Goods has a cute Cowgirls bag for $20.
Then there is the Eco-Friendly bag Superstore, Reusablebags.com, where you can not only find a wide variety of reusable bags, but you can also get the activist’s kit for $3 (plus shipping).
For more information on using plastic shopping bags, check out this website or Ideal Bite.
As you may have already guessed, this weeks’ Green Challenge is to look at your own shopping and find one way to make it more eco-friendly. Maybe pick up a tote, or buy something in bulk and put it in your own individual containers at home. Or, if you don’t already recycle your plastic bags, you can start doing that! ;)
Monday, May 21, 2007
In her defense, she had two small children at home. I was a smart girl, I received mostly A’s in middle school and the beginning of ninth grade – why should she have been worried?
She should have worried because I was way too young to be my own cheerleader. I was way to naïve to understand that I should have cared about my education. My grandpa was the only person who ever pushed the importance of education on me – but by then it seemed to me that he had me mistaken for someone else. Someone with “potential.” In all actuality, there was no money for me to go to school. Everyone knew it, so nobody pushed the issue.
In the tenth grade, I came out of my shell a bit and started meeting new people. People who didn’t get A’s. People who didn’t even go to school much. In fact, my boyfriend had dropped out a couple years before. He would pick up my brother and me and we’d go get high before he dropped us off at school. Then I would head to first hour – Psychology – a class that I was really excited for when I’d signed up for it in 9th grade. And there, I would sleep off my high. It was no surprise when I failed that class. It wasn’t a surprise when I failed health, either. After all, it was during third hour – that was lunch hour. Who wants to learn about STD’s when you can hang out with your friends for 85 minutes?
My high school years got progressively worse. I was constantly in In-School-Suspension for skipping and for getting caught coming in from cigarette breaks. I was flunking out of classes that should have been easy for me.
And nobody ever said anything to me. Nobody said, “Amy, how did you go from all A’s to just ONE?? Why aren’t you passing these classes?” Had someone stepped in when it started getting bad, maybe I would have changed my ways. Maybe I would have quit using drugs. Maybe my life would have taken a different direction. Maybe.
Halfway through my senior year, I decided I’d had enough. I was living with my friend PM – working almost full time for $5.75/hr trying to pay my rent and car insurance. My dean was really great to me through it all. She let me call myself in sick – she expected me to make good decisions. After all, she was one of my 9th grade teachers – she knew I was smart and capable. When she told me that I would be a credit short of graduating, I decided to just quit.
PM convinced me that if we went to an alternative school, we’d only have to go three hours a day and we’d be able to work ahead to graduate on time. It seemed like a smart idea at the time.
When we told our dean, she never said a word to PM, she was pregnant and the deans tried to usher the pregnant girls out the door as soon as they could. She looked at ME and said, “Don’t do this, Amy. You don’t have to do this! There’s only half a year left – you can walk with your class and take a summer class, you can take night classes, and everything will be okay.”
But I did it anyway. Like fucking fools, we walked from class to class with our yellow discharge slips collecting our things. I’m so embarrassed when I look back at that now. How could I think I was ‘so cool’ because I was dropping out????
When we started at the alternative school a week later, I realized I had made a mistake. These kids were fuck-ups. And a lot of them were just plain stupid. Our homework was to read articles – any kind! – then write a paragraph about them. All of the work was this lame and un-educational. We got a point for each and once you had enough points, you were done with school.
One would think that with it being so easy, I just breezed through it. But I didn’t. I felt like I was insulting my intelligence every time I walked through the door. It wasn’t long before I was ditching out early to get to Burger King before they stopped serving breakfast. Not much longer after that, they asked me to stop coming so they could use the space for someone who wanted to be there.
PM ended up graduating with the class. It seems the hours she spent in front of the TV blurbing articles from the paper really paid off for her.
I ended up trying online school and another alternative school (twice!) before I earned my diploma two years late.
Everyone asks themselves at one point or another, “If I could change _____, would I?” There aren’t a lot of things I’d say “yes” to. My experiences have made me who I am. They led me to have the family I have today. I could never willingly give that up. But staying in school is the one thing I would change. Dropping out is the number one regret I have in life. Because I will never know where life would have taken me had I given myself those opportunities.
This all comes to mind because of the troubles we are having with Ninja Boy. He is at an age where he really controls what he’d like to. If he doesn’t want to bring his homework home, he doesn’t have to. And we’re none-the-wiser.
I have pleaded, fought and screamed. I talk to his teachers via phone and email whenever I can. We’ve developed several plans to avoid the excuses – but no matter what we do, he finds a way out of it. “Forgetting” papers, a mysteriously destroyed assignment books, anything he can to get out of doing his homework.
As we are struggling through this, the only thing in my head is “Don’t give up on him.” As frustrated as I get with the whole situation, I know that if we just give up, his education won’t mean anything to him. I know from my own personal experience how important it is to have someone CARE about what you are doing. And how easy it is to give it all up when you realize that no one does.
What was your education experience like? Were you an ignored slacker or did your parents try to prep you for Ivy League? If you have kids, how do you keep them interested in school/learning?
**The title makes me laugh so hard – some girl left that comment on my little brother’s Bebo page one day. And these children are who will be running our country in twenty years – sorry – our “cntry.”
Friday, May 18, 2007
I’ve been tagged with a new meme – and I complied within a couple days.
The instructions are to write ten things that make your life wonderful and tag five people. But I know a lot of the people I could tag have been really busy, so I’m just going to offer it to anyone who would like to do it. Or you can just let it die. The poor thing.
1. My family – of course. I love that we are all so close.
2. My iPod – I could never work here without it. It’s also convenient that I have, like, six hours worth of kid shows on it. And now that I have the audio adaptor, I’m like a fricken Master DJ.
3. The internet – I feel completely lost when I can’t just hop on the computer to look something up. You can buy anything and have it shipped directly to your house. You can instantly connect with anyone in the world. You have the world at your fingertips. That’s probably why the current ‘younger’ generation is so freaking spoiled.
4. Time off work.
5. Blogging – Umm...duh?
6. Owning my home – there’s just something great about not having to answer to anyone. And painting my walls however I’d like.
7. Cell phones – There was a time in my life when I got rid of mine and refused to get another. I would drive three hours to Wisconsin, at night, after ‘a few’ and take $.50 with me in case I needed to walk to a payphone. Now? I freak out if I go to the grocery store without it.
8. Music – It’s always there for me, whatever mood I am in.
9. Mirrors – what would we do without them? Depend on our MEN to tell us how we look??
10. TV – Not that I watch a lot of it, but I look forward to Mondays and Thursdays all week. I need comic relief to get me through. And Heroes is like the crack of all TV shows. Last night was the last of the Must See Season Finales. The Office worked its Evil Comedic Genius magic. I am going to spend the rest of my summer wondering what the hell is going to happen. Scrubs actually pissed me off. If JD and Elliot do that, I’m going to be REALLY mad! Really, really mad! I liked the new characters and the way things were going.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I like some of their music, but they fall into the same category as Panic! At The Disco. Which is, there are millions of badly dressed 12-17 year old emo girls who LOVE them and will do ANYTHING to be NEAR them. As an adult at a concert, you are almost obviously a chaperone. But then, most chaperones are parents. I am not nearly old enough to be a parent to anyone of that age.
Being a twenty-something in a crowd of ‘old people’ and teens leaves you feeling…a little odd. The last time I went to one of these shows, a girl said, “What are you, FORTY?” Now, this wouldn’t have been so bad if I were forty, but I was 24. I am also a little hot tempered and am not used to being disrespected so frequently and obviously – and that doesn’t make for a good combination when the offender is a minor. It’s not like I can really punch them, which is how I would solve that situation at, say, a bar. So, I leave pissed off and frustrated and a little insecure.
We owned that shit.
My brother was THAT Guy. You know? The really loud, “YEAH BABY!!” Dancing like a freak, drunk guy? Yep…he was That Guy. Before he even finished his first beer. But, you really have to know that my brother is always That Guy. It’s just funny in public.
Here he is being That Guy at Mom's.
He was also That Guy who would smell a cigarette and find the person smoking so he could tell them to snuff it. Hahah! Yup, he’s That Guy, too.
Kristina and I? We were Those Women. She was That Woman who yelled at the emo kids and told them their clothes looked dumb (totally true).
I was That Drunk Woman who kept falling into people and screaming “WHOOOOOO!!!!!” in their faces and crazy dancing. Except I wasn’t drunk…I had to drive my 12-year-old sister an hour home! It was just funny. And it kept EVERYONE away from me. I had realized the secret that all the “old ladies at concerts” had held all these years. And I liked it!
The train ride back to the car was an especially funny part of the evening when That Guy was making very loud jokes to the cars full of Fall Out Boy fans. “Raise your hand if you’re emo!” Hahaha. That Guy!!
Worst part of the evening? When I let Mrs. Urie go off by herself to get an autograph from Cobra Starship. Then she didn’t come back for a long time. And I looked for her. And couldn’t find her. And I spent the entire Paul Wall set and most of The Academy Is… set trying to find my baby sister, telling myself that the idea of some pedophile stealing her was absurd. (It was, of course.)
The best part? Hearing her gush about how “Gabe” signed her arm, hugged her and TOLD HER HE LOVED HER.
Best quotes of the night:
“Show us your boobs!!” Me, kind of (I tried to throw my voice) to the girls wearing tops that were entirely too low cut.
“HE wasn’t at the show!” That Guy, to a very “highly” happy looking guy at the front of the train car. Only funny to those around us, who recognized the reference to the emo crowd.
“I just saw a drug deal!” Kristina, to me outside the Target Center.
Haha, Kristina, help me out with some more…I’m totally brain dead today.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Another Green Challenge not posted.
And now ... Now! ... the story of The Punjabi on hold?
I'm lame, what more can I say?
Last night, The Man took me to see The Killers at The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
I took today off work (where my word doc containing the continuation of the story is) and I'm going to get out and do something fun before I have to pick up my sister to go to Fall Out Boy tonight.
I know, right? I was "way too old" for ONE night of concerting. Two in a row? I didn't know they were when I agreed to them both - that's all I have to say. I'll have my brother and Kristina there tonight to help keep Mrs. Urie under control. Which is good, because I think we might be on the floor again.
I'll have an update tomorrow...and pictures!! That video is The Killers in San Diego last month - we didn't bring any cameras - which totally sucked because I had a perfect view. Anyway. Save it for The Complaint Room, Amy!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Hope you all had a great weekend!
Wanted to update my very sweet and thoughtful readers: Friday, Sunshine brought home two things from school, a card and a flower. She gave me the card and took the flower to her mom. I told her it was very sweet of her to share her gifts between her moms.
Then…Then!!!! She called Sunday morning to tell me “Happy Mother’s Day” and “I love you.” (Also, “Ninja Boy does too.”)
It wasn’t just the card or the phone call that was so sweet, but the fact that at age six she can make two totally different women both feel incredibly special at the same time. That she made sure she was “fair” and “even” with her gifts. (As I told The Man – who was PO’d that she was even giving BM something – she knows what she’s doing. I have flowers in my garden and her mom doesn’t – she just wants to make everyone happy and with me she succeeds at that EVERY DAY.)
On a different note, I have a new *feature* for The Garden!
I call it The Complaint Room.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve written a post just to re-read it and think, “Hmmm…people probably don’t care all that much about that.” But writing is truly the cure for what ails ya, right? Sometimes we don’t need a whole blog post to devote to our frustrations, but just to vent and get it out. Sometimes we just want to complain.
That’s what the complaint room is for. It’s not a support group where your e-friends will jump in with condolences and sympathy. It’s just a place to “get it out.”
So…the next time you are just P.I.S.S.E.D. and want to blow off some steam, pick the appropriate topic and complain away. Sign in with your Blogger name or do it anonymously. I won’t even put a hit counter on it, I swear. Your complaints will be totally anonymous should you choose.
I also created a little button link for it, which will be moving on down the sidebar soon to a more permanent home.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
About Yesterday: Of course Mother’s Day is hard for me. It’s hard for millions of people: Women who’ve lost children, husbands who’ve lost wives, children who’ve lost mothers.
But this year it is extra *special* for me because yesterday The Man went to family court to discuss visitation changes. We’ve been doing a lot of talking and both think that it might be better for everyone if BioMom started taking the kids for full weekends e/o weekend (she only gets one night e/o/w now). She gained about 50 pounds, so I’m pretty sure she’s off the meth. She’s been in her own apartment for about a month (and hopefully will be more willing to provide a smoke-free visit with the kids). She’s just made some small improvements, you know? I was also hoping that spending more time with her, Ninja Boy would both lighten up his attitude and realize that rules have to apply everywhere. Does that seem sneaky? Having them longer than 24 hours, she’s going to have to apply rules, right?
Anyway – that’s not what this is about.
This is about Sunday. First, The Man agreed to the hours of six pm Friday to six pm Sunday – meaning I won’t see them pretty much at all on Sunday.
Also, for three years, I’ve been getting “home”-made presents from the kids for Mother’s Day. When they were in daycare, they planted little flowers and made me “Tylenol” candles (red and white tealight candles back to back, really cute).
But this year, they didn’t. Sunshine was on the phone with BioMom, telling her, “I made you a card and a picture and something I can’t tell you.”
Do I really have a right to be upset here? I mean, she IS their mom. I am probably just jealous. And maybe a little spiteful that all it takes is a few months without canceling a visit and some toys and it’s like she never chose to be without them.
I would expect that they would always love their mom. She did give birth to them, and even though she made really bad choices, that’s gotta count for something.
I guess I’m just a little bitter – like I do all the work and she gets to just have fun with them.
After I got that off my chest yesterday, I felt much better. I went home to find that The Man had bought me a strand of pearls. He told me how much he appreciates me and that he thinks I am a good mom to the kids. That really made me feel better.
Then as soon as I walked into the building today, some jackass asked, “Hey, how’s that kid of yours?”
To which I replied, “Which one?”
“Oh, that’s right, I forgot, I’m sorry, I just – forgot.”
I tried to keep it together, but walking away, it didn’t seem like so much of an accident. It didn’t even really bother me until I asked which child he was referring to and THEN he suddenly remembered. I don’t know – that was just the final straw. I couldn’t even contain myself until I got to my cubicle. Like, I finally start feeling better and the Universe has to kick me in the gut.
Anyway, I’m not trying to stink up anyone else’s Mother’s Day – which is why I posted it early (that and I was going to explode if I didn’t).
All the MommyBloggers out there deserve to feel GOOD that day – myself included.
I plan on posting something **NICE** and **NOT SAD** Sunday, so check back.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
My body shows the telltale signs
That it has borne a child
But nobody calls me "Mommy"
My days are filled with homework, dinner and tuck-ins at bedtime
The kids give me hugs and tell me they love me
But nobody calls me "Mommy"
I pray to God that He keeps all my angels safe
I love them all more than life itself
But nobody calls me "Mommy"
I know who I am to each of the kids
I know they need me as much as I need them
But nobody calls me "Mommy"
So forgive me if I am not overjoyed
On the day of celebrating moms
Because even though I know my role
Nobody calls me "Mommy"
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I figured I could just stop in whenever his truck wasn’t there. But my first time back, he was there before I finished paying for my cigarettes. It was almost as if he’d been notified somehow.
Outside, he questioned why I never called him. “Then give me your number,” he said, “I won’t forget to call you.”
My lame excuses just weren’t enough to keep him away. He wanted to know where I lived, which store did I work at, what times did I work? I made my best attempt to dodge his questions.
He asked me to go for a ride, “We’ll talk business.” He said. I was starting to feel desperate. ’I’ll just go this one time and I’ll do better at dodging him the next time,’ I thought.
In the truck, he handed me a roll of bills and small bag of the white stuff. “For you, my Heartbreaker.”
He drove to a few different gas stations, each time bringing me inside and introducing me to the cashiers and showing me around. “This is The Heartbreaker,” he’d say, and go on to talk to the cashier in their language. Each time, he’d end up shouting at the guy about orders not coming in and the like.
When we left, he’d tell me all about how he acquired the store and I soon realized he owned several stores, not just the two I’d known about. I believe the total was in the 30’s somewhere, all throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.
He told me about his long-time girlfriend who was in very poor health. They no longer had a working relationship. She was morbidly obese and couldn’t be with him intimately. But she was the first person in America to help him, to give him a chance. And for that, he promised to take care of her – and her parents and children – until she died. Something about that story made me think he might be a good guy.
Then he went on to tell me about others he’d helped out – and what happened to those who crossed him. The one that sticks out most in my mind was a guy fresh out of jail that needed a chance. The Punjabi gave him a job at one of his stores, but the guy was soon robbing him through a money order scheme. So The Punjabi’s men took him to the north woods, beat the shit out of him and left him there alone.
“I really better get back, I have commitments today.” I finally said.
“What you think,” he said as he pulled the truck alongside my car, “You want a job?”
“We’ve been through this.” My tongue was salty – I was fed up with him.
“No! Not that job,” he replied, “I need you to drive me.”
“Drive you??” I said, “You can drive.”
“I have big meeting in Rochester and boys, they like to drink. I need you drive so I don’t go to jail. I give you $250.”
“Fine.” I said, “When?”
“Friday, nine in the morning, I pick you up – not at my store, at the market.”
“Yep, Friday, okay. See you then.” I tried to hurry – my friends really were expecting me.
“Heartbreaker,” he called after me, “Look sexy, too.”
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
*Brushed my teeth and put deodorant on before we left to drop Ninja Boy at school
*Worn a bra instead of shelved tank
*NOT worn a hooded sweatshirt
*NOT let Sunshine wear her Christmas skirt, red horse t-shirt and American flag flip-flops
*NOT left my purse in the backseat of the car at Target
*Or…realized that I had before I shut the locked door
* “These are my nice clothes!” I said…which is why I bought the dress.
We did end up going out. To TGI Fridays as predicted. Really late, too. But we had fun.
Today is a sad day in the Twin Cities.
ABC Radio has murdered Drive 105.
It was a rough drive home to begin with, but realizing this actually made me cry.
Hey TC Residents: Want to hear some Matisyahu? How about The Kooks? The Fratellis? What about some Elvis Costello or The Cure?
Too Damn Bad.
But…if you need a good Lionel Richie fix, head on over to Drive, Oops, I mean LOVE 105.
Or, if Rock Whore Ass is what you’re into and you totally love old rock like AC/DC and Metallica - or anyone else who should be on the classic rock station - check out 93x, where my man JP The Radio Slave now resides. Their website is, like, OMG! So. Totally Cool. Like, there are half-naked whores ALL OVER it. Even a ‘hot chick of the day!’
But I won’t. I won't have that station on when my kids are around. I won't even have it on when they aren't. I outgrew that station along with my want to down a beer bong. I wonder where their gay listeners will flock to now, as well, as I can't see the loads of ass over at X being very appealing.
What’s a girl to do? What’s a music lover to do? Who the hell in this metropolis will play GOOD music???
I need some suggestions…I’m leaning toward Sirius, but I’m poor.
My lovelies, I need your help!!
(PS - I’m totally NOT going in to work today and I promise to get some new posts ready. I have to retire one that never even got posted because it was about my love/hate relationship with the aforementioned DJ. I just won‘t advertise for that POS station.)
Friday, May 4, 2007
Me: “Can you think of a couple interesting things about me?”
The Man: “What do you mean?”
“Well, like, Cherann got her spleen taken out and Brillig can speak four languages.”
“Yeah, that’s why I haven’t done the meme yet.”
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~*
I was tagged by Cherann and Brillig to be interesting. Isn’t it funny how when somebody wants you to be something that’s the absolute last thing you can be??
Case in point: I was “invited” to be part of the “company fun week” planning committee. I tried to ignore it (hello! busy here!) , but got a call telling me that Big Shot Lady was waiting for me to start. I grabbed my notebook and shuffled off to the [whatever stupid motivational poster it’s named after] meeting room. As soon as I sat down, one of the women said, “Amy has GREAT ideas!”
“Oh, well! Let’s hear them!!”
“Wait…..What? Ideas on what? Who the hell are you?”
Hahaha…work, is, like, OMG! SO. Much. Fun!
The Rules (I made my own up cuz that‘s how I roll):
I will write 10 things (that randomly come to my tired mind) about myself.
I won’t tag anyone (but if you‘d like to play, get the real rules from Brill or Cherann).
1. My mom was once a collector of strange vehicles. At one time, we had an old city bus that covered the length of the back of our house. My favorite was the Excalibur Limo.
2. Last year I donated a 13 inch pony tail to Locks of Love. Then I heard bad things about them, so when I do it next year, I’m donating to Wigs for Kids.
3. Growing up, I would devour multiple books in a night. Now I can’t even finish magazine articles. I have no explanation.
4. I’m very controlling. And possessive. Somehow this doesn’t bother The Man.
5. I love shopping at thrift stores. Particularly when I was smaller and found awesome old t-shirts in the boys section. I hate dressing like everyone else.
6. I love sunflower seeds in the shell and often take them over lunch. Before “calories” existed in my life, I’d eat them for days on end.
7. I grew up on the river. Not like a beaver, but I lived in a city where three rivers met and my grandparents (who are HERE right now! Yay!) had boats docked on the river. It isn’t summer for me until I’ve been on the houseboat.
8. My company is located on a lake. My mom lives on a private lake. I live near two large lakes and pass at least ten on the way home. (It’s Minnesota, people!)
9. Despite #7 and #8, I will only swim in a pool.
10. I have the same birthday as Kristina, my SIL (It’s Sunday, yo!). My step-dad’s is the same as my sister’s. His sister’s is the same as my moms…there are more, but isn’t it creepy already?
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
“No thanks, I have a job.” I was short with him – it usually got the point across.
“Where you work?” He pressed.
“At a shoe store.”
He laughed and sneered “Shoe store? You a pretty girl, but you sell shoes.” He laughed again. “When you want a good job, you call me, I have good money for you. You dance, you make money – very easy.”
I looked at him with disbelief and restated, “No thanks.” Who the hell did he think he was? So, you own a couple gas stations and suddenly you’re better than me? You think you can insult my job, then offer to pay me to get naked – that’s the way to a girl’s heart for sure, call her a whore.
A couple weeks later, I happened to be alone on a Saturday night and stopped in at the store for some cigarettes. Out in the parking lot, he approached me again. “So, Heartbreaker, you think about my deal?”
As it turned out, I had. What’s the big deal anyway? So I’m hot. So people want to see me naked. So they’ll PAY me for it. I was young and I certainly wasn’t a prude, who was I to judge someone who does that for a living?
His eyes lit up, “Oh, yeah? Let’s go talk…get in.”
Against my better judgment, I got in the truck.
As he drove to an area I’d never been to, I started getting nervous. He pulled into the driveway of a big suburban-type home.
“This my brother’s home – his family is in vacation.” He saw the concern in my face and added, “It’s okay, we talk, that is all.”
Inside, I scoped out the house. It looked like you’d imagine a successful Pakistani family’s house to be. Modern American toys mixed in with religious candles and large portraits of Pakistani leaders. It eased my nerves a bit to know it was a family home.
He made me a drink and started talking money, “Other girl who does this, she not pretty as you. You will make much more. My American friends, they like the breasts. Other girl has too many drugs, she is too skinny. She like that crank – the meth? She gross, no breast. And still, she make a lot of money.”
He pulled out his big sack of coke and asked, “You do this?”
“Hell yeah,” I said and he cut my line.
He found a deck of cards and threw me a wad of cash. “Play blackjack.” He instructed. “You keep what you win, just don’t owe me or I’ll make you pay.”
“I’m not a gamblin’ kind of girl.” I said.
“You came here tonight.” He replied.
I placed my bet.
We spent the rest of the night playing blackjack and talking. I tried to be interesting. I tried not to seem as green as I really was to his whole world. But no matter where I steered the conversation, he wouldn’t talk any more about the ‘deal.’
By the time the sun came up, I was burned out and ready to go home. I felt stale from all the alcohol and cocaine. I was embarrassed that I took him so seriously.
“That’s enough for me,” I said, “Should I call a cab or can you take me back to my car?”
It was then that he said, “Heartbreaker, I can’t let you dance for my men. I feel you here,” placing his hand on his heart.
“Oh, yeah?” I laughed, “You don’t even know me.”
He looked at me with a convicting glare. “I will,” he replied.
In my head I thought, ‘Great! I finally decide to do this and now he’s not even going to let me. Love. Blech! He’s probably going to get all obsessive now!’
Little did I know…
The Garden’s announcer says: Will Butrfly become a dancer? Will she tell The Punjabi to shove it? Tune in next week to find out.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
But I absolutely had to update you on:
What a success it was this year!!
Minneapolis Team Bella raised $760 and Hunstville Team Bella raised $620. That’s $1380, which is over double what we raised last year ($685)!
We had gorgeous weather – it was 78 degrees and partly cloudy with a sweet, cool breeze.
The kids did really well. Ninja Boy was “siiick” when we got there…I think it may have been all the JUNK FOOD and LACK OF SLEEP from staying at BM’s the night before. After the first mile, he really got into it and even STOPPED COMPLAINING! It was amazing. Somewhere along the way I said, “I think you deserve some ice cream!” I still owe him and he won’t let me forget.
He also got to see TC again:
She didn’t get much exercise.
I will give her that my nephew, MX, demanded that she ride to begin with. (He’s rather persuasive.)
My mom and step-dad helped out with the kids.
My brother spent most of the walk sharing my sister’s Shuffle, singing Panic! At the Disco with his hat cocked, but managed to calm down long enough to take a picture. (Can you tell Kristina is of Scandinavian descent?)
My younger brother and sister made me so proud when they joined the team.
Mrs. Urie (and me):
Team Isabella wants to send our deepest thanks to everyone for all the support. We really couldn’t do it without you! I am once again amazed by the generosity of my friends and family. I am once again amazed at what good has been done in Isabella’s name.