Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Photo Blogging - Eddie Vedder is my marital exclusion

Listen. If you came here to see pictures of me breaking my wedding vows with Eddie Vedder, you are going to be disappointed. Not as disappointed as ME because I would love to be a part of that sort of photo op - but disappointed nonetheless. Because despite Eddie's title as "My Celebrity Marital Exclusion" from the very beginning of my marriage, I have once again let the opportunity to track down Eddie and make a man out of him slip through my fingers. He keeps talking about loving his wife and kids during the show. Such a buzzkill, that kind of talk.

Luckily, I am conveniently married to someone (Dare I say it ? Why yes I do) even better. No groupies required, he's all mine and he won't be going on tour any time soon. He came home from the show totally pumped, very inspired, and sat right down and started to play. Hotness. (I typed "hotmess" at first, which is also applicable, as it had been a long night by the time I took this photo.)

The first thing I have to confess is I was a total dork and followed the "no camera, no phones" rule they had posted, and sent explicit emails to ticketholders explaining. Because I did not want to get my extremely expensive replacement phone seized, I dutifully left MY recording devices in the car. Idiot.

I was literally the ONLY PERSON in the hall who did not take photos of the second curtain call. Fuck Me I felt like a total fool.

So this is the first and last photo from the show - me sitting in the parking lot:

Without photos and video to back me up, you are going to have to take my word for it......the show was AMAZING. The opening act was Liam Finn and Eliza Jane. They are so incredibly kick ass. Listen to their songs Second Chance and Lead Balloon, and just hang out for about 2 minutes of pretty and then HOLY SHIT turn your speakers down (unless you want to destroy them) and hold on.

Then Eddie took the stage. Eddie, and 5 or 6 different guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, and various recording devices for looping. It was mind blowing.

Yeah, I love Pearl Jam. This was no Pearl Jam - it was pure Eddie. His musicianship is a perfect blend of talent and reality - you can sit back and just enjoy, and not be thinking "how the hell did he do THAT ?" or get distracted by lights and background crap. Just a man and his music. It's very straightforward. A guy who knows and loves music, with a lot of natural talent and years of performing under his belt. He can chat and tell stories, play originals and covers, invite other musicians on stage, interact with the audience, and make you feel as though you are hanging out with your friends and jamming. If we could have been enjoying a bottle of cab and/or a smoke, it would have been perfect. But it was close enough.

And there was plenty of time for that outside the venue.

So when we got home, I had the munchies, and decided I needed a Jalepeno Chedder Bratwurst right away.

It was so yummy. Perfect food when you are looking for a post-concert nosh.

While that cooked, Sami took a photo of my new shirt - the only souvenir we bought. We almost got into a fistfight trying to procure this little baby, and I had to actually restrain my (usually very mellow) husband from punching a very angry woman who had an equally angry (female) date. I explained to Sami that those two women were going to KILL HIM if he didn't shut up and let them go first. So he did. It was a weird situation to find ourselves in, because on Maui, people just don't pull that kind of shit. We had been literally the first people standing at the booth waiting for them to open so I could grab a shirt before we ate. And while we stood there leaning against a pillar, some more people came up and stood next to us, and then more people lined up behind them and suddenly there was a HUGE LINE and we were standing NEXT to it, even though we had been there first. Weird. So when they opened, the line rushed forward and people started screaming that we were cutting. It was so bizarre. we had been there for so long, it didn't occur to us that there would be an issue.

We were sadly mistaken.

BUT I did score a shirt, which I am very pleased about. Isn't it so cute ? Viva La Eddie !

Monday, June 29, 2009

A day in the life - in photos. Part 5. I think.

OK, I think I was just going to do this for a week, but because I totally crapped out mid-week, I feel as though I have not fulfilled my commitment to my 15 faithful readers.

And thus, I continue to bring you Photos. Of. My. Life.

Yesterday was just your average Sunday. I ran to the grocery, and took a picture of some neighbors crossing the street:

Go ahead, take a closer look. I'll wait.

A little background for my Mainland friends: I live in a small town on the slope of a dormant volcano, at about 2500 feet elevation. We have amazing views, gorgeous sunsets, and cowboys. It turns out, cowboys are hotter then even FIREMEN which I can tell you will make my friend Vibes very happy to hear, since she has recently relocated to Texas. Vibes has an affinity for Big City firemen (NYC firefighters in particular) and they are few and far between in the wide open spaces of Texas. No worries, girlfriend - You are going to be Just. Fine.

Of course, the women in this photo are not COWBOYS, they are just going about their business in town. Our town has hitching posts. Because of the cowboys.

I know. (sigh) Dreamy.

This week is the lead-up to a very exciting annual event - the rodeo. The rodeo in our town is HUGE. Huger then huge. We have a parade, we have parties, there are explosives and animals and rodeo clowns running everywhere. We pull out our cowboy boots and get down and dirty. With cowboys. (sigh)

So, this is shaping up to pretty much be the best weekend ever. Muscle Relaxers + heavy partying + cowboys = fun.

However, in addition to the cowboys (sigh) there is also some very serious rocking out involved. Yesterday was our first foray into the rock.

That right there ? That's Erin Smith and the Throwdowns. The only thing better then rocking out, is rocking out to a chick in a cocktail dress and heels with her hair in a french twist and a flower behind her ear.


It's pretty much downhill after you have rocked with The Throwdowns. Unless you are rocking with this dude.....

....which I am in about 4 hours so I gotta go find my doc martens and a flannel shirt. I told you this week was some serious shit.

Later Gater.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We interrupt regular scheduled programming

Hi there. Yes, I noticed too ! No new posts since Wednesday ?! What the hell ?

So, here's what happened (you're going to laugh !)

I totally pulled a muscle (or several muscles) in my shoulder and neck, which rendered me miserable, and led to my taking various muscle relaxers and pain killers and other natural remedies popular here in the islands in an attempt to make it all just go away because who has TIME for this bullshit but nothing worked, and it got worse, but of course I kept working at the restaurant (because waiting tables and carrying heavy trays is the best thing for a strained shoulder dontcha know. FEEL the burn.) and eventually I found myself completely immobilized. For real.

Hahahahahahaha. Hilarious.

Not really.

So I am here today courtesy of a really AWESOME shot in the ass (literally - I finally went to see a doctor this morning when I was unable to get out of bed and they gave me a shot of Tordol so that I could turn my head without dry heaving from the pain) but I am definitely not up for doing a whole entry of photos of my life, because since Wednesday my life has been fuzzy at best, and involved hugging the toilet at worst. A little short on photo ops, but my toilet is *spotless*.

HOWEVER I did manage to snap a photo in our local grocery store: Mana Foods. Mana is legendary on Maui, as the greatest grocery store on island. And photos of the inside of the store are (according to the employee who stopped me from taking them) NOT ENCOURAGED. But I didn't need any encouragement. I was inspired by a Japanese tourist with multiple cameras hanging from her neck, who was photographing everything in the store. I saw her and I thought "what a great idea - I should *totally* take a picture of the kids in Mana ! We are here every damn day !" So I pulled out my handy dandy point n shoot and started pointing and shooting (photos people, I am talking about photos).

Though, considering the way the staff reacted in the store, I might as well have been aiming an uzi.

Since we do literally shop in this store 5 days a week, and the reaction to my photo-taking freaked me out just a little bit, I went and found my favorite manager at Mana, and asked what the fuss was about. I guess this is a pretty common thing that stores don't allow photos - something about competitors and spying and a whole bunch of stuff that obviously had nothing to do with me taking pictures of my kids, and then she said it was no big deal that I had taken a picture.....this time.

So, alrighty then ! First time, last time !

Without further ado, here is my totally contraband, not encouraged, taken without permission photo of the inside of Mana Foods. And my kids. This is an Adventures in Paradise EXCLUSIVE and I will not be surprised if posting this photo gets me in all kinds of trouble, but what the hell. You're worth it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Something to put a smile on my face Photo blog, day...uhm, day 4, maybe ?

Yesterday I had a spectacularly shiteous day at work.


There is no way to sugar coat it. I mean, the shift itself was fine. Busy, nice customers, good tips. But I was way off my game, practically disoriented, just...fuzzy. It was a day I was glad to see end.

And today is a better day, evidenced here by the two things I saw as this much better day was winding down.

First, the town I work and shop in, and spend most of my free time wandering around:
Yes, we really do just have random rainbows pop up all day long here in Hawaii. They are on our license plates for good reason.

I took this photo as I was crossing the street on the way to work. The cafe is right under the rainbow. I could make a bunch of obnoxious Judy Garland and Lucky Charms comments right now, but I'm not gonna. It was a nice way to wrap up the day, and head into work for a dinner shift.

And then, after working dinner, I made my way back to the house. By now it is cold and windy and raining. I am glad to be here - but my dog is even happier about it.

That look you see there ? That is blind adoration. That dog loves me in a way I cannot understand, and do not come close to reciprocating. I really wish he would take it down a notch, actually. He is an outdoor dog (It's Hawaii, people. That's not a rough gig.) and our house is built on "post and pier" which basically means it's on stilts. (This helps to prevent termites, which are a major issue here in Hawaii, but I digress.) My point in sharing that detail is that the dog hangs out under the house. And he will literally follow my footsteps and voice around the house, and whimper from beneath the floorboards. It's creepy. Gives a new meaning to "underfoot", let me tell ya.

I am heading to bed, but tomorrow we have an action-packed day and I will try to remember to take photographs to share !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3 little fishies

We have 3 fishies in our house. One is technically more of a mermaid, but I call her my little fishy so I am going to include her in this post.

So, we'll start with my cute little fishy/mermaid, lounging in her clawfoot tub.
As you will see in the photo below, she is playing with bathtub paints. I do not understand the concept of bathtub paints. Why? Why give kids something to smear all over themselves, and expect them to know the difference between soap "paint" and REAL paint? When I was a kid, bathtime was for getting clean. Paint was not involved. There was water and soap. And a bottle of the golden-colored Johnson and Johnson "No More Tears" baby shampoo. Sometimes, on a special occasion, bubbles. But that was very rare.

Now, there are entire AISLES of bathtub toys. Special soaps, with bottles in the shape of cartoon characters and different scents and colors. That classic J&J baby shampoo is positively anemic - no more glowing sunflower gold tones, now it is a sort of pale lemon. And it has been joined by a whole bunch of other options for shampoos, conditioners, sprays, oils and lotions.

So here is my little fish, whiling away an hour or two in the tub, with all manner of toys, soaps, conditioners, and paint. Apparently. I cannot say for sure if she comes out cleaner then she went in, but I get some peace and quiet every evening, and that is worth it's weight in non-golden baby shampoo.

And then there's fishy #2: Alice. Alice is the goldfish that we won at the fair in April. She's still hanging in there. I have no idea how or why, because she seems totally traumatized and completely depressed. She used to spend every minute staring into the corner of her fish bowl (which is technically a cube and not bowl-like at all, but whatever. Fishbowl.) Anyway, for the past 2 months we have been very concerned about poor old Alice. She was a real downer. She would stare at me from the corner of her bowl, obviously trying to send me some sort of telepathic message about how much her life sucked and how mean I was. It was a total and complete mindfuck, and very distracting. We thought maybe she needed a toy, or a castle or something to make her life more interesting. You know, add some PIZAZZ. So I made a late-night, post-cocktail run to Walmart with some girlfriends, and we came home with this little number. She loves it. Obviously. Who wouldn't.

And while she did really seem to like her new hiding spot, she still seemed unhappy. So we thought maybe she needed a friend. And that leads me to fishy number 3.

Meet Tony Stark. In case you are wondering how he got such a distinguished name, I will give full credit to my son, who named his new fish after Ironman's alter-ego. Lucy is really hoping that Ironman and Alice are going to be a family and have babies. I am just hoping they don't kill each other.

As you can see, Tony has an issue with his bowels. He has been in that container for less then a minute, and he has shit all over the place. He and Alice are going to get along FAMOUSLY I can tell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Photo Blog - The Arcade and the Noodle House

A bit late in posting again today - we're fried from spending Sunday at the beach, and from the day itself which was just fucking ridiculous from start to finish....beginning with the death of a cat in our driveway, and ending with a brushfire leaving us stranded on the wrong side of the island. I may or may not provide more details at a later date about our drama-filled Father's Day, but for now I'd prefer to leave well enough alone.

So after whiling away this rainy Monday morning in the fetal position recovering from the weekend, then spending 2 hours watching the rescue efforts in Washington DC on CNN, we decided to get the hell out of the house and try to find a peaceful way to pass the afternoon.

Sadly, we were unsuccessful in our quest for peace. The children both voted to go to the local arcade, a place that leaves me on edge at the best of times. The flashing lights and loud noises and screaming children and pathetic adults trying to win more tickets then their kids - in order to earn enough to take home that blender on the shelf behind the counter - well, the whole thing is just awful.

But because I am a good sport (and don't you DARE ever suggest otherwise) we went to the arcade, where I did not cry, and Lucy actually hit some kind of crazy jackpot and won 200 tickets in under a minute. We got out fairly quickly, the kids were thrilled with their prizes, and then we went to get saimin, which required driving to multiple locations trying to find a noodle-provider that was A. Open for business and B. Also served hamburgers, because after we told Lucy we were getting saimin, she would not be swayed, even when Max did an abrupt about-face and declared his need for a burger, STAT, as though his iron depletion was about to kill him and the only remedy was some ground beef.

So, here are the pictures. This Photo Journal is bullshit - there is way too much writing involved for my taste. I thought using photos was going to be an easy way to coast through a week of summer vacation. I was sadly mistaken.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So this will actually be Day One of my photo journal

I have no idea why the title of my previous post stated that it was Day 1 of my photo journal, and then the actual post contradicted it's own title, and said I would be starting the journal the very next day, when in actuality neither was true - I had no intention of doing any such thing.

I am such an asshole.

OK, moving on. This is actually, officially day 1. But just barely, because it is 10pm. I better get rolling. If you want to see these photos in greater detail, just click on them - they will go to a new window, with a larger version of the photo. To get back to the blog, hit the backspace (or back arrow) key.

So today is Saturday. Saturday morning at sunrise, the Farmer's Market in my little town opens for business. Now, some farmers markets on island are not actually *farmers* markets, per se. Some of them are markets run by sweet filipino ladies with boxes of produce that they have purchased from god knows where, that they are selling in the middle of one of our malls.

But the market in my neighborhood (which is located in an area that is fairly rural, with a lot of agriculture and wide open spaces and mature fruit trees) is the real deal. Real people, selling real stuff that they grew or made themselves. Most of it is organic by default rather then by design, but I am not too hung up on buying organic. There is a good reason for that: all seeds, plants and produce that are NOT grown on island, and are flown or shipped in - even organic produce that isn't grown here - is irradiated by the US Department of Agriculture upon arrival. Therefore, I prefer to focus more on locally grown, and not worry so much about whether it is organic. At least it hasn't been zapped to within an inch of it's life.

But I digress. Here's a photo of the farmers market this morning. There is heavy cloud cover over the Mountains in the background, so you cannot see the mountain/ocean view, which is a shame. But regardless, here is where I try to start my Saturdays:

And tonight we took the kids rollerskating, which was pretty much totally awesome. We went at 6pm, so you can also get a peek of the sunset in some of these. The rink is right next to the ocean, and it is a public rink - free to use, and skate rentals are $5 for the 3 hour free skate session.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Daily Photo Journal day one

Tomorrow is the launch of my One Week Photo Journal.

Each day next week, I am going to post at least one photo (but more if you are lucky !) documenting this summer. Because we live in Hawaii, some of these photos might seem very exotic, but trust me - it's not. Because right after we have taken some gorgeous photo of the kids swimming or a rainbow or whatever, we revert to Real Life where someone pees the bed or gets a speeding ticket or has to clean the bathroom or go to Costco on (gasp ! Zut Alors !!!) Sunday.

OK, that last one isn't true. We never go to Costco on Sunday anymore. It's a fucking nightmare beginning at noon almost every day. There are 2 windows of time, Monday thru Thursday, when I will agree to go to Costco. 10am-11am and 6:30-8:30pm. Period. If you see me there at any other time, I will be muttering to myself angrily and you should just Walk Away.

Friday thru Sunday are almost completely off limits for Costco because even if we make it through the store OK, Sami just about has a nervous breakdown in the parking lot. He can't handle the tourists trying to operate their newly acquired rental car and the locals who just don't give a shit anymore and will gladly run you over with their HUGE trucks. You can recognise them by the stickers on their windows that say things like "Welcome to Maui, now go home" or "Aloha also means Goodbye" or "Grown Here not Flown Here" or "Respect the Culture" or "Riding Dirty" (I still don't know what that means. People have told me what it means, but I don't believe them. Because if it means THAT why on earth would they put a sign proclaiming it On Their Car ?)

But I digress.

My point is that I am going to take photos, every day, of my life.
For One Week.
And I am going to post them here.
And you can look at them, or not.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I certainly hope Hollywood is planning on coming out with a PG movie every week this summer.

It is now the second week of summer break.

We are going to see our 3rd movie.

Because I am running out of ideas, but not out of time. I got a lot of time.

Lots. Of. Time.

help me.

Tonight, I work ! I will SKIP out of this house at 5:45, tra la la-ing my way to the cafe for good times and great tips. Because I am Thinking Positive.

By the end of this summer I am going to be completely delusional, dehydrated, and depleted. The three d's.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Well gosh, I have no IDEA how that happened !

Humph. This blog says I haven't written anything since last Tuesday.

That's ridiculous. I mean, really.

So in order to move past this hiccup, I am sitting here in bed, with my legs dutifully raised to minimize the swelling and aching in my calves.

From working on my feet all weekend.

Why else would they be raised? You people and your dirty minds.

We are now in full summer vacation mode - a change that is less pronounced when you live in Hawaii and the weather is pretty much the same all year round. The only real difference in our days is that I don't have to get in the car in my bathrobe at 7am and drive around the block to drop Max off at school.

That, and the fact that these children are here with me all the god damned time and I think I might be slowly or not so slowly losing my mind who the hell came up with the idea for summer vacation anyway this sucks.

They fight. They talk. They shout. They whine. They beg. They fib. They eat.
(Repeat ad nauseum)

I am at the end of what is already a short and extremely frayed rope.
I would drink, or smoke, but who has the time with these kids all around you (gestures wildly, flailing arms about the head).

So I do the next best thing. Mandatory Quiet Rest Time.
Every afternoon, when it starts to get really hot, I make liberal threats about spankings and taking away toys, swear everyone to silence, and climb in bed.

They don't have to sleep. But they do have to go to their own rooms, and read or play quietly.

Sami is not really a party to our agreements, which is why on weekends quiet rest time is non-existant. The children are jubilant (translation: standing in the yard outside my bedroom window screaming and throwing things at each other) I am the bad guy, and no one gets any quiet rest time.

I miss quiet rest time.

So rejoice, tomorrow Sami goes back to work, and I return to my regularly scheduled program of sleeping in (waking briefly only to turn on a movie for children that get up painfully, unnecessarily early) eating a leisurely breakfast at around 8am, and figuring out how to distract them for a few hours before quiet rest time.

Last week we took the dog for a hike in the pine forest, we went to a movie, we went to the gym, we ran tons of boring errands, we went to the aquarium, and we ate out. It was very satisfactory, actually, if not for the aforementioned fighting talking shouting whining begging fibbing eating cycle that is so hard to break.

So tomorrow, we shall make a concerted effort to avoid falling into such unbecoming behavior.

Maybe even sit down and plan out our week, ahead of time.

The suspense must be killing you......what will they DO ? What will she DECIDE ?

I think this calls for a photo essay. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In which our mort-gauger can kiss my ass and call me Fanny (Mae)

It's a case of "everyone else is doing it, why can't we" to paraphrase the Cranberries in a moment that needs some lightening of the mood.

After phone calls and emails and requests and forms, we have duly submitted the paperwork required for "Loan Modification" of our mortgage.

I am not holding my breath, I assume that the wheels of this industry are going to move very slowly indeed, and it frustrates me no end, let me tell ya.

We have, over the past few years, decided to simplify. We sold investment property, tightened our belts, and got serious about expenses, debt, and frivolous spending. We looked at our ages, and our needs, and our wants, and determined that if we wanted to pay off a mortgage before retirement, we needed to get serious. Seriously serious. Maybe even serious enough for a 15 year mortgage.

No, never mind. Not that serious.

Regardless, when Obama announced the plans for assisting homeowners who had been victims of predatory lending practices, we didn't think that applied to us. We used a reputable mortgage broker, had a loan through a reputable bank, and all should be well and good. But as interest rates dropped, we did want to refinance, and get ourselves a better loan. Lower interest. More principal in each payment.

And when we made inquiries, we started to get suspicious. The broker said our house wasn't worth anywhere close to what we had paid and she had happily arranged financing for. Then she quit.

We called another broker who we had worked with in the past. She's not taking calls, apparently.

We have good credit. We pay our debts. Our scores are fine. Good. Mine is better then I ever thought it would be considering my Adventures in Extreme Grief Spending during my first divorce. And a note to Bob's Discount Furniture and Sprint Long Distance: Talk to the Ex.

So it's not us, it's them. Or so I thought.

But whatever the reason, who ever the responsible party, the fact is this- Our loan sucks, and we are stuck in a tidal wave of applicants while property values drop.

Selling the house would be great, but I am not going to lose money on this - that doesn't make sense.

So we shall sit. And we shall see. I think there are a lot of people in our situation. People who bought normal houses, at market price, and then watched the market fall so that when interest rates dropped and they wanted to re-fi, they couldn't. People who were encouraged to take a 5 year fixed arm, since they weren't planning to be in the house (or the loan) for very long......and then couldn't sell. Or refinance.

Just like becoming a parent, I learned a lot about myself, about the truth, about the story behind the story - once I was IN the story.

Babies are cute in photographs, and fun to cuddle, but their shit stinks and they don't sleep much, and the crying and whining and fussing and teething and snotty noses will drive you to drink.

The white picket fence, and not paying someone else's mortgage by renting is a nice concept, but the lawn needs to be mowed and the roof leaks, and appliances break at inopportune times. Times when it would be nice to be able to call a landlord and ask for a new fridge.

Now is one of those times, the bank is my landlord, and I want a new deal, dammit.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dead rodents and bad attitudes

Yesterday there was a smell at the cafe. Over by the blender. Perhaps coming from behind the freezer. I'm just saying.

It was awful. Gag-inducing.

And the worst part is that there was no way to deal with the situation while the restaurant was full of customers. Eating. The food we prepared.

It was hot, and busy, and I was depressed (more on that later) and nauseous from the smell, and it just made for a very difficult day. Compounded by the fact that when I did finally get home, there was company and I couldn't just take off my clothes and lie down naked under a ceiling fan for a minute.

Which I totally had been planning on doing.
And actually, now that I think about it, I still could totally have done that and the guests would have been OK with it.
And the real issue is that we had guests because the judgement issues/parenting styles that used to be so compatible in our marriage continued to be askew. So askew that our neighbor decided she needed to come over and SUPERVISE until my return. Because seriously, it was that bad. Bad enough that someone walking their dog realized that perhaps my darling husband needed a little gentle guidance in my absence. That he was clearly in over his head on the slip and slide.

Because doesn't every issue in a marriage come down to the slip n slide. I mean the literal slip n slide from Walmart that has been unrolled in our front yard all weekend.

Let me recap, as I can see that I am being vague.

1. Toddler has horrible reaction to being in sun while on antibiotics.
2. Instead fo keeping toddler indoors and out of the heat and sun, Husband continued to set up the waterslide in the direct, hot, burning Maui sun every afternoon for the kids to play in said sun, and drive to town with kids - where it is (if possible) even hotter - to run unnecessary errands.
3. Increasing Toddler exposure to heat and sun.
4. Added a hat and sun shirt on Sunday slip n slide routine as the preventative measure (rather then the mommy-preferred preventative measure of STAYING INSIDE).
5. Child is practically purple from the heat when neighbor realizes something is not quite right during casual chat in the front yard.
6. Neighbor takes dog home and returns with snack, bringing children inside until I get home.
7. Husband calls to see when I will be home, because the kids are inside, and it's annoying.
8. Husband calls to see if he can shave son's head.
9. Husband neglects to mention presence of guests, breaking the 5 minute warning rule we have about guests.
10. I come home to lots of surprises.

I don't even know if this list makes sense - since the weekend didn't make a lot of sense, it's actually OK with me if this post is confusing. Captures the spirit of the times.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mama Bear

(Edited because I can see clearly now the rain is gone.)

Things are ugly in my head, in my heart, in the house. Heated, frustrated, infuriated.....are all ways you could describe how I am feeling right now. I want to scream, honestly - just an attempt to get some of this boiling aggravation out of my system.

My husband, who is usually a pretty err-on-the-side-of-caution guy when it comes to our kids, did not follow his normal trajectory today. In general, our parenting styles mesh nicely, we have similar expectations and reactions, a very even playing field in the world of parenting, with shared duties, joint decision-making, and 100% backup when one of us takes a stand with the kids. In this case, however, he has completely left the playing field, and was running in circles in the parking lot, metaphorically speaking. I am not sure how to react, except with my instinctual intense, burning fury that pops up when my kids' well-being is involved. Fury that it would be inappropriate to share, really, at this time, because it is so pure and all-consuming. If I looked in the mirror and saw horns right now, I would not be at all surprised.

This is one of those days where you have to actually restrain yourself from saying and doing all of the things you want to say and do. And you have to make a concerted effort to not mis-direct your anger. It should all be directed with laser-sharp intensity and precision.

And my husband might want to invest in a helmet.

Note for all parents: Allergic reactions of any kind are not something to mess around with. Especially in children. Some warning signs: Kids who are experiencing pronounced, unusual swelling especially on the face, an unidentified rash, lethargy, skin that is dry and hot, bloodshot eyes first thing in the morning - when seen all together, these are signs that your child needs to see a doctor or nurse or other medical professional. Seriously. And not Doctor Fucking Mom or your healer or Doogie Howser or the lady at the health food store vitamin counter. A Medical Doctor. Seriously.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not exactly what I had in mind.

Paying for childcare sucks. Especially when the childcare costs about what you are making at work (for which you need the childcare).

So we split the week, when one of us is working, the otherone has the kids. Therefore, no childcare is required.

Cool, huh ?

It IS cool, thank you for noticing. It is cool right up until something unavoidable happens, and you both have to be at work at the same time, and suddenly you need childcare which you haven't needed before and you have no backup plan.

Tomorrow is one of those days.
Except, I came up with a backup plan, and got someone to pick up my shift.
Except, she's sick and can't cover for me after all.
And I have Lucy at home, and Max's end of the year class party.
Plus, I am totally stressed out about the fact that I left a bunch of stuff on the bar tonight when I closed the cafe, and getting reamed for it when I get back to the cafe in the morning.

SO, here's how it's going to go down.

I am going to wake up at 5am. Call the cafe and ask the pastry chef to clean the bar for me because I suck. Apologize and bring her a gift or something when I see her later on. Beg my boss not to fire me. He will be disgusted. I will apologize for being an idiot. I WON'T YELL.

By 7am we are outta here - first to the grocery for the things needed for Max's class party, then on to Max's school, then Nana Lori's to drop Lucy so that I can go cover the shift I gave away but now has been returned to me. I will be at the cafe by 8am. Work for 3-4 hours, hand off to the new girl who is going to cover me during lunch, then race back to get Lucy, and on to the school for Max's class party. I cannot work the full shift - I just can't. Gotta get to Max's school.

Then I am going to nap. Absolutely. Nap.

Tell me, are my posts coming across as crazy and frantic and rushed and out of control and disorganized as I feel these days ?

Paranoia, my old friend

I should begin by saying that it does not take much to send me down the road to self destructive, unproductive thinking.

My teenage years were rife with social awkwardness, heartbreak, and just plain old insecurity. That insecurity runs very VERY deep. It's like the Grand Canyon of my psyche. Unrequited love, exclusion from the cliques, new girl, awkward girl.....I was never cool. Ever. I learned to be OK with that. Frankly, I am pretty used to getting the short end of the stick (usually poked in my eye).

If you do not return my calls, I assume you have discovered what an ass I am.
If I hear that people have been talking about me, I am confident that it was nothing good.
If I screw up in some way, I wait patiently for the termination of the friendship/employment/phone call, which I know is soon to come.

It's not self-esteem necessarily.....I mean, I try to be kind, and do the right thing, and be a good person, and help others, and treat others as they would want to be treated......I think I am a perfectly nice girl. Really, I do. Why, what have you heard?

All week, I have been thinking about work. My place of employment has a history (and a well-deserved reputation) for ending a person's employment with little fanfare. Sometimes, you just disappear from the schedule with no discussion whatsoever. Last week, I was being a teensy bit bitchy. Nothing was going right, I was forgetting things and moving slower, and getting hot and aggravated. Sunday afternoon was my fourth shift if the week, and a very trying one. It culminated in me yelling at the owner of the restuarant. Never a good idea. But we have a habit of yelling at each other, and then getting over it, because we are very similar in many ways, and I think we see that in each other. So on Sunday, I yelled. I was mad, and frustrated, and tired, and hot and aggravated and HUNGRY, and I yelled. I regret yelling, but at the same time, it is what I do. I yell. So I did.

Since I don't work weekdays, I have had a lot of time since that last shift to reflect on work, and why the previous week was so challenging for me. And of course, I assumed that because I struggled to do my job, and yelled at the owner, that I was probably going to be fired. Because that's where I go you see. I go right from "that was a hard day" to "I'm probably fired."

So with those thoughts in the back of my head, I called the restaurant today, to talk to one of the girls who had asked me to cover some shifts. I think "evasive" would be the best way to describe her response to my questions about start times, and days of the week needing coverage. I called back later to tell her I could work some of those shifts, and she didn't answer. The owner answered. I asked him a few questions, he got annoyed, I asked him to have her call me, and (you know where this is going) she never did. See ? I'm fired, of course, I mean, there is no other explaination other then I'm fired.

I called the manager and left a message on her cellphone (now that my crazy, desperate stalker mode has kicked in) asking her to call me about these shifts that may or may not need covering, or maybe just need to be covered by someone other then me....hm. She doesn't call me back.

The stress is killing me.

Then, suddenly, she calls. I think she was calling to ask me to work tonight, and not to talk about "that other thing". So I went into work. And it was quiet, and we closed early, and I had very little to do, and I still fucked up. I left some glasses and bottles on the bar. And if my boss sees THAT, well, I am probably fired.

Oh HO ! A snag ? Well, didn't see that one coming.....

After making a few random calls, I have confirmed that yes indeedy, momma will have to make some adjustments to her life's plan.

Not living in a camper yet....but maybe soon. Or perhaps, just sleeping in a windowless back room somewhere on a mound of bedding, my little family and I. The damn dog tied to the bumper of my car outside. Because they are all coming with me, dammit, on this adventure of mine. We'll be like every other hard working, chasing-the-American-dream, entrepreneurial family. Sami keeps his day job, and helps me at night, the kids chip in learning the value of a dollar and a good work ethic. Because they are going to need those skills if we are going to do this. Every dollar is going to be very valuable. And they may have to work their little behinds off. Note to self: they'll need step-stools. And probably college scholarships.

I am open to every possiblity at this point. It's going to be tricky. It's going to be very close. Very risky. If I was wearing pants, I would say "by the seat of my pants" but I'm not, so I won't. Just a big red furry bathrobe. My bathrobe days are coming to an end, though, if I want to see this through.

I think I can I think I can I think I can. Unless I can't. Which will suck.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In which I decide that the best thing to do would be to just sell everything, live out of a camper, work odd jobs and leave no forwarding address

Today on NPR, Iggy Pop said that he envied animals because they could be satisfied. In humans, that sense of contentedness is fleeting, he claimed.

Iggy, baby, I feel you.

I am having one of those days where the idea of just selling everything, packing up the kids and hitting the road sounds mighty tempting. Except that gas is over $3 a gallon again, so when I say "hit the road" what I really mean is "find a Walmart parking lot somewhere and set up camp". I'd say "move to a foreign country where everything is dirt cheap and I could live like a queen" except that we'd still have to work sometimes, and I am not in the mood to try to find work in a foreign country. It's hard enough working in the good old USA, where I speak the language and have all of my documentation. Last fall, we discussed moving back to the northeast, to be closer to family. The plan was vetoed, because there was no work in the Northeast, no way to sell our house here without losing a bundle. And no way I could leave, and take my heart with me. If I were to leave, my heart would surely stay behind.

It all comes down to this: No matter where you live - even paradise - life seems like a lot of bullshit for very little reward. Working to live - and struggling to do so - is not always a happy shiny feeling. The thought of not having a Maui version of a mortgage ? Tempting. Very tempting. The price of paradise is the perfect example of "champagne taste on a beer budget". You make it work, somehow, because it's fucking MAUI and you'd be an idiot to leave, right ? I mean come on - you are living the dream.

Right ?

Yeah, whatever you say.

Meh. Argh. Phooey. Pfft.

I need a reality check regarding life in these United States of ours - the ones I fled so many years ago by choice, chasing sunshine and rainbows. I know it's tough all over. I know it's a struggle. I know it's a pain in the ass. I know I know I know. I just want to be able to breathe again.

Because what is the point of living in paradise, if you can't enjoy it ?

My task for today - at 3am I can dream big - is to get my ass to the very beautiful, very free beach. And put my toes in the sand. And wiggle them, enjoying the freedom of a day off, the fresh cool air, and the open ocean that surrounds me.

I am not trapped. I could leave any time. I'm not going anywhere.