Saturday, March 27, 2010

I crawled in a buttcrack...

I'm typically a very laid back type of person. I do have a list of things that I am extremely particular about, and there are a few things that rattle me, but for the most part, I'm a pretty calm person.

One thing, in particular, that can send me to edge of reason is the invasion of my SPACE. I don't like to be touched (except by Hunk) and ESPECIALLY when I'm hot/sweaty. I don't like to be in tight spaces and I don't like to share workspace. I'm borderline claustrophobic. I don't say that I truly have a phobia about space because I like to think that I have control over my reactions to things, but in the end, I'm teetering on the edge of a full blown hysteria when I feel trapped.

I can handle most elevators, I've been in a few small ones that made me wish I had taken the stairs. I am okay on airplanes, but I do insist on an aisle seat. My biggest problem to date has been a cruise ship. Yes, a SHIP made me freak like a mad person. Our very first cruise was on a Radisson Seven Seas ship with a mere 170 rooms. This was only a 20,000 ton ship which is a dwarf to those 70,000+ ton ships that you see from Carnival, etc. Being a small ship the room was big (in my later comparison to a Carnival ship). At the time, however, I had never been on a cruise and the room size was a bit annoying to my phobia. The biggest issue was the hallway outside of the room. If you met another person in the hallway you had to each turn sideways to pass. O.M.G. And, of course, our room was 3/4 of the way down the hall. I would stand at the doorway, send Hunk to the end of the hall so he could block anyone coming in and then I would sprint down to the lobby. Yeah, I know, weird. I was also freaked out by the room that had no balcony - there was no way out except into that freakishly narrow hallway. My thoughts raced around to all the what-ifs. I could imagine the hallway crammed with people trying to escape and how I'd rather die in my room that to try to push through a crowd in that tube of a passageway. We didn't cruise again for MANY years after that incident, until I finally could no longer deny my kids the fun, and we went on a Carnival cruise. Luckily, I was able to find a full map of the ship and locate a room that was nearly in a big open lobby - I made it very clear that if I could not have THAT ROOM, I was not going. It cost more and caused me a lot of stress leading up to the trip, but in the end it was great. This ship had huge hallways (small rooms, but with OPENINGS!) and I had no worries at all. Anyway, back on topic....

So I can't decide if I'm just claustrophobic or if it is something else as well. When I said that I would imagine all the 'what if's' on that small ship - that is something that I do all the time, with every situation. I was walking on the treadmill and I saw a shadow moving in the other room (it was the cat, and I knew it), but I spent the rest of that walk spinning all the scenarios of 'what if that were an intruder' and they suddenly burst around the corner - what would I do, where would I go? And I stayed on the treadmill longer than I ever have planning out all of my escape routes. It was at that time that I realized that my house is built with multiple exits in each and every room. When we built this home the general contractor thought I was the biggest pain in the ass because I kept adding doors to the blueprint. I thought I was planning a practical home, but I think I was subconsciously planning escape routes throughout my home!! It is really odd that it took me this many years to figure it out, but both floors in our house have 'circular' patterns, and every room has an alternate exit door - except bathrooms, however all but one has a window. I think I have issues.....

I can't explain why I fear being cramped or trapped. Funnier still is that when I see situations on movies or TV where people are trapped I get SO uncomfortable!! The scene in Kill Bill when Uma was buried alive made me want to rip my skin off!!!! Even worse, is that it isn't just having my whole body trapped that freaks me out, it can be just 'parts' of me. Even if it is just my foot or my hand that is trapped I can have a full panic attack. Seeing other people with trapped body parts makes me squirm, too. I've also already informed my family that I shall not be buried when I pass away. Even though the thought of being cremated sends me into a tailspin it is worse to think of my body forever trapped inside a box! I want to be cremated in the express lane and then tossed out, anywhere, no urn for this chick - they seal those things shut!! EEEEK! And there lies more weirdness, why am I even worried about my dead body. Uhm, hello, I won't be in there anymore!!

This past Halloween we went to Ripley's Haunted House in Gatlingburg, TN and the entire theme was PHOBIA (Hey Adam, great party idea for you!). Each room was themed with a phobia - dentist drilling, dead babies, clowns, bugs, etc. And then, THEN there was the CLAUSTROPHOBIA room....oh my, I thought I was going to pass out before I got through it. The only thing keeping me alive was that I was trying to be calm for my 8 year old who we should've never taken to a haunted house in the first place! If it weren't for my kids I would have freaked the fuck out, no doubt. The doorway was a single opening and there were canvas bladders to the ceiling on each side of the room. Behind the bladders were what sounded fans blowing them up like balloons. Two room-sized balloons pushing against each other with jet powered force. Basically it was like squeezing into a huge buttcrack and digging your way through in total darkness - no reference to 'how much farther'. The walls were pushing in so hard I could picture myself suffocating, my arms were aching from trying to keep the walls from pressing against my face and trying to give my daughter enough space for passage. The smell was horrid, like old socks and diesel. I thought about all the bodies that have squeezed along this path, the germs, the sweat, the tears rubbing up against me. In my mind, I thought it would never end, I thought it was THE END. I was on auto pilot, just telling myself that I had to get my kid out of there, my focus was completely on her or I would not have been able to do it. Finally, we were out, the humanity! We survived! We rounded the corner only to be chased out by a masked figure and a REAL chain saw. OH, the fun family moments we've had......

So, if you don't know me very well, welcome to the first installment of how to freak my ass out, sit on me or show me your crack, that is all it takes. Just ask Hunk, he knows all to well...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's looking up....

So things are looking up around here....my daughter finally got her shit together, even if it only lasts a few days, and we are getting the party planned. I am beyond stressed at all that has to be done before Saturday, but I'll take party stress over work stress any day of the week!!

I have a ton of great ideas for the party, but I don't have the time to implement any of them so we are having a sleepover and possibly will go to the movies. I'm still working automobile logistics on that idea....

I told Hunk he was being an ass and he pretty much agreed - he's got the work stress thing going on, so I can't blame him too much. Something really cool happened because of work for him, he goes to Canada a few times a year, but not anything too regular. He found out yesterday that he is scheduled to be in Canada for the TequilaCon date. Well, Canada is a big place, and he's going to multiple cities, but it just so happens that he will be in VANCOUVER the exact date. Could the stars align any better? The bigger hurdle now is trying to get myself there to be with him, but hell, somebody in this house gets to go so...HUAH!! My schedule is open that week/weekend, but getting my kids' calendar covered for a few days is like herding kittens... I only have two kids - I can't imagine all those people with 4-5 kids all doing their own thing. I would lose my mind!!!

And because I love myself for being a volunteer, this past weekend we helped pack up cookies to send to soldiers serving overseas. All four of us went to help and it was so fun - tons of girls, and a few dads & moms, decorating boxes, writing notes and packing up cookies with love. Over 5,000 boxes - that's a lot of cookies!! And they will travel via military crates, on military planes and be delivered far and wide to the soldiers. It's really hard for the kids to understand how much this can mean to a soldier. Hell, it's hard for ME to understand. I've never had to leave my family behind to go work, I've never had to dig myself a hole to take a crap in, I've never had desert sand in my eyes and I have never had to eat MRE's three times a day, seven days a week. While we were selling cookies in front of a store we had a mom come up to our booth and purchase cookies to add to our "Ship to Soldiers" bin. It so happened that she had recently come home from being stationed in Iraq and she told us how getting a box of cookies, decorated with puppy stickers, silly notes and smiley faces absolutely made her day. She could not stress enough how "you just have no idea what it meant to me..." And she is so very right....I have no idea, and I am thankful that I will never have to know that struggle.

..a trailer full of cookies...notes for each case...notes from donors........every box decorated..






Thursday, March 18, 2010

I get no respect.....

I typically have thought of my kids as being very respectful and kind. This week, however, has been a challenge for me. I'm the FIRST to admit that my kids can be annoying - ALL kids can. Any parent who says their child is always a dream is obviously high. They are kids, they are annoying. They are plowing through life, trying to figure out all the things that we already know. This is where my frustration lies.....those things that I 'know', the common sense, the street knowledge, the things that are just second nature to my being are the things that I mostly EXPECT my kids to 'just get it'. Which isn't fair, they haven't experienced everything that I have and for some stupid reason, I feel that they should just have all this common sense by OSMOSIS, because I am the all reigning queen of common sense. They should've inherited it, right?

Getting back to the point - Respect. I've been getting a lot of lip from my oldest in the past two weeks. This is HIGHLY unusual and I've not dealt with it in the best way. I just get really angry because it is a struggle for control of the situation, and I don't like to lose. In fact, I actually got so mad at her a few days ago that I just told her, "I'm done with this conversation, just do the fucking dishes". She nearly passed out by my lack of censorship. I never say the "f" word to my kids. Never. It KILLS me that this child does not have the common sense to realize that she can make her life easy, or hard and that she is in control of her actions and reactions. It is so hard to remember that I wasn't born knowing all this stuff.

My youngest child got raked over the coals last night. We were putting things in the car (A LOT of things) after softball and she wanted me to load in her bat bag, very impatiently she's all "UUUHHHHHM, HELLLLOOOOO, you NEED to get my bag!!!!" I snapped around and nearly pinched her little head off. I let her know very quickly that should she ever speak to me that way again that she will live to regret it. But I just keep asking myself where on earth it came from? I mean, why did she all of a sudden decide that it was okay to be so rude?? I just kinda thought that they would realize when sarcasm is funny, and when it is disrespectful - but why would they know these things without getting to experience them?

My kids are good kids, but they have to test the theories that they are learning to find out when they are appropriate and unfortunately, I am the test dummy. And I don't test well.

It's not just the kids, either. I'm getting lip from Hunk, and NOT THE GOOD KIND! It's like my shields have been lowered and someone put a sign on my back that says "Talk to me like I'm the dog....".

The best part of all of this is that my oldest child's 13th birthday is near. I didn't have a huge celebration when I was 13, but apparently this is a big milestone and everyone can't believe that I just wanted to go to the movies and call it a night. So, in the midst of being treated like yesterday's news I'm supposed to be planning a blowout bash for this kid who I really can't stand right now. This irks me on so many levels......first, because I'm MAD AT HER (and clearly, I'm 13, too) and secondly, because I am a planner. The very thought of tossing together a party in a week's time makes me want to vomit. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to event planning and I'd rather just not have it if it can't be top notch. If we had discussed that this age bracket was huge about a month ago, when said child wasn't being a butthole, I would've happily planned an extravagant event. Now I'm rubbing sticks together trying to come up with fire. I'm so uninspired, and mostly because I'm so unhappy with the dynamic that is going on in our household. Even the cat threw up on the carpet today, RIGHT NEXT to where the hardwood meets the carpet, but ON THE CARPET. Everybody is a butthole....except me.


BUT - since one of my 4.2 readers thinks that blogs are becoming bitchfests I will include a happy tidbit. I'm looking at YOU, LSL. I'm on my way to the post office to mail a package to my Chemo-friend as a part of the Chemo Angel program. My kids and I picked out a cute little sign of hope for her to hang on her wall. This was during a 10 minute lapse that we were all happy and inside Target. Because going to Target makes everyone happy, right?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Let's Get Physical

I don't think I'll ever like to exercise. It baffles me that there are people who love it, I have tried and tried and tried some more, but I just.don't.like.it.

Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean I don't do it. I just don't find any enjoyment in it whatsoever. At first I thought that perhaps once I got into better shape that I would find enjoyment in it, but thinking back to my much younger years when I was in great shape I still hated it. I hated it with every bone in my being. I remember in college how I completely LOATHED having to take P.E. I took aerobics classes and used the gym at college like crazy, but it was completely a social game for me - I was never in it for the feeling. I never look forward to it and it is always something to "get out of the way" so that I can get on with my day. The days that I wait to do it I feel like it is constantly hanging over me. I just don't like it.

I am not a member of a gym - my exercise is limited to what I have here at home, but I really do not think that a gym would change my perspective. I used to belong to a gym and I went out of being a slave to a payment, not enjoyment. I took classes, used equipment, but I didn't find anything that I truly enjoyed.

I just wonder if some people just don't ever get there. Will I ever feel it? It baffles me to hear people who are so excited about going to a class, or who are fighting over who 'gets' to go and who has to stay home with the kids!! I was talking to Hunk about people who exercise while on vacation - I personally think they are NUTS!!! The only reason I can think that I would exercise on vacation would be so I could eat more!! If there wasn't good food on a particular day then I'm OUT! You won't find this chick on the ship's treadmill!!

Why do you exercise? Do you love it? Have you always loved it? Am I all alone here?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Entitled

I think probably everyone feels entitled at some point in their life - we are taught very young that if we are good, we are entitled to a treat or if we work hard, we are entitled to better opportunity. If we treat others with respect we are entitled to receive the same.


What I don't get is why there are so many people in the world that feel they are entitled to a different set of rules or laws than the rest of us. This week has been the epitome of entitlement by a number of fucktards that have crossed my path.


Driving. I really should not even get started on this. The road is a sea of entitlement - every driver out there thinks they are better than the next. I get irritated when drivers do stupid things, but this week has been a plethora of annoyance. Yesterday, some asshole in the school carline decided that he didn't like the pattern of merging so he just decided to keep going and not let the next car in (which happened to be me). Honestly, is one car length going to get your child to school any faster? Really? THEN, when the bus dropped my child off in the afternoon some pimply faced hotshot decided that he was too good to stop for the bus STOP sign and blew right through - could've killed my kid, but hell, we don't want him to be late to Abercrombie now, do we? THEN I was turning right on GREEN and a dude coming from the facing traffic decided he should get to turn RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and blew his horn AT ME. Uhm, hello asshole, first of all you DO NOT have a green arrow, secondly, screw you.

I swear, I am surrounded by idiots.

Yesterday, I had to go to the Cookie Warehouse. Did you know that in almost every city there is a Girl Scout Cookie Warehouse chock full of pallet upon pallet of cases of cookies? Well, there is - and when a troop runs out of cookies they can simple back up to the dock and take a carload. There are rules and proceedures to get the cookies, of course. One rule being that NO CHILDREN ARE ALLOWED AT THE WAREHOUSE. This rule is stressed because as GS leaders we almost all have kids, usually in tow. We are frequently reminded that they are not welcome at the warehouse. OF COURSE, as I waited in line to secure my cookie stash a lady jumped IN FRONT OF ME, gave me a pathetic apology "I'll just be a second" and stated to the warehouse manager that she must be allowed to go ahead and load her car first because she has a 1yr old and a 3yr old in the car. Excuse me you entitled HO, but we all have kids and we all made arrangements so that this particular scenario wouldn't happen. How is it that YOU are special, or different, or that the rule does not apply to you. Last time I checked your kids are young enough to be strapped into car seats and therefore if you are stupid enough to bring them they can sit in the car locked down.

Lastly, I want to vent about our experience at the eye doctor. I made an appt. for my child, though they accept walk-ins I wanted a dedicated time slot. I made the appt. a few days in advance and showed up 15 minutes prior to our appt. Apparently, appt. means nothing to this establishment because we waited for OVER an hour and a half. People who needed "quick checks" were ushered in before us, walk-ins who came in prior to our appt. all got preference. This means that if 20 people 'walked-in' at 2:14 and I had an appt. at 2:15 every.single.one of them would get seen before me. That is BULLSHIT. The best part is that when we finally got seen it took a whopping 14 minutes to complete the eye exam. The clerk tried to explain that the 12 people who were seen before us had "quick checks" which only takes a few minutes, obviously they are entitled to slide in first. So instead of making a person on a quick appt. wait an additional 14 minutes for us to finish, we had to wait over 90 minutes for a variety of 5-7 minute walk in's to be seen. I was FUMING. Obviously, those who just SHOW UP are entitled to be seen before the customer who politely waited 2 days for an open time slot - which wasn't open to begin with. We ended up getting a discount, because clearly I was NOT happy, but in the end I would have preferred to have my day back.

It just makes no sense to me why some people believe that they are above the rest of us. My sister in law is one of these people. No matter what the situation is, she has to go about it a different way - a way that says "I'm better than you and the rules". In the 19 years that I have known her she goes out of her way to break a rule or guideline, just because she knows she can get away with it. She does these things because she knows it pisses people off and she knows that most of the time no one will call her out on it. Which leads me to the fact that some of us rule followers are PART OF THE PROBLEM. I don't always call people out, sometimes I just choose to take the high road and avoid the confrontation, but this allows people like my SIL to keep getting away with shit. I'd like to think that the mom at the warehouse was just having a stressful day, maybe her sitter cancelled, but the reality is that she probably plays this card all the time. If she's like my SIL, she pulls it out every chance she gets, knowing that no one is going to call her on it.

I don't think I'm better than other people, or that my moral code is superior to others. I have plently of flaws, but I'm just so tired of this world that is so full of self centeredness. I try not to make my problems become those of other people, I try to be respectful of other's space and time and I am keenly aware of what is going on around me. Too bad that 90% of the population is the complete opposite. And it will never change, so all I can do is vent. I'm entitled to my opinion, right?

Dinner

Okay, I realize I sounded like I was whining for comments - I really wasn't! I was just thinking out loud about what other people would think......onward!

A few months ago I decided that our family needed to do some charitable work - we are usually pretty involved and like to volunteer, but I just felt like we needed something new for our plate. Something we could do as a family. So I signed us up to cook dinner for the Ronald McDonald House.

I chose some specific dates that would work, or that had meaning for us, but nothing was working out for the volunteer schedule. I ended up taking a random date that meant nothing to me, but according to my calendar I was available. February 7. I am a horrible football wife.

Many of you know that Feb. 7 was Super Bowl Sunday - and I didn't even know it. Better yet, I signed up our family for a 4-5 hour commitment between 4-9pm, which is smack in the heart of Super Bowl kickoff, pre game, etc. GO ME!

Fortunately, Hunk decided that he would DVR and catch up when we got home - even though I gave him full liberty to stay home and I would handle the dinner with just my girls. THANK GOD! I had no idea what I had gotten myself into and having him there was quite a relief!!

I did a lot of pre-cooking for the meal to try to make it easier on myself, but my goal was to serve a well thought out, no corners cut meal. After all, these folks could get cafeteria food at the hospital - what they needed was well prepared comfort food.

Our evening started out very stressful - I had incorrect directions and I was on edge about my portions, constantly second guessing myself on whether or not we had enough food. We got lost on the way there and were then 30 minutes behind the "start time" that I had planted in my head as the only road to success. I was freaking out that the food would not get done in time and the world would end. Hunk was on edge because, well, we were lost and he was driving (though not his fault, I had the directions). And he's a man. We finally made it, though behind schedule and found ourselves in the biggest kitchen I've ever seen in my life!

If you don't know what the Ronald McDonald House is, it is a place for families of children in the hospital - a place to stay, two meals a day and it is located right near the Children's hospital. It alleviates stress on families who don't live near the hospital, plus saves all the money that a hotel would cost. It's like a small home away from home, with lots of support to help them through a time when their focus should be on their child's medical health. It is a dream come true for families in medical stress. Thankfully we have never had to use their services, but both of my kids have had their fair share of medical needs and had we needed Ronald McDonald House, they would've been there for us. There are TWO Ronald McDonald Houses in Atlanta, obviously since we were lost, this is the location I had never been to before!

Our meal consisted of Pot Roast - mostly because it is my number one comfort food, and secondly because I knew that I could start it in the crock pots (I borrowed crocks from everyone I knew!) a day early and let it cook over the 24 hours leading up to the dinner. We also made twice baked potatoes, broccoli casserole (vegetarian option), green beans w/almonds and garlic cheese bread. Since it was Super Bowl Sunday I also decided a good appetizer would be a 5 layer mexican dip - and by the looks of the licked out pan I made a good choice!! We made cookies for dessert so that we could fill the house with the fresh baked smell. It turned out great - one woman commented that my cooking reminded her of her mother, another man was a chef (for a very famous TV personality) and gave my Pot Roast rave reviews and came back for seconds!

I left the dinner feeling great - we had done something wonderful for families who aren't as fortunate as we are at the moment and I left feeling like the greatest cook on earth from all the compliments I received. I didn't do it for my own satisfaction, but I certainly got a lot from the experience.

We are now on a volunteer schedule and I plan to cook for them as often as I can - it's time consuming and expensive (meal for 80+ people), but I think we've found a great outlet for our family to work together helping others - something that we are all equally a part of and all interested in.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Empty

My blog feels so empty.

My comment site was Haloscan, which is now gone. It decided to vanish and take everyone's comments with it. I did have an opportunity to export my comments to a file, but I can't really do much with it. I saved all of your thoughts, jabs and musings - tucked them away to never be seen again. Since I'm just a peanut of a blogger, I didn't think this transition would really be an issue for me, but coming here and not seeing anyone's name listed as a recent comment makes it feel so empty.

I wonder if anyone new were to stop by and see that I had no comments on any of my posts - what would they think? Would they feel sorry that I have no one interested in my drivel? Why do I even care?

I tend to look at most situations from the perspective of 'the other person'. What does that make me? When I say things to people I often put myself in their shoes, trying to understand how they heard what I said. Did I correctly convey my true thought? Could it be taken the wrong way? I usually try to carefully word emails that I send and I'm not quick to answer questions in a group - I prefer to think out my answer to make sure I don't blurt out something weird or stupid. I often wonder what someone else thinks of this, that or the other. Perhaps this is a small part of my self imagine issue, I'm constantly working to try to be better than what I perceive that I am. Keeping my mouth shut and my thoughts under reign will assure that I don't make myself look like a buffoon. Right? Or does it make me look like a quiet wallflower? If I have no comments, do I look like a loser?

There have been occasions where I've taken my perspective and tried to shed some light on how a conversation could've come across the wrong way. Recently, I tried to tell Hunk that he sent out a message that I thought was inappropriate for the situation. That had he really thought about it before he sent it, he might've changed his mind. He got really irritated, with good reason. I mean, who am I to tell him what to say? We had a big discussion and he has said before that I "take the other side", meaning I am forever defending the other person(s). But I'm not. I am simply taking what was said and trying to see how it could've been perceived by the other 'side'. And then I often will say, hey, that kinda sounded smart assed, or don't you think you might've offended someone? But it comes across as defending someone other than him - when really, I'm just thinking out loud about the 'what if's'.

On many occasions Hunk loves to proclaim to anyone who will listen that there is no point in arguing with me because I am ALWAYS right. Kudos to him for being smart enough of a husband to realize that YES, the wife is always right. This will lead to a long and happy marriage (at least for me). And, yes, I am usually right if I'm being bold enough to take part in the discussion. That being said, I don't "know it all". I am simple smart enough to keep my mouth shut if I am uncertain about the facts. If I know what I'm talking about I will loudly and passionately argue with you until the death.....because I KNOW that I am right. So, no, I'm not a wallflower, though there are many situations when I will choose to just be quiet (meaning I don't know Jack Shit what you are talking about), but I'm listening, and learning and next time...I will be ready to speak up.

In the end, I'm not a big talker and by reading this post, that may make you think that I just don't know Jack Shit about much. You may be right.

This took a weird turn, from being about missing comments to self esteem and on to my knowledge base.