Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I feel really blessed

A few weeks ago, I ordered a pair of snowflake earrings from an Avon representative. On the day I ordered, I also had a doctor's appointment and, coincidentally, the secretary was wearing the exact pair I had ordered!

"Are those Avon?" I asked excited,

"Why, Yes!" She told me, and I explained that I had just ordered a pair.

Well, the earrings were discontinued and sold out, so I wasn't going to get them. When I told this news to the secretary, she offered me her pair.

"I will give you mine!" she said, and I thought she was joking.

"That's ok," I laughed.

"Don't you want them?" She asked,

"I don't want to take your earrings," I said,

"I want to give them to you."

"That's ok."

"What, do I have cooties? You can put them in alcohol."

I felt like a jerk. Here is this sweet lady trying to give me her earrings, and I felt like an awful jerk for refusing. "Call me tomorrow and remind me." She says, and I say I will.

But I am very fortunate to have the people I have around me around me. It's hard to find truly nice people, but I seem to find them. Even my old office. They invite me to their Christmas party every year, even though I graduated about 2 years ago. I am the only student worker alumni to go to this event; I just feel so loved.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The "Don't You Dare" Teacher Stare

I think I've finally perfected it. You know, that little thing teachers do to discourage bad behavior. I've decided to call it my "Teacher Stare." Or, more correctly, my "Don't You Dare Teacher Stare."

This week is a milestone for me, I guess. I know it sounds funny, but I'm finally getting used to being in charge. I'm finally fighting the good fight in high school--ha.

I still find the thought of me being in charge laughable. For some reason, I just don't "feel" like a big, authoritative figure where I work. I try telling myself I need to inflate my ego, and that "you're the teacher, and it's your job to keep kids in line." But what line am I keeping them in? If I'm too strict, they'll hate my guts and dream up ways to make my life miserable, yet if I'm too easy going, they'll take advantage of me. It's hard to find the balance and figure out when to say something and when not to.

For instance, there is a general rule that there are no laptops allowed at lunch. Before I would pray that someone else would notice a kid online before I did, because I would dread approaching and correcting anyone. Most of the time, because they'd just ignore me anyway. So, the other day, I got the guts to approach this one girl and tell her to put her laptop away. She did instantly, and I felt all strong and noble inside, until I got back to my table--one of the teachers heard her say, "Well the principal said I could" in a snide and irritated manner that stole my pride and reminded me that I never knew anything.

I was just upholding the rules, and I don't regret saying what I said, but I still felt like a douche. I just don't like telling people what to do. I don't mind instructing, helping, and giving advice and suggestions, choices even. But I don't like being the "bad guy" and I guess that's just the novice in me talking.

That novice is slowly fading. I hope.

The other day, I was in a classroom where several teachers seem to be "walked upon." One student was ever so annoyingly playing with a doorknob. Now, I wish I could say "doorknob" was some new tech-toy, or even a code-name for something he was doing, but no. He was actually sitting at his desk spinning a door knob around for whatever reason.

The teacher said, "put it away" and turned to write something on the board. So, of course, he covered it with his hands and, as he got away with this murder, he smiled to his friends. Usually I'd have looked away, but I was irritated that day, so I told him to put it in his backpack. So, of course, he hid it in his sleeve.

"Put it in your back pack, or I am going to take it." I told him with my DYD Teacher Stare. He slowly put it away. Victory!

Just yesterday, when I was leaving the teacher's bathroom, I noticed a new face lurking around the door. Now, the teacher bathroom doors are locked, and I'm always concerned to make sure a locked door closes before I leave it--because they are locked for a reason, and that reason is to keep kids out.

Well, out of the corner of my eye, I see the kid run over to the door and I turn to see he's keeping it open with his foot. I turned back and said blankly, "Foot out." and he listened. "Thanks." I said and walked away, both laughing and confident.

While I'm enjoying this newfound power, I don't want it to go to my head. I see a lot of teachers abusing their "in charge" abilities, and I don't want to be one of them. I guess that's because I see the equations they create.

Bad student = stereotyped = disrespected and disregarded by teacher = problems


bad student + a chance + boundaries and clear guidelines + an understanding person = an opportunity to become a good student.

I want to be that teacher. The one that fixes problems and doesn't just ignorantly create new ones. I've seen the injustices, first hand. I remember them from when I was in school, and now that I work in a school, I see them again. I watch these kids get in trouble for the stupidest things, and I hate it.

When I was doing my student teaching, there was this one little kid I used to think was the Tazmanian devil. He'd run all over the place and drive everybody nuts. Zooming here, there, and everywhere. Never in his seat, always living life in fast-forward mode. I took a real interest in him, because I knew he was going to (more likely than not) fall through the cracks. He was going to keep getting in trouble, and start to be discouraged, and worse.

So I started watching him and began noticing what a wonderful kid he was. When someone ALL THE WAY across the room said, "I need a pencil." He would drop everything he was doing, grab a pencil, and run across the room to deliver it. It was amazing to watch his "Craziness" in that light, because he was doing good things, but getting into trouble for them. I hated that.

I'm not saying that all teachers are jerks, and anyone who says that they are are, in fact, the jerks. I can't think of a harder profession than education. You think your 9-5 office job is bad? Unless you have, or work with kids, you probably don't know what it's like waking up before 7AM. And you think meeting a deadline is rough? Try getting 20+ indifferent students to care to get a project done on time. The work teachers do today is amazing, and that is why it is such a tragedy to have students "fall through the cracks," but in reality, there is only so much ONE PERSON can do.

Teachers are amazing, and I'm not just biased, I'm informed. I see the sacrifices they make, each and every day to better the lives of others. How many people can say their jobs do that? How many people sacrifice their own talents and time for a small check and a classroom of germs and attitudes.

It seems I've gone off on another rant; I'll quit while I'm ahead!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm moving to Florida.


That's right. I'm moving to Florida. It was decided last week when I found this gorgeous 29 million dollar home in Manalapan. (Hopefully I spelled that right--too lazy to check it, though).

I'm not sure WHEN I'm moving, but it will probably be after I hit the lottery or inherit a large fortune from some distant relative I never knew I had. Perhaps a mysterious benefactor will come into my life, or I will find me a rich man to marry. Ha. Yep, I'm moving to Florida.

But, really, check out this house. There are freaking jellyfish laminated to the floor. Or holographed. Does the word I use really matter? Seriously? And check out the garden. It looks like it was ripped right out of a jungle. I bet I could have pet frogs in there! How cool would that be?

Imagine the sunrise from that master bedroom--one out of seven. Let's see: Me, Mom, and Sister. I'd still have four rooms to go. Homemakerman, Tumbleweed, are you guys interested in moving to paradise with me? LMAO.

The size of that kitchen leaves me speechless. I can't believe the fountains. And then the pool! The pool that you can see from the basement (which is slightly creepy depending on who is watching you swim, but still!) This is an amazing house.

This is my house. In my dreams. When I hit the lottery. Etc. Etc.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the best part: Look at this bar.

Notice how the counter connects to the fish tank. Is that amazing or what????

P.S. If you are reading this and are rich, and decide to STEAL my house from me, just know I will be very angry and will seek revenge to the fullest extent of my abilities... Unless, of course, you grant me visitation rights as an honorary finders fee.

I need to jot down some ideas.

Dear Future Scientists,

As an aspiring writer, I just wanted to let you know of a piece of technology I've been dreaming about since high school. See, I often get inspired by the smallest things, like driving to work in the morning, or sitting through a class. I'll be sitting somewhere completely random, and a great idea will pop into my head. I'll think about it for a while, then start playing with words in my head. Unfortunately, however, I do not have the ability to retain such genius ideas, and by the time I find a pen or make it to a piece of paper, I've forgotten my ideas.

So, think about this. Imagine if your brain had a "recording" feature installed to it. No, I promise I'm not doing drugs, this is just something I've thought about for a while. It would be truly amazing for everyone if you could just record the thoughts that go through your head, and upload them to your computer. A "black box" for your brain, if you will.

The more I think about it, the more amazing I think it would be. Especially for those of us (and I know I'm not the only one) whose brain goes through conversations with ourselves when we worry about how to say the things we mean to say: apologies, breakups, presentations, and more.

Just recently, I volunteered to teach a math lesson and it was terrible. I knew what I'd wanted to say, and I'd rehearsed the best way to transfer the knowledge that I had, but it just didn't come out. My brain black box would have been perfect.

While on the subject of futuristic technology, I would also like to see a multifunctional watch invented. Slim, and neat. Customizable, even. And programmable. Why should we carry a wallet when we could just wear a watch that stores all your personal information on it? Instead of fumbling for cash, your watch should have access to your bank account. Scan it like a bar code in a restaurant. That's it. How cool would that be?

Granted, you could never take it off, but you could never lose it either. Not while it is fastened safely to your wrist. Have you been pulled over? Have your license, and your registration information stored safely in your watch. Just put your hand outside the car window, and you're done.

Forget ID cards, just scan your watch for membership promotions and employee access. You'll never have to carry anything ever again.

I think it's brilliant. Crazy, but brilliant.

Thank you for your time, I hope my ideas will bring you many successes in your future.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The dilemma continues...

So the internal war is still waging: should I be the worst daughter ever and flat-out abandon my mother on Christmas? Or should I stay and regret missing yet another holiday with the cutest babies on earth? I just don't know. The decision is too hard.

My gut has been pulling me towards Beantown. I'm awful, I know. But like I was trying to say, in a post I never published, my conversations with Jerk have gotten me to thinking about "me" as a person, and not a daughter. I'm a young adult who needs to get a life, because I can't live the rest of mine with my mother. And my mother can't live the rest of her life with me. Granted, our finances hinder any actual separation as far as housing goes, but still. I need to put "me" first. Grow up, spread my wings, and all that jazz.

I've been trying to think of ways to get my mother to come along with me for the ride. So far, I've tried the following: offering to let her drive (which sounds worse than it actually is because she is a slight control freak when it comes to driving--she is "the professional") offering to pay train fare, offering to put her up in a hotel, offering to take her to a hypnotist--if you catch my drift. But she is determined to be "home" for the holidays. Perhaps it is for the best. I did, after all, invite myself and entire family into my cousins home for Christmas--I suppose that could be considered nervy to say the least. (Sorry, guys!) But I just keep thinking of my own childhood Christmases and how exciting they were. Anyway, it means a bunch to me that my cousins were there with me, even though, if I think about it, it probably wasn't by choice.

Regardless, video tapes reveal what a truly spoiled brat I was, and it just means so much to me to look back and remember all the neat gifts I had growing up. The doll that peed her pants and got diaper rash, and the dancing ballerina. Barbies, dress up clothes, and The singing mermaid doll--I still hear her voice echoing in my head. These were all integral parts of my youth; they molded my creativity and imagination. So, I suppose it is only fitting to sign off with this video!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I found this ad

So, I found this ad on Craig's list. It reads,

Does your big, happy family all live on one street? Do your parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles all have houses next door? Are you the real "Everybody Loves Raymond?"

Then tell us your story!

An award-winning television production company based in New York is seeking LARGE families for a new reality series on a major television network. The ideal family has several relatives living on the same street, block or neighborhood. The bigger the family, the better.

If this description fits your family to a T, send us an email! We'd love to hear about your family, where you live, and what it's like being so close to your relatives.

So, I laugh.

I think of my family, and laugh. (And then I thank that poster for not mentioning "prize money").

I think it is safe to say they could write a decade long documentary of the dysfunction of my family. Both sides. Mom and Dad. Ironically, though, my dad's entire family owns real estate within walking distance from us. Granted, it's mostly summer homes, but since my parents have been divorced for 14 years, it's pretty... weird.

So, here is my family radius in a nutshell.

Me, Mom, Sister.

Down the street: My dad, and mom's ex husband.... I'll leave it at that.

Down the street: My dad's sister, my Aunt, whom has not had the best relationship with my mother since the divorce--to say the least.

Down the street: My dad's brother, my uncle, who has a physical and mental disability from an accident years ago. No one in his family talks to them, since they all hate his wife. Two kids, one sort of antisocial, the other, very ill from bad choices he's made, and very unpopular in his neighborhood, also due to bad choices he's made.

Down the street: Relatives who I commonly refer to as "Satan and his wife." Who take advantage of the weak and helpless--the true, kick you when you're down type Samaritan. The kind of people who, every time an ambulance goes racing by, the whole neighborhood wonder if they've finally gotten what karma's got coming to them. Sounds distasteful out of context, but if you only knew.

So, yeah, I laugh to myself as I read this ad. I wonder if there is a cash prize big enough to be worth the embarrassment of exploiting my family. I'm sure they'd get over their hatred of me if I were to offer them a piece of the prize. But how could I live with myself for bringing myself into the same light of "John and Kate Plus Eight" or one of those other lame reality shows. Then I think of Spouse Swap, where you can see the hatred on camera, but they edit it out to make everyone look all "happily ever after" in the end.

I couldn't imagine that in my family.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Shopping

So, I've gotten most of my Christmas shopping out of the way. Translation: the people I care about most, I've already bought for. Just kidding. Well, maybe just kidding.

Let's try this:
Homemakerman, CHECK
Tumbleweed, CHECK
Peanut, CHECK
Pumpkinman, CHECK... Wait... Oh, yeah, definite CHECK.
Jerk...... CRAP
McPreggers CRAP
Mom, Huge CRAP!
Sister, half CHECK half CRAP

Speaking of crap, have I mentioned I'm deep in doodoo? I mean, my sister can live. I bought her a game, some language learning software, and one other mystery gift--which is a mystery only because I can't remember what it was. But what about Mom? What can I get her? And what about Jerk and McPreggers?

Since they are expecting their first born, I was going to buy them baby stuff, but apparently that's too taboo. I'm really bad at this "people-being-pregnant" thing. They say it's bad luck to give baby presents before the baby is born. Stupid superstitions are cramping my gift-giving style.

It's sad, but I really want to give them something they want; "Nothing don't worry about us," they tell me, or sarcastically reply, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."

Well, I give up, but what about Mom? I gave Dad a digital camera this year--bringing him, in style, into the technological age of cameras. I'd say he was tickled pink. But how do I upstage that? And what do I buy Mom? I've already gotten her an iPod, Nintendo DS, and jewelry... none of which she ever uses, unless I hound her to (and that doesn't count). I really don't know.

So, now I don't know what I'm doing for Christmas. I don't know what I'm buying people for Christmas. And I don't really know when Christmas is.. better look at a calendar... At least I'm in the spirit this year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

So Glad It's Friday

Today was a rough day at work, but I won't complain about that here. I'll just say, TGIF!!!!

I've added a few new things to my resume, but it gave me pause. I've decided I'm nervous. With the circumstances of my current position, I feel confident in my abilities has increased. And decreased. Both, at the same time.

I feel I'm better in a crisis, but worse in the classroom. It's way easier when someone is there, behind you, patting your back. Today, I totally flopped a math lesson, and I say as I have said a hundred times before--I will never teach math.

They told me this would happen--that nothing is perfect, and that nothing goes according to plan. I'm good with that. Really, the anal perfectionist that I am can accept lower standards, but a complete flop is unacceptable to me. I had the lesson planned out, and I improvised as I taught. But I cannot do math.

For some reason, the second I got up in front of the class I got nervous--maybe it was all the new faces. Maybe it was that it was the hottest room in the school and I was wearing a thick sweatshirt and two pairs of paints--no wait. That's the reason for my face turning bright red and sweat pouring down my back. So what the heck went wrong?


Math is wrong. I know how to do it. I did it twice in preparation. And yet, the second I'm in front of the room, staring at a problem my brain goes blank. I forget. I look at the paper. I get nervous. I sweat. I joke and laugh, but I suck at math.

I'm trying hard not to take it too hard. I know some lessons work, and some flop. I think the fact I'm facing my fears, standing in front of teenagers, with math on (or somewhat on) my brain, trying to help people who really don't give a shit give a shit. Not to mention I have no obligation to do so! And I'm not frustrated with them, I'm frustrated with me. Why can't I articulate, and why can't I just plain think?

I'm starting to worry about the future, now. What if I can't do this? What if all I do is freeze? What if I have as much trouble planning lessons as I do thinking up math lessons? I've been trying for weeks to develop my own little curriculum. . . But all I've got is one assignment. That's it. Just one.

I'm going to stop beating myself up tonight. I'm going to enjoy my Friday night (and this last episode of Criminal Minds). I might do some writing, or . .. clean my room. Yikes. Don't want to think of that either.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So, taking my frustration out on a vacuum cleaner is not such a great idea. Apparently, they fight back now-a-days, and I've got the hole in my chin to prove it. Seriously, ouch.

Mom and I had a huge fight the other night. I'm a talking massive, screaming and cursing our lungs out fight. (This is what happens when you have two bad communicators under the same roof.)

I'm almost shamed to admit this, but I know anyone who says they don't have a good fight every now and again is full of crap. People fight. It's just what happens when they don't see eye to eye. People are stubborn. Hot headed. Determined. The more you believe you're right, the harder you fight for what you believe in. But, regardless, here is what went down.

We had a house fire a few years ago, and we lost everything. It has been hard, but I've come to terms with it for the most part. The one thing that has bugged me the most, though, has consistently been Christmas. I've tried, and I've tried, but I've just been so depressed around Christmas. I don't have the stocking my grandmother knit me, I don't have the ornaments I made in kindergarten, I don't have anything I used to have. The manger is gone, the nutcrackers are gone, the candles and the figurines are gone. All our old ornaments, gone. Everything is gone.

It was exciting to move into a brand new house, and buy brand new things, but a brand new Christmas seems sacrilegious. I know it's just "stuff," but it's like walking into a stranger's house. It just seems wrong.

Well, the past few years I've never cared less about Christmas. I've decided that I just didn't have the spirit anymore. But, over the past 2 years, something else changed too. My cousins had their first baby, and their second. Now they've got two, beautiful little babies having their first Christmases. That, to me, is a reason to be cheery.

I thought about it last year, and I thought my mother had agreed with me: we should go to Beantown for Christmas. We've both been depressed. We've both been miserable. So, we should go down and play with babies--our favorite past time.

That was the decision last year. I'm pretty sure we agreed upon it unanimously.

With our friend's recent passing, there has been stress. Normally, she is the one to throw a Christmas Eve party, and we'd all attend. Us, our neighbors, and her family--who likes to be waited on hand and foot. My mom has constantly said "I'm not doing it. I'm not cooking, I'm not cleaning, I'm not waiting, I'm not serving, I'm not doing crap."

She says this, but then she'll go and do it anyway. Which is why I thought our pact last year would be a solution. I've been telling Joe that we've been going down to Beantown for Christmas for about a week now. I know it's not what he wants to hear, but what am I supposed to do? That was the decision.

Well, now the family we were going to visit are coming up after Christmas--which is the greatest Christmas gift EVER. I've been saying, "All I want is to see my Babies" and now I've got them. But, when I said, "I still want to go down to Mass for Christmas, though," I became, in an instant, the world's most ungrateful, horrible, traitorous person ever to live.

I can't even remember how the fight started, but it went the way our usual fights go. She started bitching about me to one of her friends, filling their heads with false information and twisting my words as she saw fit.

"I still want to go see them on Christmas, I've been depressed" somehow translates to "You are a terrible mother and I hate spending Christmas with you, bitch."

I defend myself, and she gets mad, says she'll call her friend back, and then comes at me with stupid shit that happens weeks ago. Like, I came home one night and didn't feel like watching TV one night because we do it all the time--that loosely translates to, "Your lazy and fat and all you do is sit home all day and watch TV, Mom."

We yell and scream for a good 15 minutes, at least, until I lose it and kick over the litterbox. That's great. Now I'm a raging psychopath, but it's extremely frustrating to argue with someone who doesn't listen to what you're saying. Note to self: if you are arguing with someone, don't scream "Calm down, you're acting like a psychopath." It doesn't help. So I call her crazy, and she tells me to move out. I say fine I will, and she says good screw; Same old, same old.

Then, to be the incredible bitch that I am, I tell her to get me the vacuum. Normally I'd ask nicely, but since I was such an "ungrateful bitch" I decided to live up to my character.

Now, we have a central vacuum, so it's basically this big, long hose that attaches to a small roller-thing which just plain sucks. So in a frustrated attempt to detach the stupid, malfunctioning equipment, I wound up smacking myself in the face with the metal part of the hose.


Chin's better today, and it's not as bad as I exaggerate it to be for sympathy purposes, but it still sucks. The medicine I'm on thins my blood, so it took a good hour or more to clot and stop bleeding. Even the next day, it was leaking a bit. I may have chipped a tooth or two, not sure. I was sure I needed stitches. I'm sure I'll have a scar. Great. At least it's under my chin.

My jaw hurts when I open my mouth, or chew. And as much as I try out of pure habit, I cannot rest my head upon my fist. It hurts. I hurt. My whole body. I just want to go back to bed.

Still not sure what I'm doing for Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Who am I? Part Two.

My cousin has inspired me to break this into two parts. Maybe three. Goodness knows I can ramble when I start going. It's a horrible thing, but let's make sure we covered everything so far:

PMS. Check
Burial. Check
Traffic. Check

So we get to the train station, and I'm feeling like the worst daughter ever. There I am, heading off to Beantown to go to a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/bah humbug party (heh) while my mom's running a fever, coughing her lungs out, and fighting traffic.

"Let's stop and get juice." I say.

"Nah, I'll get it later," She says.

Why didn't I think this out? I should have bought stuff on my way home from work Friday. Stupid me. Gr.

Well, I feel horribly neglecting and sad and lonely as I'm standing, waiting to board, there with my ticket. I brought a laptop, though, so that was something to look forward to. iPod too, which was good, because the wifi was TERRIBLE.

It was a nice ride, though. Fast. Over before I even knew it. I was pretty social too. Talked to at least two people. Usually I'm very shy around strangers, but I was on an adventure. It was fun.

The first lady I spoke with was an older woman who was lingering in the terminal with me. "You heading to Beantown?" I said. She smiled and said she hoped so.

"We booked our tickets last night, but we don't know where to get them." She told me, and I promptly told her where I'd gotten mine (as I'd bought mine the night previous too). "Thanks, my fiance is in there now. He should find them."

We chatted a bit, then got on the train. She sat in front of me in the handicapped section. An older older woman sat across from me, and a man and his son sat in the other handicapped spot.

At first, I was alarmed with that. Honestly, it's something some people in my family would do. He looked perfectly normal, and I wasn't sure he realized they were handicapped seats. But as the train ride progressed, I started to see how disturbed his son was. Then I felt like a jerk for doubting him. He looked at me a few times, the dad. Stared. Smiled. I felt bad. I wanted to say "hi" and start talking to him, but I didn't know what to say.

"Oh, I see your son is ..." or "What is wrong with him?" Those didn't seem too polite. I guess I should have asked where he was heading, but I felt like he was embarrassed or something. I felt even worse for staring and suspecting. Jerk me.

I talked a lot with the grandmother beside me. She was knitting, so I told her what I tell every knitter I see, "Oh I need to take classes. I can knit a straight-line scarf, but that is about it!" She said something else to me, but I didn't hear her and didn't want her to repeat herself. Oh well.

She then started drilling her granddaughter with multiplication and spelling. You could tell the little girl was irritated. She got on the floor and started staring out the window. Playing with the seat. Total avoidance. I wanted to say, "Leave her the heck alone, you bully. Can't you see you're pushing too hard?" but that would have been rude too. It irks me when I see people who are ignorant of young people's feelings, though. Instead of being rude, I just asked her if she knew the trick for the 9's. There is this finger trick that will tell you the answers to the nines tables: On your ten fingers, starting from the left, put down the finger of the number you are multiplying by nine.

IE 1x9= 9
If those were your fingers, you'd put your left pinkie down, and have 9 fingers remaining. 1x9=9


|-\\\ /////
So you put down your left ring finger. Your left pinkie automatically gains the value of a tens place, so you have 10 + your remaining 8 fingers = 18

||-\\ /////
Here you have your left pinkie and ring finger in the tens place (because they are separated by your middle finer. To the right of your middle finger, you now have 7.
10+10= 20+ 7 = 27

And it continues on. Hopefully I've enlightened you!

My cousin picked me up at the train station. I've been calling him Mr. Jerk since he refused to sleep in my tempur-pedic mattress with his horrible back, so I guess I'll just call him, affectionately, jerk from now on. I guess it's payback for calling my dog F-face during his puppyhood.

So Jerk (and now I feel like a jerk for committing that name to him) picked me up in the train station. We went to his house so I could help set up for the party. I will call his wife by her wii name, McPreggers. McPreggers was there setting up, so I helped where I could. Her sisters came shortly after I got there, and they did all the things I couldn't do. We made a great team.

Everything was set up, and it was really nice compared to the previous year. This was my second year attending, and during my first it was slightly awkward. McPregger's family had stayed in the kitchen, and my family had stayed in the waiting room. It was sort of awkward for me, because I hadn't known everybody, and am horrible with names. And faces. But after the wedding, and facebook, I now knew all sisters and most family members.

This year, everyone mingled. Everyone joked. laughed. and had fun. Well, everyone except for my niece. :( She cried and cried and hated everybody. It sort of made me feel horrible inside. I was a distant memory she wanted nothing to do with. Ouch. I mean, I know she gets that way, and it's just the way she is, but I still felt like I, the amazing aunt, should have been able to break that wicked spell of antisocial behavior. I just wasn't 'that' cool, though.

My aunt came in.. what do I call her? She's slightly loud and overbearing. . . I guess I'll call her by her trait mark cookies. Auntie Cookie. That makes sense. So Auntie cookie comes in, and my niece went to her without hesitance. She opened her present and colored with her. I felt like a deadbeat aunt... Maybe it was because her wrapping paper was the glorious red, and mine was just plain green... favorite colors are always big hits.. I don't know. I'll keep that in mind for when I wrap Elmo, I guess.

Eventually, I weaseled my way in. I got Aunt Cookie to get her to open my present--a handmade trick-or-treat bag with her name embroidered on it. I was so proud of that silly bag; found a yellow, white, and orange stripped shirt at the salvation army, cut it up, sewed it together, and braided yarn through the bottom seam. Hot-glued felt characters on and wrapped it in horribly offensive green Christmas paper.

Well, it made her day (I hope.) "Let's go trick-or-treating!" I said, "Want to go?" And she shook her head hesitantly. Then she was mine Mwahaha. We went to the living room and stocked up on red and green M&M's. Her favorite. Then we went to the hall and ate them, all the while screaming "M's!!!! Where'd you go!!!?" into the festive sack. She laughed hysterically, stopping only to glare at her brother as he crawled by.

After a while, I convinced her to go upstairs with me to get a present I'd brought for her mommy and daddy. She was excited to go upstairs, but not to deliver this gift. She'd much rather run into walls and jump up and down in closets. Seriously. She ran into a wall, SMACK, then we'd slowly slide down the wall making silly sound effects. Then we'd lay on our backs and laugh hysterically.

Occasionally, we needed to nap. So she would climb up onto the bed and lay down. "Can you sleep?" She'd ask me, so I said sure and I'd climb into bed. That was NOT OK. "No, you sleep on the floor." she instructed. I laughed. Then asked if I could take a pillow.

She said yes.

We'd run into McPreggers and Jerk's future son/daughter's room and stare into the crib. "Uncle Jerk and Auntie McPreggers are having a baby. Will you sing baby a lullaby?"

"Yes." She said sweetly. Staring. The crib was almost hypnotizing her. I wondered what she was thinking. Happy thoughts? Nervous thoughts? She'd stare for a good minute, then she'd run out of the room, across the hall, and jump in a giant closet. The only uncool part of the evening was when a little boy was dropped off to play with us. He was cute, but, for some strange reason, he didn't quite understand the concept of running into a wall and laughing hysterically. Instead he tried tickling my niece, who, again, is a pretty distant person. He reached over and tickled her, then received the stare of death. It was totally quiet... It was really awkward. You'd think he'd just beat her, or something.. It was like... dead silent. Stare.

I joined in, laughing, "Tickle tickle tickle!! ah ha ha!" like a loon. That didn't make things any better. So we ran and jumped in the closet again.

It took a while, but I eventually had a blast with her. Towards the end of the night, though, I became the BIGGEST JERK EVER. Bigger than Mr. Jerk himself. My niece wanted me to go sleep over her house.... And I had promised to help McPreggers clean up... and my own father was upset I wasn't staying at HIS house and visiting his puppies... and to make matters worse, as if I wasn't torn enough already, Aunt Cookie offered me an apartment LOL! I'm so glad everyone loves me, but it sure does make things hard sometimes.... <3

Well, I honestly wanted to go and see my babies in the morning. Little Chubby Cheeks and his big sister. But they had to leave early (curfews for 2 year olds aren't what they used to be ;) It was also snowing, so I couldn't make them come back for me, even though they would have. So then I decided to go with my dad. I was tired and torn, so I agreed, even though he wasn't sober enough to remember me telling him I changed my mind and wasn't going. Yeah...

Mr. Jerk said, "You're going home with him? Think about it. It's not a good idea." and thankfully talked me out of it. Mr. Jerk is such a good guy. A jerk at times, but a good guy, and I'm so proud he is my cousin.

"I'm going to stay here. I'll come over to see the puppies in the morning." I said at the end of the night.

"Ok." He said, "So are you ready? Where's all your stuff?" He said to me.

"I just said I'm going to stay here..." I said blatantly. He just said, "oh."

I know it bothers him that I don't see him enough, but Mr. Jerk was right.

On the way to the train station, Jerk and I had a wonderful conversation about my dad. "I love him, but I just can't take him. He frustrates me. He's so good, but he's so... Dad."

Jerk agreed with me. My Dad is the greatest guy ever, and there isn't a thing he wouldn't do for anybody... except stop drinking. That's the one thing he won't do.

Anyway, the party was great. The only thing that pissed me off was one thing he said to McPregger's grandmother. He'd been trying to get me to try some Kahlua cool whip, but I refused. He thought he was clever telling me it was just cool whip, but since I helped make it, I sort of knew better. "Come on, it's good."

And though I had actually been tempted to taste, it was the principal I refused. I refused to be tricked into getting drunk. I refused to let my guard down. I refused to take advantage of my adulthood. I said no. And I was proud of myself. The more he pushed, the harder my resistance came. What was the big freaking deal? I didn't want to try the cool whip.

"My daughter's anti-alcohol." He says to the table. "It's good, but one time she didn't want to be my designated driver and blah blah blah... "

I think my jaw hit the floor. Literally. One of my first blog posts on here was about that very same incident--the fact that I didn't approve of his abuse of alcohol and that I didn't want to cart around my drunk family. He was mad at ME for refusing to drive him around, and complaining about it.

Granted, if they really needed a ride, I would pick them up. But I wasn't going to waste my entire day, driving them from bar to bar, watching them get drunk. That just isn't my idea of a good time.

Anyway, I was so embarrassed, not that I had to be. But for him to hold on so strongly to that resentment was very upsetting. I got up and walked away, proud of myself for holding it together. I didn't want to cause a scene at the party... That would have made things worse.

I knew he was just drunk and rambling, so whatever.

So, yeah. With that said and done, I'm not sure what I did. I think the babies were gone, so I must have just gone and washed some dishes. Maybe I took some pictures.

The Yankee Swap went... Eh. It was fun, but played completely wrong. Two people went home with the gifts they brought, and it was just a game of appeasement more than anything else. I'll just stick with numbers to keep things straight. Person 1 picked a beach chair. Person 2 picked something random, and wanted to trade of the the beach chair, when someone, who I refuse to admit was my father, started to argue that "that's now how you do it."

"Yeah it is."

"No, it's not!"

"You can't trade with 1"

Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, screw it.

So they gave up, confused, and #2 got screwed out of a beach chair.

I was numbers 6, 9, and 12. Pretty sweet. My cousins had left me in charge of their Swapping, so I thought I did them proud... until I realized two of the gifts were the two gifts they had brought! Oops!

Gift 6 was the game "Clue." Gift 9 was a Kappy's gift card. Gift 12 was a mini-dirt devil..

Since the game was completely screwed up, the rule was "you can only trade with the person before you--unless you're number two because then we hate you and you don't get jack squat." So, there came an opportunity for #8 to trade with #7.

7 was a bottle of wine with 3 scratch tickets. 8 was the gift I brought--a decorative "Let it Snow" box filled with hot cocoa mix, festive teas, cookies, and truffles. #8 was McPreggers, and she kept my gift; had she stolen the scratch tickets, I (#9) would have stolen them, but she kept the cookies and tea.

The scratch tickets were worth $140... What a blow.

I was #12, and I knew that #1 was gunning for my Kappy's gift card. I was determined to get my cousins something good for their swap, so I stole #11 (Aunt Cookie's) Wine and Scene it game. She was mad, but it was the only thing I could do. I couldn't go back, and I knew I was losing a gift card. How could I go back with chair, vacuum, and board game? Naw, I had to steal.

Aunt Cookie left with the vacuum she had brought, and I brought Tumbleweed and Homemakerman the board game and chair they had entered into the game (Oops). At least they got wine, though.

All the gifts were nice. There was a giant dart board, lots of booze, and a bunch of other random things that I can't quite remember.

After everyone had left, Jerk, McPreggers, her sister, and I all sat on the couch and talked about what a great party it had been. McPreggers went to bed, and so did Jerk. The two of us watched a movie, until 2ish AM. Then I went up to bed.

I woke up and helped clean up. Jerk made us crack-breakfast, which is delicious. I think he makes the best breakfast (next to my dad, of course). I love it when he uses pepper-bacon, though. It's soo good. But anyway, we cleaned a bit, then got ready for the train. We drove down, actually joking about missing the train.

"You know you don't want to go," Jerk said. I agreed. Of course I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay down and see my dad. The puppies. My babies. I actually felt pretty guilty about not going to see his puppies. I said I would, but that night he said, "No you won't."

Actually, I would have. I wanted to go see him, but after he told me "You're going to sleep late, get up, go to the train and go home." I figured, what the heck? Now I don't have to feel bad about not seeing him--only I do feel bad, so either way I was screwed. I was too irritated to go see him, so even though I had a bit of time, I said the heck with it.

I gave him a huge Christmas present; one that actually ticked off his wife. She turned to me and said, "You didn't have to get him that, that is too much!" She said whisperingly angry. I just shrugged. What the heck was I going to say?

Maybe she bought him a digital camera too.. Ha.

More to come in part three. I'm tired of typing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Who I am? Part One

So, I'm on a two hour train ride, reflecting upon this weekend.

I actually only have about a half hour left, so I've apparently done a lot of the reflection part already. But I'm just so happy, I can't stop smiling. I would have to say this weekend has been bittersweet. I've been happy and alive, as well as hunched over in pain and crying my eyes out. Angry too. Truly pissed. Typical train-wreck me.

Friday night, I went walking with Joe. We talked about his wife, and I tried talking him into going to Florida. Crazy things happen when emotions run high, and I love Joe like a grandfather. Don't want anything to happen to him. I don't want the stress of losing his wife to get to him, because you always hear about people who literally die when they lose their spouses. A part of them just dies.

Then I worry about his money. There is nothing he wouldn't spend on his family, that's for sure. I can't imagine the thousands he spent on his wife's funeral. Doesn't matter what it costs. Her plaque was beautiful. The spot they cleared, was beautiful. Everything was beautiful, and sweet. Just like the birthday party he threw for her last month; everything was perfect.

But word gets around that people are after his fortune. Rumor this, and fact that. I don't know what to believe, but I know that if he is paying a friend of his to run around and do things for him, then that person is not really his friend, and I will have a strong loathing of them. The things I do for Joe, I do because I care about him and not the money in his wallet. When I go over with a dinner, wash a few dishes, or just hang out and tell jokes, I'm not looking for a paycheck. I'm looking to keep a mourning old man from being miserable. I just hate that anyone would be looking at him with dollar signs in their eyes.

Anyway, I want to keep him busy, and happy. So we've been taking the dogs for walks in the park nearby our home. It's nice, but my dog is trying to steal Homemakerman's dog's title of world's dumbest animal. Just Thursday night, he ran into a bench. Granted, it was dark, he's ten, and possibly losing his eyesight, but he just ran smack into the bench. Ouch.

Not 5 minutes later, and he ran into Joe's flashlight. Yeah. A flashlight. He saw Joe, sitting on the bench, and ran right into him. The flashlight had been on and in Joe's lap, and my dog got it straight in his eye. Uh, really? Was he blinded by the light? Was he following the light? I don't know, but I know the light was bright, and I know he ran right into it.... So, yeah...

I caught a train Saturday morning, but not after almost dying 3 times.

First, I woke up to the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life. Pretty sure any woman can relate, to give you a hint. If you're squeamish about that sort of stuff, skip ahead a few paragraphs. Don't know how long I'll be; just skip ahead to the asterisks.

I've had pretty bad periods for a while now. Usually it's the first 2 days I'm in keel over pain. Saturday was the worst ever. I woke up with the worst pressure ever in my pelvis. So bad, that I felt like updating my facebook status to: "One day, many years from now, I will sit down my children and tell them to be thankful that on this day, so many years ago, I didn't claw out my uterus."

Really. It was that bad. I got up and wobbled to the bathroom and sat on the toilet, cringing, waiting for my brains to explode. I broke into a cold sweat, and felt dizzy. I tried standing and literally fell backwards. Thankfully, I caught my balance before landing back on the toilet. Dragged myself into the tub. Sat there. Crying. It was terrible.

Mom heard me after 10 minutes. Came in and asked me what was wrong. I told her I wanted a hysterectomy, and that I'd just adopt her grankids. She laughed and told me period cramps were far worse than giving birth. Still not sure I believe her.

I felt bad, but even worse knowing my mom was up coughing all night with a fever. Now I had to have her take care of me? She was great; Got me gingerale. breakfast. Meds. I stumbled down the stairs and fell into her bathtub. Ran it and took a 2 hour long bath. P.S. It's gross taking a bath with Aunt Flo. Too Graphic. Sorry. It just sucks to be a woman. Effing men have it so easy.

Still not sure if it was IBS, bowel movement, cyst, trapped gas, or just mother nature at it's finest. Pretty sure "all of the above" came into play.

After my body returned to a semi-normal state, I was able to get ready for my cousin's Christmas party. That was great, except for the fact I had to go to a funeral first. Burial, really. They finally had the plot ready for Joe's wife, so we went up there to lay her to rest.

Oh yeah, P.S. #2, I'm going to hell.

I firmly believe that at a funeral, and in a time such as this, that people are supposed to be grown ups. Respectful, loving, understanding, grownups. Yet, that Saturday, I snubbed. And I knew I was probably going to hell for it, but I did it anyway. I snubbed, and I was angry. Pissed. Just plain pissed. You aren't supposed to be pissed at a funeral.

So what do you do when you see the one person, in the entire world, that you actually do hate? Despise. Loathe. Words aren't strong enough to describe my disdain. Which doesn't mean I'm consumed by a burning ball of hate, but does mean the thought of them taking a sledge hammer to my family and smashing it to pieces makes me wonder why God punishes the good and lets evil prevail.

Them. There are two of them. Husband and wife. The thought of them sickens me, but they were good friends with Joe and his wife, so what was I to do? There they were at the funeral. The get together. The burial. I felt mutinous just breathing the same air as them, like somehow being within 5 yards of them was betraying my family. I hated myself for not putting my feelings aside, because I felt I was disrespecting Joe's wife, but I just couldn't do it.

I hated them too. When "the Mrs." saw my mother crying she went over and hugged her. I nearly died. I couldn't blame my mother for not making a scene at her best friend's burial, but I couldn't believe it. I was mortified. The only thing I enjoyed about it was that my mother, quite possibly has swine flu and hopefully infected her. I'm going to hell. Poor Joe's wife has probably rolled over in her grave.

If it is any consolation, Joe's wife never believed in apologies. She said what she meant, and that was it; apologies meant nothing. So as much as she wanted us to forgive and forget our hatred, I don't think she'd appreciate lies.

"She's going to be hurting tonight." My mom said to me when we left. "Did you see what she did?" I was thinking, hey did I miss her fall or something? She's such a klutz; she probably fell. But apparently, her husband had been giving her the death-stare when she went over to hug my mother. (Towards the end of our relationship, we started to wonder how much of her bruises came from her klutziness, and how many of them, potentially, came from the husband.)

Again, I'm going to hell. But I don't quite care, and neither should anyone in the universe. Any spitfire woman who sells her soul to the devil for a million dollar mansion and life of luxury deserves neither respect nor sympathy. I am a firm believer in "life is what you make it" and if you make your life a bed of nails, abuse your family, and screw your friends--you're stuck with that life, and you have to live it. Have fun!

I was so glad when they left, and hadn't approached me. That way, I didn't have to appear "rude" or "grudge bearing." But then, on their way out, she said, "Hi." Hi. Hi to me. I wasn't sure how to respond, and in the seconds it took my brain to register that she actually dare speak to me, I took a breath and kept on walking. I wanted her to be miserable, and alone, and know that I hated her guts. I'm going to hell.

On another note, minus the stress, fury, and damnation, the burial was lovely. The flowers still looked beautiful, and the spot was perfect. You could see long lake from atop that giant hill. The plot was surrounded by giant rocks, and overlooked nothing but woods. It was perfect.

The kids were there. Her sister's grankids. Long, horrible, story there, but I won't get into it now. I'll just say they are now, currently, living happily with their aunt. But I love them. I love kids. They just make me smile. Life is so simple, and happy for kids. Everything is funny, and new, and exciting. Here goes the story, anyway. These kids lost their father a year or two ago from a supposed heart-attack. An autopsy was never preformed, but we've always slightly suspected the wife had something to do with his death. She's a money-sucking heroin junkie. 3 kids. Life insurance policy. No food, no clothes. Nothing. Nothing but an MIA mother. Sold the dog. Sold their toys. But it's ok. She'll just say people "stole" their stuff. And the school is just across the street, so they can get there themselves while she gets her fix in. Makes me sick.

Oh, the drama of my life. I love these kids so much, though. I hate that they have a crappy mom, and deceased father, and now their great aunt has passed. Their life has been tragically robbed of joy and innocence. That makes me sicks too.

During the burial, I played with the kiddos. 2/3 of them, anyway. The third had a different father who won custody after the mother abdicated all three to her sister-in-law.

The youngest disappeared into the woods; made me nervous. Him and that army-pattered jacket. Hunting season. Yeah. So I went off and found him sitting on a ledge. Not a huge cliff, or anything, but a few feet at least.

"Watcha' Doin?" I hugged him.

"Thinkin. I want to go down there."

"Well, maybe this summer. When we go fishing, we'll go hiking too." I said. What do you say to a kid who lost two very special people in his life? I don't know. He pulled a piece of straw to his lips. I grabbed one too. We sword fought with them, and I tickled him with it. We giggled, and then we made bird nests. Brought them back to the funeral.

Joe's wife. I'll call her Sharona. Heh. Sharona. The kids didn't quite understand why everyone was standing around, so I told them we were paying our respects to Sharona. They were very sweet, but then wanted to take flowers from the baskets. "One each." I said, go ahead and pick. So they each picked perfect red roses from the bunch. But the elder sister whined: "But he's got two! No Fair!"

Well, the brother's second was found on a rock beside the parking spot. It had been plucked out for looking dead and crumbled. "Ok, you can have ONE more," I said, "Then you'll each have two." So she picked another, which, naturally, made her younger brother jealous.

"I want that one!" He told me, but I reminded him he only had two, and we needed to leave them pretty for Sharona.

We left for the train shortly after, and I didn't think we'd make it alive. On the way two BRILLIANT drivers decided to cut out in front of us without signaling. Had my mother not been a professional driver, we'd probably never have made it to the train. Literally. Two morons. They were barely inches in front of us when they came into our lane. Morons.

So. Yeah. There is part one of Who am I. Not sure how it got so off track, but I'll get to more of the self-reflecting part later.

Until next time <3

Friday, December 4, 2009


So I'm starting to get sick of Publisher's Clearance House. I know what you're thinking. "That junk? Why would you subscribe to that crap?"

Well, here is the story: a few years ago, my mom got a notice saying she won a grand from the infamous "Publisher's Clearance House." I immediately told her it was a gimmick and suggested she shred it with the rest of the junk mail. But she didn't believe me. She never does, but this one she was sure was the real deal.

So I told her to do research on it, and she did. She paid for the shipping, or what not, and a few weeks later up showed a check worth $1,000 with her name on it. We couldn't believe it. She actually won!

I still thought she was being had, so I told her to be careful, but she put it in her bank account, and a few days later her name was on the PCH website under $1,000 winners.

Well, amazed by this, I've decided to sign up. Might as well have a 2/100,000,000 chance, right?

Every now and then, aka every other day, I get their spam--but one in particular stands out.

"Dear ______! Great news! Someone with the initials B.S. will win in your area this week!!"

For the record, B. and S. are NOT my initials, but I did pick them for a specific purpose. Because I think they are, again, selling B.S. My mom gets the same letters with her initials, so.... How can the two of us, in the same area, with totally separate initials BOTH win the same prize?

Go figure.

Don't subscribe to PCH unless they pay you too!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Angry enough to scream

I'm somehow managing to maintain a cool exterior, as my student has yet to ask me, "What's wrong?"

When I'm really upset, I'll be asked that question, but not today. I'm smiling and making jokes, like I normally do when I'm in a good mood, but inside I just want to scream. I want to log into Facebook and share my anger and frustration with everyone else, but I'm holding back on that too.

As most of you know, our dear friend passed away last Wednesday. The funeral was Saturday, but I didn't post that entry, and the burial? On hold. ON HOLD!

The story is too outlandish to believe, but here it is:

Our friend's husband, we'll call him Joe, has a lot of property around town. He has a lot of tenants too. Low class, trash, tenants. Joe and his wife always try to see the good in people, and always bend over backwards for people. For his wife's last birthday, Joe bought lobsters for my family, their family, and our neighbor. (Not to mention a massive ice cream cake!) This is probably the 3rd time he's bought us lobsters.

Needless to say, Joe is a Saint. So is his wife. They should both be sanctified for the things they do for others. And now, here he is, with a restraining order against him. A restraining order from one of his tenants. A restraining order that keeps him off his own damn property and burying his wife.

I want to scream.

They went to court yesterday, and it seems they were the last case. "The judge just seemed bored" Joe said, "And she wouldn't stop crying. Then she walked out of the room and laughed at us."

She's lucky I have a reputation to uphold, because if I didn't I'd probably go down there and punch her myself. Oops. Did I say that? But seriously, can you imagine what Joe must be thinking; he just wants to bury his wife.

My mother has a theory about what happened; she thinks that they made the mistake of being tried together. Joe, his son, and her ex-boyfriend. This drama has been going on forever. Some dog fight, then she kidnapped someone's dog. I don't know the whole story, but I don't care to. It doesn't make sense that Joe can't go up to his own property and bury his wife. She should GTFO IMHO.

I just want to scream.

There is no way this should have been allowed to happen, especially when she has already been evicted. EVICTED. She should be gone. She was served papers and everything. They are just waiting on the hearing to give her the boot, so why would you LIVE in a place you feel so threatened in?

I just want to scream.

Get this, the lawyer says, "If you drop the eviction, I'll drop the restraining order."

I just want to scream!

Why would you offer to drop a restraining order if you feel so threatened??

I just want to scream!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why is everybody so sick?

My house is currently under quarantine with the dreaded "rhino virus," but no one believes me when I say it's just the common cold.

Fortunately, I've yet to catch it.

Mom and sis were diagnosed yesterday, and when I got home from work, there was a medical mask on the ground by the door. Originally, it had hung from the door knob and had been intended for me to wear. Walking onto the scene, however, I figured I was living with people with some deadly virus. Bubonic plague, or swine flu.

Kidding, of course. I've unfortunately been to the doctor's office quite a bit in the past few months, and I know that even if you suspect you are coming down with something, they will make you wear a mask. Great fun.

Well, my mother had grabbed one for ME to wear around the house--double standard, I think? They get sick, so I have to look like a weirdo? While they go around breathing and infecting the rest of the house? Eh, no thanks. I refused it, and they, ever so generously decided to wear theirs instead.

But, really. Why is everybody getting sick? (Besides the obvious answer of "germs".) Next weekend is my cousin's Christmas party. I'm flying solo if my mom and sister don't get better, and even if I go by myself, some family members have decided to go out and get the pig flu. They were all, "Oh, so and so is coming, let's go get sick so we can conveniently not see her because she banished us from Maine for 5 years...." Long story. Totally false from the word "some" on.

In other news, I'm running out of interesting things to write about.