Thursday, February 25, 2010

Getting My Bitch On.

I love this week's Girl Talk Thursday topic. Bitch, let it out. We're here for you.

Word.



I've had a crummy week. Suffice it to say I got the nerve to talk to my boss about more $$$ and he did give me a raise. But it wasn't what I wanted, nor what I feel like I should be making given my skill set and responsibilities. So now instead of being proud that I asked, I am crushed and beyond irritated that I still feel undervalued. There's this saying that goes you can have something done quickly, with high quality and inexpensive but you only get to pick TWO. TWO of those. So if you want it done quickly with high quality, it ain't free. If you want it done for free with high quality, it's gonna take some time. You get the idea. You. CAN. NOT. HAVE IT ALL.

This lesson, of course, could be applied to so many other areas as well...

What the hell is up with four publication deadlines in ONE WEEK?

WHY, WHY, WHY won't my 4 year old stay in his bed at night? WHY does he have to come in at 2am? Then sleep on the floor and wake up repeatedly to crawl in to bed with me, whine, then squirm so much that even he realizes that he should sleep on the floor. WHY?

Do not talk on your cell phone when you are checking out of a store. It's RUDE. Don't do it. Tell the person you'll call them back in, like, 5 minutes or less. Smile and be nice to the person helping you. Be present and mindful of others.

I love my little blog here. I love my space. But I know that I am not original. I know that there are thousands of blogs just like mine out there. 99% of them are funnier, 99% of them have authors who write better than I do. It's cool. I'm not in competition from them and honestly, I love the people who follow me and converse with me and I don't need more, although I will welcome new friends any day. It's cool. I'm comfortable in this space. So I find it very amusing and positively IRRITATING when other bloggers and tweeters get up in arms about others "stealing their ideas" or "not getting credit for something" or "how come Ms. Big-Name-Blogger never comments on MY BLOG? I comment on hers all the time and it's not faaaaair." GET OVER YOURSELF. There are LOTS of people I'm following who don't follow me. Why on earth should I impose myself on them? Is there no free will anymore? Do you really think they have time to comment on every one of the hundreds of notes they get per post? So many of the big name bloggers are big name bloggers because they experienced personal tragedy and were brave enough to share their grief and stories with the rest of us. Do you want to become a big name blogger the same way? Show a little respect and find your own path. Everyone has a path to trod that is yours and yours alone. Embrace it.

So it's snowed a lot this year in places where we have family. It's cold here in Florida. It's cold in a lot of places. A week ago there was only ONE state in the US that didn't have snow in it in some part, Hawaii. It's COLD. So when people say "What Global Warming?!" it really pisses me off.

I know some people who are masters at speaking out of both sides of their mouths. What does that mean? A classic example that still makes me ill to this day: An acquaintance was once conversing with me when a friend of ours walked in with her baby. Immediately the person I was talking to whispered to me "isn't her baby so ugly?" And then, mere seconds later, walked right up to our friend and said "Oh I just love your baby. She's sooooo cute!" I was told this person "Wow, if you say that about people who think you are friends with them, what on earth are you saying about me?" She laughed and said "Oh I can be honest with you and I like you." BULLSHIT We're not friends anymore. Imagine that?

Someone got all Mac snobby on me last week. Someone who had no business talking to me about computers and software and what I could or could not do with my skill set. Stupid print vendor on a major high and mighty horse. You want a high-res PDF? A Tiff? It does not freaking matter AT ALL which type of computer it was designed on. And if you dare talk to me about your stupid design aesthetic and how it's so superior anymore I might just have to point to your design and tell you that the bad clip art hydrangea borders you put on EVERY page of your magazine makes me want to stick both my hands down my throat and vomit. Also? People who are snobby should not wear monochromatic gold clothing ensembles with an entire bottle of cheap, bad perfume to cover up the stench of your cigarette smoke and illegal eleventy-thousand number of cats you keep at your house. Nothing can cover that stench honey.

People who smoke around children, at the entrances of places I am going to enter and have no other course to take, who flick their cigarette butts out the windows of their cars, littering... what the heck is the matter with you? Ok I get that it's an addiction. I get it that it helps you relax. I get it. BUT - why the hell did you start when you KNOW it was bad for you. And stop smoking around kids. This makes me violent in my head. Stop forcing the rest of us to breathe in your second hand smoke. Stop abusing breaks at work. Also if you smoke and have a job that involves your hands being anywhere near my face (ie. hairdresser, dentist) or in my food, I want to punch you.

Is anyone still reading this post? I've pissed everyone off now, right? I'm sorry!

Sigh.

I just got warmed up too.

We should so have this topic again in a few months. I'm certain we'll all have more things to get off our chests soon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Salads

Dear Restaurant Price Setter,

When I dine out for dinner I like that there is a side salad included with my meal. Eating a small salad before my meal helps me not over eat on your over-sized portions of food. Here's what I don't like though:


  • raw tomatoes
  • cheddar cheese (I'm allergic to sharp cheddar you see and most restaurant servers never know if it's sharp or mild on the salad.)
  • iceberg lettuce

So with all these dislikes I'm sure you'd understand that I'd prefer to eat a Caesar salad. I prefer romaine lettuce to iceberg any day and Caesar dressing doesn't give me heartburn like vinaigrettes do. I still get some croutons (yum!) and there's even some Parmesan cheese grated on top. It's a win.

The problem though is that you see the need to charge me $1.00 more to switch out my standard garden salad with a Caesar salad. I understand that historically Caesar salads were made table-side by the chef himself (ahem, or herself) and customers were paying a little extra for the flair of a chef show. I get that a little more work may have been involved historically to serve customers Caesar salad.

Please tell me how Caesar salads are more work or more money now? Do you hand mix the salad dressing anymore? Not where I'm eating. Do you prepare my salad table-side? Not where I'm eating. Do you hand chop the lettuce or make your own croutons? Not. where. I'm. eating.

From where I sit at the table it seems to me that a garden salad is now more work than a Caesar. There are more ingredients - lettuce, cheese, croutons, shredded carrots and tomatoes. Sometimes you even cut the tomatoes in to wedges. Unless, of course, the tomatoes come pre-sliced in bags like the lettuce, carrots and cheese. A Caesar is romaine lettuce (which is not more expensive than iceberg at the grocery store, let's not blow smoke in mirrors, ok?), croutons and fresh grated cheese (you know, in an inexpensive, quick and easy grater that has a little crank handle).

Also, salad dressing. When I stand in the grocery store and peruse the bottled selection I have noticed a trend within the different brands. They're the same price. Yes you might pay more for one label over another, for organic or not organic within the label and fat-free vs lard-ass. If you compare like kind to like kind though, they're the same price.

So why then, Dear Restaurant Price Setter, is the cost of a Caesar salad $1.00 more than a garden salad? Why are you still fixated on an antiquated practice that is no longer par for the course? I am most curious Restaurant Price Setter.

I so sincerely appreciate your re-consideration of this additional $1.00 fee.

Kindest and fondest regards,
Messponential Mama

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Give Us Gold

In a world where we create our own Olympic events, what event would you win Gold in?



Clearly all Gold medalists at the Olympic Games got to the podium through years of hard work, dedication, daily practice, and the help of a team of people, coaches, family, friends, supporting the athlete. It is no different in our house. We win Gold as a family in our special events. That's right everyone, we take Gold in TWO events around here.

Or maybe it'd be like a Biathlon Event. Two parts, one Gold? Hmmm... Two Golds sounds better. Let's go with that.

The first event is Laundry Piling. This involves washing and drying all your laundry, then dumping the clean clothes in to the empty spot on your bedroom floor. Next you proceed to choose your clothes each day from the clean pile, wear them and then put them, at the end of each day, in to the dirty laundry pile somewhere on the same floor, near the clean pile. The idea is to see how many free hangers you can have in your closet at the end of a four week cycle. (That's when you have to re-set the playing field and actually put things away.) The person or team with the most free hangers is declared the winner. This is such an easy Gold medal for our family. I really don't think anyone else out there can even come close to challenging us for the Gold.

The second event is Counter Clutter. This event involves finding every available inch of kitchen counter top space and putting something there. Never mind if there is a better "home" for the stuff, you might need to use it again in three months and it's just easier to find on the counter. Or is it? Again, I challenge any family out there to beat our Counter Clutter. Can't do it? Well then we'll just take the Gold there too thank you very much.

Have you read the title of my blog?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Color Me Happy

My dear friend Jenn certainly knows how to make me smile these days with a recent post mentioning me, and then today giving me a bloggy award. I love this girl. Seriously, on the days we don't talk I miss her. I can pull open a chat window and cry, vent, laugh, and be snarky (sometimes in the same sentence) and she just lets me be me. There is comfort and peace in this kind of friendship. Thank you Jenn, for everything.

Like she mentioned in her post, I've also been laying low in the virtual-verse. I almost wrote a post today called "Hey I Am Still Here, Living Under This Rock" or something to that effect. I just haven't had time to keep up with everything and when something's gotta give, well, it's tweeting and then blogging. I have to say it's a bit like missing school, which I also hated when I was growing up. I hated missing things, wondering if people would still like me when I showed back up. And as much as we get to pick and choose our friends in the blog-world, and on twitter too for that matter, sometimes it's still a little like high school with the cat fights and D.R.A.M.A. But, unlike high school where I still had to go, here I get to hit a little X button and walk away for a while. I have to breathe deeply when I do though. ZOMG what might I miss? Will people miss me?

ANYWAYS... See the shiny little award?



So, the ‘rules’ of this award:


  • Thank the person who nominated me for this award (see above!).
  • Copy the award & place it on my blog.
  • Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
  • Share 7 interesting things about myself.
  • Nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers.

So... Seven things about me. Seven. Goodness...

  1. Today my Facebook status is "There are places I remember all my life,though some have changed. Some forever, not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments..." I have been reflecting on people, events, places and phases of my life lately, categorizing them in my brain, filing them in my heart. These lyrics from the Beatles pretty much summed it up wonderfully.
  2. I over-analyze the fallout of every conflict I've ever been in.
  3. I am the daughter of an engineer and an artist. I think that makes me anally creative and creatively anal.
  4. My sister and I didn't get along well until we didn't live in the same house anymore. Now we talk 6 days out of every week and I miss it when I don't talk to her.
  5. I was too cool to zip up my jacket in 6th grade while standing in the snow at the bus stop. I combined this foolishness with having wet hair because I got a perm and I couldn't blow dry it in the morning and dear God I couldn't shower at night and then have bed head. I was a total dumb ass.
  6. I want to travel with my family and see the world. Bucket List of places includes England, Ireland, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Alaska - actually all 50 United States, Argentina, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, and Prince Edward Island, Vancouver and Calgary, Canada. No particular order is required.
  7. I want to install solar panels on our house. I live in Florida. It makes so much sense. It is my hope by this time next year that we can make it happen.

And... who I nominate:

  1. Jenny from Neurotic, Yet Classy. I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny in person recently and I. just. love. her. She has a heart of pure gold. On her blog she has a gift of weaving words in to lovely, sincere, and passionate simplicity. She is chicken soup for my soul. You want to know her.
  2. Cheryl from Take a Second Glantz. She is the Sister of My Soul and someone guaranteed to make me smile. I met her through Girl Talk Thursday posts and she just makes my heart happy. You will seriously hear me SQUEE! from Florida to Alaska when I get to meet her in person one day. Listen for it.
  3. Maria from Mommy Melee. I know I've sung Maria's praises before. I met her in Gainesville years and years ago and she has helped me navigate these turbulent waters of blogging more than any other person out there. She deserves this particular award from me because she has been recently chronicling her battle with anxiety, and struggles to love herself as much as the rest of us do. She is raw, real and truly one of the most beautiful people I know. I'm going to see her in a couple weeks when our families meet up in the heartland of our state and I might just crush her in a hug.
  4. Diane from Dashoff. She is quite possibly the funniest blogger ever and when she doesn't post for a while, I notice and I start to twitch. There are a lot of big name bloggers out there and even more big-name-wanna-be bloggers and none of them hold a candle to Diane.
  5. Tatiana from A Very Good Year. This woman has such strength in her heart. She has seen a lot of dark places, and dealt with a lot of crap no woman nor daughter ever should have to endure. But she takes everything in a graceful stride I admire. I simply adore her. Her daughter is this dark haired little ray of sunshine and Tatiana is one of the most beautiful people I know.
  6. JennyGrace from Miss Grace's Disgrace. I am still getting to know Miss Grace but what I read, I love. She participates in Girl Talk Thursday and has one wicked tattoo.
  7. PsychMamma. Another lady blogger I'm getting to know, mostly from Twitter and more recently through her blog. She takes care of me and makes sure I don't over do it when I'm sick and still push myself too hard. She's awesome.


Thank you again Jenn. You and all the people I passed along the love to are all beautiful, inside and out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love? Hype? Hallmark?

This weekend is Valentine's Day and, of course, it makes for a good Girl Talk Thursday topic.

Love it? Stab it? Whatev?



I've never really been big on Valentine's Day. In grade school it was just a popularity contest. And when it wasn't a popularity contest you spent lots of time addressing tiny little cards to every person in your classroom. Everyone got one or no one got one. And those boxes of card? They're expensive!

As an adult I really do hate the commercial hype surrounding the day. Cards are expensive, and campy or sappy. Restaurants sell out for the night and book reservations sometimes months in advance. Roses are absolutely ridiculously priced. Chocolate, conversation hearts - all temp us away from the New Years Resolutions we made six weeks earlier. And don't get me started on the tacky jewelry commercials with horrible, worse-than-soap-opera actors professing their undying love to each other while giving over-marketed, mass produced (so therefore unoriginal) necklaces and pendants. As a marketer I can appreciate the "Every Kiss Begins with Kay" slogan for Kay Jewelers. It's clever. But that's about the only thing clever coming out of that brand. Maybe it's just me, and because I don't live in that fantasy land portrayed by those commercials they make me want to stick my finger down my throat and, well, vomit. Forced sentiment does not sit well with me.

Now that we have kids I am getting in to it a little more. I love that Bug knows what a Valentine is now and that he's decided to be Daddy's Valentine and declared Bear to be mine. I love that he knows it's a day to say "I love you" to the people he loves. And yeah, I bought them both a little present to have on that day. Nothing huge, just something for them. And I'll buy them each a little chocolate too. But that's it. I want them to grow up to love us every day, to appreciate us, each other and our family and friends, all the time, not just because a card company declared a day on the calendar to do so.

The good things about Valentine's Day? It's nice to have a day set aside to let the people you love know you love them. It's nice to do something special. But I don't believe it has to be on February 14th every year. I say make your own personal Valentine's Day and keep it every year. Uh, hey honey, do you want to do this? I never really thought about doing this until now... :)

So do I love it? No. Do I want to stab it? No. Whatev?! Not that either. I think it's a necessary evil. I think a lot of people need it, to know it's on the calendar. I think we, as a society, are so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we need to be told to stop, and to take a moment or two for love.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lucky Seven

Seven years ago today I woke up early, one of the few times in my life I've jumped out of bed, ready and excited to start the day. I ate a hasty breakfast, and jumped in the car to go get my hair done, then raced to get dressed before dashing off to the church at 11:40am. I remember I wasn't nervous at all until I was alone with my father in the limo. I could feel my heart beating its way out of my chest. Five minutes later we arrived and my nerves were gone as I saw my family and friends arriving to witness our vows. So many people, so many special people made the journey to celebrate us.

The day was rainy, cold and grey. I could still see the sun shining though. Not a single droplet would ever have washed away my happiness. The day was perfect not for the weather, my dress, my hair, the centerpieces nor the awesome cake and flowers. It was perfect for who I married and I wouldn't change a single moment of it.

 


Today I woke up to the sound of our little Bear, now two, over the monitor. He was happily chatting with his stuffed animals. You were curled up next to me on one side, and our Bug (Can you believe he's four?) was curled up in the crook of my arm on the other side.

I am the luckiest girl in the world and the past seven years have been the happiest of my life. I love you babe. Happy Anniversary.

Here's to many, many more.

 


Photos by the amazing Theresa Childs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Betrayal

I run and my knees ache. My lower back, hips and pelvis also scream at me. I have been in and out of physical therapy for 10 years now. Exercise ends up discouraging me. But I like to run, to say I'm running. It feels good to know I'm doing something even if it hurts.

I am nearly 33. The only time my face has not broken out badly in 21 years was when I was when I was pregnant with Bear. I went to a dermatologist once as a young adult. I left mortified and have been too embarrassed to ever find another one.

I struggle to like myself more, and have more confidence so I'm not drawn to eating bad food. Food that makes it so much harder for me to lose weight, despite honest to goodness trying.

I constantly have a list of responsibilities a mile long. This week has been particularly bad, being that it's the first week of the month and therefore means that my work volume is greater. Add to that a stressful situation in a freelance job, a teething 2 year old, a 4 year old with nightmares and very little sleep for me, and I get a stomach/GI bug that lays me on my back on the sofa for the majority of Wednesday. (Luckily my job is working from home and I was able to meet my deadlines despite puking.)

I figured I'd have the weekend to catch up on my work and clean up my house some. I figured I'd be able to get a head start so next week is better, less stressful, with more balance and earlier bed times. But this morning, half a mile from the end of a 6 mile run, I started to get a migraine. A migraine so bad that I spent the rest of the day in bed until I couldn't stand being in bed anymore thinking about everything I wasn't catching up on, thinking about how tomorrow I have to wake up and tackle it all and rush around to get things in order and accomplished. I got up and got moving despite pain so bad I can't help but cry.

The thing is, I am not unhappy. I have a wonderful life, husband, children, home, family, friends. I am so lucky and thankful. I just feel like my body betrays me.

My body betrays me. And I don't know what to do about it.