Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Comes But Once A Year (Thankfully...)

Ironically, this Christmas was a massive and infinite improvement over last Christmas. With my bum of a brother-in-law out of the picture, we were all able to breathe a sigh of relief and just be ourselves. The holiday was filled with much laughter, much wine and much lying about in jammies. All good things, in my book.

That is not to say that I was not without my Christmas mourning period. I did OK until the week of the actual holiday. I was taken by surprise by a group of carolers at Easton. I was doing a little last minute shopping when I passed what I thought was just a group of four well-dressed men standing about talking. All of a sudden they burst into song. I mean almost literally BURST. A four-part harmony, wishing me a merry Christmas right in my face. I needed new pantaloons. After I composed myself, I nearly went to pieces. That was Tuesday. By Wednesday, Christmas Eve, I was OK again. If that's the worst of it, then maybe I'll be OK with this whole Judaism thing.

Oh - best gift ever, by the way - Dress Up Obama magnets. Like paper dolls of the President-Elect, only they are magnets for your fridge. By the way, they are on sale for $5 and you can get McCain, too. I highly recommend them for the pundit in your life. I am having a ball.

In other news, we moved Jack to "the bog boy bed" today. Which is to say, we converted his crib into a day bed. He is supposed to be napping right now. So far, in the last 30 minutes, we have heard the pitter patter of little feet about 148 times. Also, the turning of the bedroom doorknob (we have a childproof door handle thingy on it) and Jack proclaiming "I stuck!" and J asking for his cousin Donovan. It seems to be quiet now, but Osi and I agree that he is only regrouping. I wonder what fresh hell awaits us this evening at actual bed time? Oy, I shudder to think!

I've sent out a ton of resumes and am hopeful, but the annuity is looking as if it is going to be cashed in, which makes me physically ill every time I think of it. So, here's hoping that the new year brings a swell job with a fat paycheck - as well as peace, love and happiness. That isn't much to ask out of a year, is it?

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Crushing Weight of The Cookies

I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to get cookies done for the holidays. Feeb asked last night why. I quickly did my best "Tevye" from "Fiddler on the Roof" and answered "TRADITION!" She was quick to respond that Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos could quickly and easily become a new tradition. Smart girl, that Feeb.

I went a little overboard this year. I doubled or tripled every recipe. Why? We're not having Christmas here this year and we don't actually like our neighbors (except the Vitartases. Or is that the Virarti? I'm unsure, but they are cool either way, and deserving of cookies). So we won't be running around the neighborhood doling our home-baked holiday cheer. We'll not be seeing many of our friends before Chanukkah, so we aren't giving them cookies. I don;t know any service-people in Iraq, or I would gladly ship them overseas. So what I am saying, is that the line forms on the front porch, people. I am up to my eyeballs - almost literally - in cookies.

I made traditional cutouts, chocolate chip (although those are break and serve. I seriously can't make them any better than Nestle Tollhouse), oatmeal, and peanut butter blossoms; and I am finishing the almond-raspberry thumbprints and chocolate crinkles today. See what I mean? I must be stopped.

I really think this comes right back to the over-the-top birthdays, etc. If I am not working, then I need to be Homemaker of The Year. (I should likely start with keeping the dog hair tumbleweeds at bay, but that is another struggle entirely.) Have I mentioned I have issues? And really, what's the harm, here? You all get some tasty goodness, I work out some stress and the economy gets boosted by my buying flour and sugar in bulk. Win-Win-Win, really :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Soul Scream

I have talked about my absolute need for my daily dose of Effexor pretty openly here. I have been faithfully taking said Effexor and I am here to tell ya' that, I think, recent events have overcome the effects of said wonder drug.

My poor, loving, understanding-beyond-belief-and-all-reason husband just cannot comprehend my current state. He knows that I was fine with walking away from the BLF debacle this morning. This evening (they posted the job that I thought for sure was mine this afternoon on the association job board. Ouch.) I am notsomuch fine with it. I am staring-at-the-medicine-cabinet-contemplating-a-permanent-nap not OK with it. I cannot tell you what, in the last 12 hours, has changed.

Maybe I was ready to walk away because I didn't think I'd have to. Maybe the sun was out. Maybe my estrogen was surging. I seriously have no idea and, frighteningly, believe it could be any of the above.

All I know is that when I get like this it literally feels like my soul is screaming. Like I can empathize with that poor cliche-ridden bastard Edvard Munch was trying to put onto canvas when he painted "The Scream." And the thought that that particular painting is so flipping popular and has been trivialized is sadly ironic. (If, indeed, this is the feeling Munch was trying to capture.)

There was a brief transition period between "Fine with it" Chris and "Not OK" Chris. It is the Chris my college friends loooooooooved. She was known as Baking Chris. Today Baking Chris produced way more cookies that should be humanly possible in the short amount of time I was left alone. Sadly, no pies were made (pies and tiramisu were my college depression specialties).

Let's hope Thursday is just as glum, because I have the dough made for peanut butter blossoms and I still need to get my oatmeal, almond-raspberry thumbprint and chocolate crinkle cookies done.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Economy is Making People Crazy

My search for employment has been well documented here. Nowhere has it been as well documented, in fact, as my quest for employment with BLF Management, Ltd.

After four interviews, I finally got a phone call this morning from the assistant executive director. I was trembling with the thought of an actual paycheck. Here is what she had to offer:

A two week trial period, to begin immediately, during which I would be paid minimum wage while they decided if I would become a full-time employee at $32K.

Excuse the fuck outta me?

After speaking with me for FOUR HOURS, you are still unsure if I am the right person for the job? Let me go ahead and make that decision for you. I am not the right person for your company. I do not want to work in a place where upper management is so unsure of itself. Where the people I will be reporting to are immediately second-guessing me. And, I believe, will continue to second-guess me.

When I was in charge of hiring people, I could tell you within 10 minutes, 20 tops, if I wanted to hire someone or not. Second interviews were a formality during which courtesies were extended to upper management. If Brad doesn't want to hire me, then he should NOT hire me. He shouldn't have to be convinced, by me or anyone else.

Now, let's discuss the fact that, should I accept this offer, I would be paying my childcare person more than I myself would be making in order to take this little test run. Is it me or is this just plain ridiculous? No. It is not just me.

Finally, when I told them the money I was looking for, they agreed that it was within their range. The money they are offering me was below that. I am guessing they expect me to counter. I am guessing they do NOT expect me to counter with "go to hell." I am taking a $20K pay cut from the position I left to raise Jack. I know I have been out of the game for three years, but does that really translate to $20K? I guess it seems to.

What is really eating at me is that I have had four interviews with these people and now they want what is essentially a fifth. In a better economy, could they make this ridiculous request? I don't know. I do know I am their only candidate to date. I know this because I asked. So when I do tell them to go to hell, they will have to start at square one with their search... exactly where I am with mine. Oh the irony.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Feeling the Twilight

I am reading Twilight. Not because I wanted to, but because I felt compelled to - everybody else was doing it! Literary peer pressure. Harry Potter it ain't.

I was ready to brush it off when only the under 16 crowd was reading it. But then librarians and teachers started reading it. And, I reasoned, THEY have good taste, right? I am more than half-way through it and am just not getting it. It sounds as if it is written by a 16-year-old girl for a 16-year-old girl.

Why continue reading, then? Well, because now I just need to finish the damn thing before I move on to my conversion reading assignments. Vampires to Judaism. Seems like a logical transition, right? Probably only to die hard Catholics.

Are you reading it? What do you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still Inexplicably Unemployed

I had what turned out to be a FOURTH interview with BLF Management yesterday. I interviewed in May and again in July for the Membership Director position. I didn't get that - I now know - because of my lack of database experience. Fair enough.

Last Friday I sent my resume to the company again for the Membership Coordinator position. I was called on Monday by the new Asst. Exec. Director and she wanted me to come in Tuesday. I did, and the interview went extremely well. It went so well that she wanted to know what kind of money I was looking for and how soon I could start. So, when she called Thursday and wanted me to come in on Friday to meet with her and Brad (the owner - who I met with in the first two interviews), I thought for sure it was going to be for an offer. Notsomuch.

I cannot believe I have now talked to this same guy three times. He needs convinced that I am - and I quote - "ready to return to work." I am trying to write this off as someone who has been burned by a stay-at-home mom who was not, in fact, ready to return to work. I, however, NEED this job, have applied with the company twice and have no undergone FOURE SEPARATE INTERVIEWS. How much MORE serious would you like me to be? I am frustrated and a litle insulted, to be honest. They said I should hear something by early this coming week...

Switching gears...

We've had a decent day today. Osi let me sleep in a bit and when we were all up and showered, we piled in the car and took Jack to the AHA Children's Museum in Lancaster. Jack LOVES this place. It is just the right size for him and just the right price for us. Lancaster is about 25 minutes from here, so a nice, quiet drive, and not nearly as chaotic or as expensive as COSI. If you live anywhere near Columbus and have kids under 7, I completely recommend it. Jack had a ball and we grabbed some McDonald's on the way home.

Donovan is coming over to spend the night tonight and Osi is going to play cards with Brotherhood. Maybe D and I will bake some cookies after Jack goes to bed. Who knows. Or he can help me wrap Hanukkah gifts. Either way, they boys and I plan on spending a quiet night at home. Hot cocoa will somehow be involved, as will "Finding Nemo," I'm sure. Now, if only I could find a shred of my sanity...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Do I Get Kids Like That?

As I have mentioned several times before, we have actively tried to expand our social circle this year, with more fantastic results than we ever thought possible.

Until recently, Osi's friend philosophy was, and I quote "You get 'em, I keep 'em." Well put, Mr. Charming. Although invitations were not flooding out mailboxes (and due to an altercation with my college roommate's then husband, we had been removed from THEIR social list because of Senor Charmingpants, but I digress...).

The Temple Crowd, as I have called them before, are just good people. They remind me of the folks my parents hung around with when I was a kid. All of them were involved with the church/school boosters and that is how all of them met. All of the kids knew each other and, generally, liked each other and - for the most part - were good kids (yeah, yeah, present company excluded, I can hear you, you know).

Our Temple Crowd is the same way. We have been so blessed to be included with these folks. Riotous senses of humor, all of them, hard workers and devoted to family and friends. And let me take a minute to talk about their kids, which is the whole point of this post.

Everyone in this Crowd but the Crabills, who have just started their family by birthing the Future Mrs. Jack Zimmer last May, have kids in their teens and then another one who is about 10. (Apparently we missed the memo here.) All of these kids are polite, comfortable holding conversations with adults and not only tolerant of, but incredibly good with, Jack. Of the older ones, I would use any of them as a babysitter (although I think Alyiah is 14 going on 28 in a good way).

Each group of kids have their own forte. The B kids have the most highly developed senses of humor I have ever seen for their ages and are just the coolest people under 20 I currently know. I want their parents' instruction manual on how to get kids like that. Seriously. Fork it over.

The S kids are incredibly active and yet very balanced - qualities that are tough to pull off today with the go everywhere, do everything culture. Truly cool.

The C kids are great as well. While Tyler seems like your typical "I don't want to be here" 14 year old boy, he comes alive playing with Frannie and he is just so sweet with Jack. And I could eat Arek up with a spoon he is so bright, funny and plain adorable.

Finally, the P kids, who, I think are tiny grown ups. Drew, I think is a frustrated stand up in the body of a 14 year old. His brother Matthew, I think, could be doing the books at PWC...and also has a beautiful singing voice.

I feel like I need to have a panel discussion with these people. Because, let's face it, most days I feel like a real fuck up as a mother. Whether it's because J gets McDonald's for lunch twice in a week for lunch because I know he'll eat chicken nuggets and chicken = protein in my mind or because the TV seems to endlessly be tuned to Noggin at our house.

This just isn't how I envisioned raising my kid. And yet, here I am. How about the Crowd? Is it what they thought it would be? Are their kids turning into the young adults they envisioned? What would they change about he last 10 or 14 years? I am trying to correct behaviors as I see them, but I pick my battles. All of these folks have kids old enough to have the hindsight and the wisdom to tell me which battles I should actually be picking. And I like their results. What do you think, should I "Nanny Cam" them?

The Cashmere Mafia is helpful, too, but we're all facing the same challenges at the same time. That is support to the umpteenth level, girlfriends, but if I can squeeze info from the Great Elders (and I say that with love) I will bring The Knowledge back for all to share.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Have a French Toast-Induced Head Wound

I actually just like saying that. The fact that it is true makes me giggle. But anything that makes my face show the least bit of emotion today is a tiny bit painful. You know, because of the french toast-induced head wound.

As previously noted, the 7th Annual Zimmer Holiday Fun Brunch was yesterday. I hope and it is my belief, that a fun time was had by all. However, the morning began with me bleeding into a casserole dish of creme brulee french toast. So, that's no good. We have a fridge in our basement and I was bringing up the 3rd tray of toast and a folding chair when BOOM all at once, I was wearing said toast and my Doc Marten spectators had flown out from under me. Let me tell ya', nothin' gushes like a head wound (unless, friends it is a varicose vein, but that is Osi's story to tel...).

Actually, it wasn't that bad. I did find it alarming how quickly a headache can come on, though. After taking what Osi deemed "an insane amount of ibuprofen," and getting the bleeding stopped, I trotted next door to see Delise, a nurse in her former life. She said stitches were not in order, just a couple of butterfly closures. Oh, did I mention all of this happened about an hour before 30 people were due to show up to eat?

We managed to get everything done, but the counters missed their final wipe down and the beverage center was never fully set up. Osi fixed that by keeping everyone plied with mimosas. have I mentioned how much I love this brunch? Perhaps next year, we can skip the bleeding, though.

In other news, I have a job interview. You are never going to guess with whom. I guess third time is a charm with BLF Management. And you know what that means... another chance with BLF means another chance that we could ALL win the hilarity lottery and I could be working with the infamous Antonio CHACHA (yeah, like it's really spelled Ciacia...) in 2009! Anyone as excited about this as I am. I thought not. I just need to figure out a nifty way to conceal the head wound for tomorrow's interview...

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Brunch is Coming! The Brunch is Coming!

Every year, we host the Annual Zimmer Holiday Fun Brunch. I believer we are on year 7. It started as 2 couples, a single friend and ourselves getting together for some awesome stuffed french toast and some corned beef hash. My, how it has grown.

At it's most heinous, there were 50 people in our house in Westerville during what I think was my last year at the Society. The year before, we started a White elephant gift exchange, in which the goal was to find the most hilarious and/or tacky gift under $10. Re-gifting is highly encouraged. Last year, I believe the Hank Williams, Jr. Christmas ornaments took the cake. I mean, where does one purchase those?

The Seventh Annual Zimmer Holiday Fun Brunch is this Sunday. I love this event. I have always loved this event, no matter how much work it is. It brings together all of my favorite people. Well, most of my favorite people. The Chambers have to bail, but we'll catch them next year. hopefully. And the Crattys had a last minute change of plans, too. But the majority of my favorite people will be in my house on Sunday. And THAT is what I love about the holidays, and the annual Holiday Fun Brunch. I get to remember how lucky I am to have all of these fantastic people in my life. How truly blessed I am to be surrounded by such truly wonderful souls.

That is good, especially this year. I have been looking for a job for more than six months and I am starting to freak out a little. Well, more than a little. The 401(k) has been sold and I literally NEED a job by the end of January. When we took a lassaiz faire attitude to me going back to work in April, we didn't predict that the bottom would fall out of the economy in October. I am taking a deep breath now.

So this Sunday I am going to enjoy all of my friends and surround myself with the people that I love and that I know love me. Because I think we may need to live with some of them soon :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The New West Wing

I've spent all day on the couch watching a West Wing marathon. MAN, I loved that show. It was just such good writing and character development. In addition, I read an article that said that Matt Santos was based on Barack Obama and that Josh Lyman was based on Rahm Emmanuel. This may be pure pucky made up by the liberal media (that my parents loathe), but it is interesting that it is out there.

I have many conservative friends. Many of these conservative friends are either in morning or completely pissed over the results of the election. I would like to think that had McCain been elected, I could have been one of those "Let's roll up sleeves and unite" kind of Dems, but his choice of what I see as an inept Sarah Palin ruined that for me. I hope Obama can bring conservatives around by not living up to his reputation as what friend calls "the most liberal of all current senators."

I want there to be Change. Yes, with a BIG C, because I sure as shit drank the Kool-Aid. In fact, I had my own Kool-Aid stand for over 2 years and I am still a believer. Here is why I voted fro Obama:

1. Iraq. Even though the polls say that less that 20% people voted based on their feelings on the war, it was the #1 thing on my mind. I don't think we had any business being there and I think it has basically become a civil war. I can't get my head around why American men and women are getting killed and wounded for what appears to be religious reasons in a country that is not our own. Oil? Maybe. Pride (Bush's)? Maybe. Neither a good enough answer for me when it comes to American lives. I do not believe a withdrawal = surrender. I think we did what we could and now we are should give the Iraqi people what we supposedly wanted to give them originally - independence. We cannot continue to hold your collective hand. Not at this great an expense.

2. Health Care. And this is where many, many, MANY people disagree with me. I believe there is a subset of people who a) make enough money to get by but b) don't qualify for Medicaid or WIC or can't afford the premium their employer charges to get coverage for themselves and their kids. Yes, I realize that there will be people taking advantage of the system - Welfare moms, slackers, etc. But I don't believe that is a good reason NOT to help those who really DO need it and can't get it. There will always be people taking advantage of the system (hello, Lehman Brothers. I am talking to YOU), but that hasn't stopped us from moving forward as a nation before.

3. Bipartisanship. I know, I KNOW - "the most liberal of all current senators." But in his history in the Illinois senate, Obama had a history of bipartisanship. I really, really want to see this happen on the national level. Utopian, I know. But wouldn't it be nice?

4. I'm pro-choice and fear an administration that would continue to appoint Supreme Court Justices who are not and who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. The choice to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term is a choice as well. I don't believe the government - state or federal - should be able to tell me what to do with my body or what may be growing within it (embryo, alien probe, tumor, etc...). I understand the opposite viewpoint. I just do not agree with when zygote turns to embryo turns to actual person.

For the record, not such a fan of Biden, although he has an excellent history on Israel, he just seems smarmy. Also for the record, I wish fellow Dems would quit belittling Republicans because they believe what they do. We may not be able to understand it, but shouldn't we take a cue from our President-Elect and try to work together?

I am just so excited with the interest and participation Obama has inspired thus far. I am hopeful of where we can go with that kind of energy.

Yes, I know many of you disagree with me and are verified anti-Obamites. That's OK. Lemme have it. I'm going back to my West Wing marathon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weird Weekend

OK, I realize I still need to post on the election. I was speechless for several days afterward and now we have had new drama, so Barack is gonna have to wait for me to weigh in.

I was scheduled to go to Louisville this weekend for a Sisterhood conference. That, my friends, did not happen. Instead, 15 minutes before my ride was to arrive, there was an emergency squad in our driveway.

Osi has a pretty sever case of varicose veins. He has seen a vascular specialist about it and wore compression sock for a while, but decided a bout a year ago or so that he didn't need those anymore. While putting on his socks Friday morning, he ruptured one of them. Outside of the show ER and the pregnancy scare we had, I have never seen that much blood. Thank God dad was still here from the Browns' game the night before. He was able to watch The Toddler while I called 911 and accompanied Osi to the ER.

I can now say, with authority, that hydrogen peroxide will remove mass quantities of human blood from carpet. That must be the Mob's secret.

Osi was instructed to keep his leg wrapped and elevated, ergo, I did not leave Jack with him and truck off for what I had hoped was a relaxing girls' weekend.

Poor Jack was traumatized by the whole thing. He just wanted to go upstairs and see Daddy, but I didn't think it was a good idea for him to A) be in the way of the paramedics and B) see that much blood. His angst was deepened when both mommy and daddy took off in the big red, loud trucks with flashing lights.

Oswald is OK now, but I think it will take some time for Jack to get back to normal. I took him and Donovan down to Cincy on Saturday just to let Osi have time to rest. The fact that Osi wasn't there and he woke up in a strange bed only made a mountain out of the molehill of his confusion. Poor kid. 'Wald is at the doctor now, following up.

Adding to the weirdness, there are strange Latinos in my front yard blowing my leaves to the curb. I am not accustomed to random acts of kindness in our neighborhood (see the previous post about dude scaring the bejeezus out of the toddlers on Halloween) so I don;t know what to make of this new development. It can only be the work of said dude, who owns a landscaping company. So now I've got the guilt of calling him a dumbass weighing on me. I supposed I could just go ask the mysterious Mexicans what they are doing and who sent the Angels of lawn care, but that ain't how I roll. I have taken to peering intermittently through my blinds. Smooth, no?

Anyway, let us hope that this week is much less eventful than the last.

PS Also, I brought a stomach bug back from Cincy. Hurray!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Dumb Ass

Trick-or-Treat was last night in Bexley. Because two of the CM's live in an area that includes "acreage" instead of neighbors, we invited Mandie and Erin to come have their kids participate in thr Annual Candy Grab. We all had dinner beforehand and wrangled 4 toddler/preshoolers and an infant into costumes for the parade around Cassingham.

I am THRILLED beyond words to report that this year's T-o-T went so much more smoothly than last year's. Not one door was opened and he only attempted to shut one. That is a huge thing in this house. I think J was too busy trying to act exactly like Jakob to remember his (waning) obsession with doors.

It all went incredibly well until the idiot across the street (he of the extraordinarily loud Porche at 11 pm and 6:40 am) decided to get into the Halloween spirit.

Now, the kids ranged in age from 2 - 5. All of them are small and impressionable and all of them had on precious, non-scary costumes. This should be your first indication that they are in it for the pure, innocent fun of a little kid's Halloween.

So what would posses the 10-year old across the street to JUMP OUT OF A TREE, wearing a "Scream" mask and try to scare these poor kids? Oh, wait, I see...

That would be his Dumb Ass father, sitting on the porch handing out candy. This is a man in the throes of a mid-life crisis and apparently he is going to take it out on everyone - including the under 6 set. There he sits, in full costume with a monster mask and a bright orange wig. He can see our group approaching very hesitantly. So what does this moron do? He begins cackling at these poor kids! Poor Jakey froze and Jazmine screamed and ran the other direction. Derek - being of a challenging stock to begin with - marched forward as to say "Give me my damn candy, you lunatic." Jack seemed, thankfully, unfazed. What the hell would possess this guy to TRY and scare a bunch of pre-schoolers?! I think he may be clinically retarded.

I completely understand that there is a segment of the adult population that adores Halloween. Fantastic! Have a party and dress up in a costume that includes a mask with blood actively running down your face (we saw that last night, too). Invite other like-minded folks who want the bejeezus scared out of them. That is awesome. But for the love of all that is holy, could you please try to be a decent human and not emotionally scar the 4 year olds?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Drugs are a Wonderful Thing (uh, I mean, "Just Say No," Kids)

I got back on my Effexor over the weekend and feel much, much better. It is insane (kinda literally) how awful I feel without it. I think the pregnancy/post-partum hormones flipped a switch that was always there, flickering on and off. The hormones flipped it permanently to "on" and the Effexor is kind of like The Clapper. "Clap ON!" (HAPPY!) "Clap OFF!" (swirling dark ugliness from which you will never emerge!) Thank God for the development of anti-depressants.

In other happy news, it snowed for the first time here today! (I know, Jenny - doom. Can I send some Effexor your way?) I L-O-V-E snow. Love everything about it. Don't mind driving in it if I am by myself, don't really mind shoveling in. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! It was just flurries, but it was perfect. I walked the dog and turned my face up into the cold like normal people do on a gorgeous sunny day (when I am hiding inside with my AC on full blast).

Finally, we had a great get-together last night. We have fallen in with a great group of people from Temple and all of them (sans Wendy, sadly) were able to convene at Chez ZImmer last night for pizza, beer and a reminder of how much we enjoy each other's company. What an awesome way to end the weekend. Speaking of friends...

Someone mentioned that I am way too hard on my friends on this Blog. Feeb - you read regularly and are the topic of a post occasionally. What say you? I argued that most of the people I skewer I would not consider "friends" but FAMILY. Lord knows I have drug my sisters-in-law through the mud and the ringer on this blog and feel not at all remorseful about it. My sister has gotten her fair share of "ink" as well, but doesn't have this address to the Blog, so it's kinda just talking to my friends about family issues. Except that I really don't know who stumbles upon this writing.

That being said, this is my place to vent, so I don;t have to bore all of my friends with my own personal bullshit, so I apologize if my venting offends. I hope it does not. I am guessing if you have read more than one post here, we'd probably get along swimmingly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Mish Mosh of Random Thoughts

1. Cousin of Smarmy was down this weekend. This only made me wish she lived here permanently. Not in my house, mind you, just in town. (While I love you, Nik, I think we are old enough to have a need for our own spaces.) After a trip to Smith's for an apple cider slushie that she swears was every bit as good as I promised (OH, if only we had had fried Twinkies, too!), we ventured to The Circleville Pumpkin Show. We drove 25 minutes south of Columbus to sit in 90 minutes of traffic to walk around with 50,000 of our closest friends and look at some gigantic gourds. Well, now we've had THAT experience. I am so very glad that Nikki came and I need to go visit her next.

2. My sister is FINALLY divorcing that life-sucking, blood-letting nothing of an asshole she mistakenly married 6 years ago. She announced this the week of my birthday. Happy Birthday to Me! Remember how in my "Things about me" blog post, I mentioned there are some people that - should I see them on the sidewalk - I would attempt vehicular manslaughter? This motherfucker is now number 1A on my list. He is just taking up oxygen at this point and is a complete waste of carbon. I understand that God does not make mistakes, but this is certainly NOT one of his best efforts.

3. Girls' Night Out is IMPOSSIBLE to plan and this is frustrating the bejeezus out of me. We all say (or the majority of us, anyway) say how much we really, really, want to make time for each other. Then we schedule ourselves so insanely full or crap (myself included) that we have to plan 2 months out just to have dinner. I hate this because some of the commitments are bogus (mine included). We seriously need to re-prioritize if we are going to repossess any morsel of our sanity, ladies. This means you (and me).

4. Have I mentioned I'd like to run over my soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law with a dump truck? Oh, maybe I have.

5. I need to learn that going to the Columbus zoo in the morning, pre-nap is a really, really bad idea. The Toddler then falls asleep for the 20 minutes it takes to get home and awakens during the car-to-bed transfer and refuses to go back to sleep. This makes for a cranky toddler and even crankier mommy. Either the zoo is a pm trip or I just give up on naps on those days. (This is the sound of me banging my head against the wall. I was gonna SHOWER today, dammit!!!)

6. I spend way too much time on Face Book. I am unashamed to admit it and I find it fascinating. You should too. Like salads, everyone is doing it.

7. I am truly dreading going to the Sisterhood opening meeting tonight. Thank God Almighty for Mel, who will be there suffering with me. I plan to eat my fill of "a hearty soup" and then get the hell out of there. The attendance numbers are LOW, which makes me feel like a putz, because the idea for the program was mine. I feel personally responsible for the failure of this program, thus the dread.

8. I had really vivid and bizarre dreams last night. Two of the three of them had me calling to someone "Wait for me! PLEASE!" What does that mean? Also, Michelle Obama apparently interviewed me for the COSI job and, in another bizarre turn of events, I was on a 3 person swim relay team with two of my high school friends. The third dream had me managing a carnival ping pong game with former boyfriend and full-time knucklehead, Ben. What the hell?

9. A garbage truck would also work for the crushing of ex-B-I-L. Just a thought. And probably a more appropriate vehicle anyway.

10. I applied for a job with the Greater Columbus Arts Council yesterday. I thought the title of the job was hilarious, so I applied. It was "Festival Organizer/Receptionist." Columbus has a nationally-recognized Arts Festival here every year. It involves about 300 artists, live music, performance art, etc. It really is top-notch. SO, apparently, some of my time would be spent organizing this fantasmagorical festival. Apparently, the rest of my time would be spent answering phones. I thoroughly expect to see a "Bee keeper/mechanical engineer" position posted soon.

So, those are my random thoughts. What's new with YOU?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Holy Mother of All Interviews, Batman

I have come through the fire of the COSI interview and I have lived. I am ALLIIIIVVVEEEE! Said interview took two and one half hours. I am a shell of the woman I once was.

It seriously wasn't that bad. It didn't start out great, which is unfortunate, because I started with the hiring manager. After 45 minutes of aimless rambling, she brought in a grant writer and the director of promotions, with whom I fared much better. I talked to them for abut 45 more minutes and then they brought in one of the most fabulous people I have ever met. I want to go drinking with Emily Rhoades, Business Analyst. She has a big, load laugh that I love and she uses it freely. She asked good questions that were easily answered and she smiled just as easily. And she was wearing jeans. I adored her. I want to be her friend. Which is ironic, because one of the questions she asked was "How important is it to you to have friends in the workplace?" I should have answered "Not at all as long as the only friend is youuuuuuu." Overkill? Creepy? Possibly.

I was the second interview of 5 and they are bringing back the top 2 to meet with the VPs. Here's hoping!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen

My friend Sandy used to have the unfortunate job of "talking me off a ledge" when I worked at the Society. It was a task she performed dutifully, extraordinarily well and, sadly, alarmingly often considering that we worked for a not-for-profit.

Since I've been home for the last three year, the job of ledge-talking has fallen to my mom. Not that Sandy (also know to many as "Tata Snappy") has been demoted, she is just an awesomely suave gal who has not yet spawned, so her experience in the realm of the toddler who had actually pushed me to the edge was limited.

I am getting ready to re-enter the workforce. A leap that has me both excited (Daily adult conversation! Mental stimulus beyond matching socks! ) and terrified (How will I function on "the outside" with my new priorities? Am I doing the right thing? How many ways can one woman fail in a lifetime?). I just celebrated my 35th birthday and I think it is high time I become my own ledge-talker. More like Loony-whisperer, really. I tend to get inside my own head and whip myself into a neurotic frenzy about, well, nothing.

I have a second interview with COSI on Monday for the position of Development Writer and Editor. I have already been besieged by the Dark Uglies, telling me I have no chance at this job because I have never written a grant proposal in my life. (whip, whip. Frenzy, frenzy!).

I have also just completed a job application for the position of "clerk" at the Bexley Public Library. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Really, I can't even fall back on the whole "sexy librarian" think that bimbo Palin has going on, because that would require "sexy." I have "frumpy librarian" down pat, though.

So here is what my life has been boiled down to. I've gone from running a statewide volunteer program with a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars and managing two full-time staff to questioning if I have the qualifications to stamp books at the library. Being a stay-at-home mom really can crush you, if it weren't for the things like cuddling the Jack this morning under a warm blanket in our jammies and eating homemade rice krispy treats. Those are the tiny moment I have to hang on to. Those are the moments that will eventually become my ledge-talkers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Target's New Halloween Mascot

Let us all just agree right now that it is physically impossible to go into Target with a list of 5 things and come out with JUST the 5 things on your list, OK? If you can do this, I want to meet you, shake your hand and have you become my new Target Sherpa. I went in today with a list of 5 things and came out $126.52 poorer. Of course, I literally own stock in Target, so I guess I am doing myself a favor, but still...

When entering Target this afternoon, I was greeted by what appeared to be a 15 foot angry poo dangling from the ceiling. What. The. Fuck.

Literally, this is a dark brown rectangular-ish monster-looking thing with legs. Eyes and sharp teeth also somehow figure into the equation. But here, take a look for yourself. Target calls it "Domo" which means something in Japanese (I think, "thank you" as in domo arrigato, Mr. Roboto. Domo. Domo.). I do NOT thank Target for this new horrendousness. Nay, I say BOO, in fact. And not in the scary way, either. Did no one in the marketing department look at this and think "Hey! What we have here is a scary piece of poo with tiny retarded arms!" Maybe that IS what they thought and THAT, my friends, is why it is supposed to be scary. I just don't know.

Given the fact that we have all agreed that no one can go into Target and stick to their list, wouldn't a more fitting Halloween mascot be a giant cash-eating cow? Or maybe a vacuum shown sucking out a piggy bank? I'm just sayin'.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Inspired by La Bella Fiore

My friend Jenny has posted "50 Things About Me" on her Blog, which you should definitely check out, because she is a much more talented, funny writer than I. Her list of "50 things" was inspired by a friend who had a list of "100 Things About Me" on HER blog. Jenny, while completely fascinating, didn't think she could come up with 100 fascinating things worth posting. I challenge that. But I am also inspired by it, so I am so copying the idea (which was copied in the first place) and see how many I can come up with...

1. I am not afraid of dying but I HATE getting older.
2. I used to be a bona fide birthday glutton, but I could completely care less about celebrating the day I was expelled from my mother's womb since Jack was born.
3. I think Matt Lauer is hot, but don't get the obsession with Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, etc., etc., nauseum.
4. Until the day we were engaged, I maintained that my now-husband and I were NOT dating.
5. There is a good possibility that there but for the grace of God, I could have ended up an incredibly miserable, constantly pregnant wife of a card-carrying NRA member.
6. I have had orange hair not once, but twice in my life. Neither of them on purpose.
7. I once dyed my hair three times in one day as a remedy for #6.
8. I am eternally grateful for my close friends and ashamed that I don't tell them that enough.
9. My son has likely saved my life at least 3 times in as many years.
10. While I love Jack beyond measure, I do believe he can be a complete prick sometimes (training to be a real life man).
11. I believe my husband is more like my father than I care to admit.
12. While I am not afraid of dying myself, I am terrified of the day my mom buys the proverbial farm. It makes me throw up a little in my mouth even to type that.
13. I'm not sure if I'll ever be 100% sure if converting to Judaism is the right thing to do for me, but it is the right thing for my family.
14. There is more than one person that, if I saw them on the sidewalk while I was driving, I think I would honestly attempt vehicular manslaughter. One of these is Feeb's ex-husband. I might just clip the three-headed teenage torture beast that was Jodi Marshall, Erin Murray and Annie Hogan.
15. I am ashamed to admit that since Jack was born, I have been unable to concentrate on good fiction. I have become a magazine whore. Real Simple is my Bible and O is my Talmud. So sad.
16. Should I have taken Zandy up in college? I guess I'll never know...
Although i like to fancy myself a "Miranda," more and more I am finding (to my dismay) that I am a "Charlotte."
17. I have kicked my dog.
18. I have no idea what my "passion" is. I hope to God I find it a few years before I die.
19. I am a die hard Buckeye and a true blue Browns fan. (d-u-h.)
20. I bake when I am stressed. Many college friends' tummies benefited from bad college relationships and my lack of an oven.
21. My dad and I don;t really get along (which is cause for some concern regarding #11).
22. My mom is the youngest of 9. I have officially lost count of my cousins.
23. Speaking of cousins, I would like to trade some of my current family for a few cousins.
24. My dad's dad is straight-off-the boat from Bari, Italy. My dad's mom's mom was from Sicily.
25. I really wish "Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" were a real thing. would totally erase some stuff.
26. I don't think I have seen a really excellent movie since "Swingers" came out.
27. I am puzzled as to why the majority of Jews seem to sound as if they are from New York, even if they are from Atlanta. How is that possible?!
28. If I had my career to do completely over again, I would be a high school marching band director. Second choice - opera singer (talent notwithstanding). Third choice - football commentator.
29. I LOVE goofy local festivals. Case in point: The Circleville Pumpkin Show.
30. I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than listen to Chinese Opera.

OK, Jenny - I could only come up with 30! You - AGAIN - are a much better woman than I!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One Hell of a Weekend

Man, am I glad it's Sunday night.

The last two weeks saw two of the Big Three Jewish Holidays. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are 10 days apart...excellent planning, Big G. I have spent WAY too much time in the past 2 weeks time in high heels.

Since we survive the Jewish New Year, have atoned and hope to have been written in the Book of Life for the coming year, we apparently decided to party like rock stars this weekend to celebrate. Well, not exactly. We just overbooked.

Saturday was brunch with the Cashmere Mafia and Crystal's Man Friend Gerald - who, incidentally, did not seem to think much of us. If I were him, I would have tried a smidge harder to impress us. Nice enough. Does not seem to be a glowing conversationalist. Phil Cratty - now There is a glowing conversationalist (yet another example of how Phil C. is the World's Best Husband).

Saturday evening we attended a wedding where we knew neither the bride NOR the groom. And yet, we were not crashing. When assembling the guest list, apparently the bride's mom - Osi's co-worker - realized the bride's side was way short on bodies. So the officemates were called in as space fillers and gift providers. So we watched two people whom we have never met, will never see again and whom we could not, in fact, pick out of a police line-up, get hitched. We got free beer and wine and a passable meal. They got a $50 check. Mazel Tov.

Today saw yet another Intro to Judaism class. i was able to pin down the rabbi (figuratively. I think pinning down a rabbi literally gets you a one way ticket to hell - except that Jews don;t believe in hell) to talk about conversion. From there I got home in time to feed J and put him down for a nap. I actually had to wake him up in order to be an hour lat for Jakob's 4th birthday party. Since the Ulrich's live 40 minutes from us, it took us more time to get there and back than we actually stayed at the party. We met the babysitter at the door here and we headed off to a cookout at Tom and Bryan's. Said cookout included the first round of birthday toasts and a much needed drink. Oh, and since we had the sitter til 10 and the cookout broke up early, we went grocery shopping.

Once again on a Sunday, I find myself praising God for the creation of preschool. Tomorrow I can drop off Jack and climb back into bed until 10:30, when I have a Sitter Connection interview, then come home and climb back into bed until 4:15. Tomorrow's gonna be a good day.

OH! AND I have a second interview at COSI for the Development Editor/Writer position. More on that later.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

High Holy Days from the Goyim's POV

I am a gal in transition. Although raised Catholic - a religion I never fully "got" - I married my Jewish husband almost 8 years ago. Religion is just about the most personal thing I think I person can have. This note isn't meant to try to convert anyone (still not Jewish myself), but to explain my recent embrace of the religion for those who might not have seen me for, say, 20 years, and be thinking "Well THAT is certainly an interesting choice."

Catholicism never spoke to me, but recently Judaism has. Osi and I attend a Reform temple (that would be the sect of Judaism that believes women are, gee, equal. Oy, what a thought. Although, technically, I guess Conservative Judaism is down with gals as well). The prayers are beautiful and simple and speak to my soul. After Friday night services, I actually feel better; at peace, if you will. Even my very feeble attempts at making a Shabbat dinner and lighting the candles leave me feeling a little more nourished on Friday nights (and just not because I have added brisket, kugel and matzoh ball soup to me menu box).

No other time, though, is like the High Holy Days. For the past 4 years I have eagerly anticipated the singing of Avinu Malkeinu ("Our Father, Our King"). Sung properly, it is the most heart-wrenching, aching plea for God to hear our prayers, a confession of sin and a sincere request for the coming year to be a good one. It doesn't matter if you know Hebrew - or if you like Barbra Steisand - if you enjoy a good piece of music, check this out on You Tube:

The Kol Nidre sevrice at the beginning of the Day of Atonement is a very close second for a soul- cleansing experience. Kol Nidre = Neil Diamond's bit in "The Jazz Singer.

The fact that the High Holy Days com during the autumn, when there is a chill in the air and I get a little introspective anyway is just a bonus. Until this year, we had the most gifted "Artist in Residence", Danny Maseng, at Temple Israel in Columbus. Talk about someone whose voice is so very clearly a gift from God. His version of Avinu Malkeinu is better than Barbra's. Our current song leader, Bryan Zive (check out his band's page, Bryan Zive and Kol Echad - awesome) also does a fantastic job.

For someone for whom music has played such an intergral part of life, it is this piece of music that I can point to as the flame that ignited my interest in Judaism. The prayers, I find, are the same prayers I find myself praying at night. Requests to be a better person. Prayers of thankfulness for all of my blessings and praise to God.

I've yammered on long enough. Here is the gist: It is a beautiful religion that speaks to me. I hope everyone has a chance to find their own religion that speaks to and nourishes their soul.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can You Call Children's Services on Yourself?

Oh. My. Gawd.

Someone please come get this child before one of us perishes in a blaze of flying limbs and curse words. I am in the middle of an episode of "Death Match: Toddler."

I think he might be trying to kill me. Seriously, I think that during nap time at preschool, they all have a little secret meeting about how to rid the world of adults. My son, I am sure, is the ring-leader. Can't you picture them now, their cherubic little faces twisted up in evil little grins as they plot Mommy's demise? Their own little Axis of Evil. Sippy cups filled with vodka (HEY - NOT A BAD IDEA!), biting the heads off their animal crackers, they hatch one plot after another to slowly chip away at Mommy's sanity.

OK, as my friend Jenny pointed out, perhaps I AM going slowly insane. But J is the one doing it to me.

We go from Happy Toddler to Possessed Demon Spawn about 12 minutes after getting up in the morning and it only goes downhill from there. He has been spanked more times than I can count in the past week. (His favorite trick that he KNOWS will elicit a spanking: Hitting the big screen TV as hard as he can, smack in the middle of the screen.) Last night's spanking left a red mark in the shape of my hand right across his little tuches (his pants had been removed). The hand-shaped welt glared at me all the way up the stairs screaming in bright red finger marks: BAD MOMMY! I swear to you though, a spanking is the only thing that gets through to this child sometimes. If I try to Maintain Low Tones, or distract him or any of the other 32 things you are supposed to do instead of hitting your child, he just laughs and goes right back to the offending behavior. I love him more than anything else in the universe, but he can be a real prick sometimes.

I know some of you have toddlers and preschoolers of your own. Any advice? I need something good and I need it quickly, before Children's Services shows up to investigate the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from the bowels of our home.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

That's Me In the Corner...

My extended family is a hodgepodge of religion. Despite the fact that my grandparents - parents to 9 kids - were ardent Catholics, my cousins and I have "broadened our horizons," so to speak. We have one that converted to Conservative Judaism, a Buddhist and a few non-practicing general Golden Rule Christians and, I am sure, a handful of atheists. That's not even counting the married-ins.

Today I had my first "Intro to Judaism" class. Now, I have had several rude introductions t Judaism, thanks to my sisters-in-law, but I don't think that is the kind of introduction that Judaism would have wanted, quite frankly.

This morning, as I will do every Sunday morning until mid-April), I met with 7 other people who are either Jews or about to become part of an Interfaith family to learn more about Judaism. I am hoping this goes better than The Mothers' Circle, which I, frankly, could have taught. We met with a great Rabbi and had some enlightening conversation. Not bad for a first day.

Rabbi Debbie said something that I thought was profound. A lot of emphasis is put on "Jews by Choice" in our temple. But, she said, we all choose our religion. So even if you are born Jewish, you still have to make the choice to believe in Torah and practice Judaism (or not). Or you can choose to convert, or to practice no religion. This was an interesting take. Through this paradigm, we are ALL "Jews by Choice." Because of my many, many issues, I like to identify with a large group. "ALL" is a pretty large group.

So what does this mean? We have been struggling (let's be honest, I have been struggling - Osi will go along because he is supportive like that) with what to do about Chrismukka this year. Is THIS the year we take the Chris out of Chrismukka? Do we go all Hanukkah all the time at Chez Zimmer? I dunno. Maybe if there could be Hanukkah stockings. I REALLY like the stockings.

Believe it or not, Christmas is what is holding me back. I love, love, looooooove Christmas. Like a kid loves Christmas. The thought of not having Christmas hurts my heart. But when I go to temple and read the prayers, THAT is what speaks to me. Never Catholicism. My soul was never spiritually fed by anything the Pope or the Catholic Church had to say. But, at the risk of cheesiness, Judaism speaks to me. I feel better after Friday night services. I feel at peace as we light Shabbat candles on the Friday nights that we make Shabbat. It feels right.

What to do about the Christmas tree, the Santa Claus, the outside lights. I just don't know. I am hoping that once Judaism introduces itself, it has a few answers for me, as well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hosting FEMA Refugees

It is now Wednesday, and AEP cannot promise any better than to have 90% of Columbus residents up and running with power by Sunday. Here is what I am thinking: Not only is our government sorely unprepared for natural disasters and terrorist attacks on our resources, so are our private corporations.

So Osi and I are offering our lit, air conditioned and water-heated home to any of our friends here that need it. If you have power at work and are reading this, give us a call. Tonight is pasta ant homemade meatballs night. Tom and Bryan joined us for sweet and sour crock pot chicken and mashed potatoes last night. Julie came over this morning and got her first hot shower since Sunday morning.

I am telling you this not to say "Hey, we are FANTASTIC friends and neighbors!" (although we are), but to underscore the point made in my first paragraph. What the hell happens if - God forbid - a metropolitan city should be off the grid for 2 weeks? Chaos. (Apparently, in our neck of the woods, underfed, stinky chaos, but chaos nonetheless.)

So, do me a favor: check on your friends. Your elderly neighbors. Julie lives 2 blocks over and has no power. I checked on Miriam and Marty this morning and they are clean and fed (my elderly check is now complete. If I take on the whole of Sisterhood, I'll be calling people for weeks...).

If you have stuff, share it with your friends that don't. It's a lesson I have been trying to teach The Toddler. You would think the adults could set a good example, no?

Of course, we are not in a Katrina situation over here. Tom and Bryan were just sick of looking at each other after having no TV for several days and no light to read by. So they came over to look at us for a while. Having judged us less good-looking than themselves, they went home full of yummy goodness and smugness. They shall subsist on that another day :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Are the Tide People Trying to Pull, Anyway?

Can someone please tell me how 50 ounces of one kind of "ultra-concentrated" Tide = 20 loads, while another kind of "ultra-concentrated" Tide will wash 26 loads with the same 50 ounces? Yet ANOTHER kind of Tide yields 28 loads.

Now, either they have English majors like me doing their math, or they are just fucking with us. Do you really not think we are paying attention?

And what is a LOAD? I mean, c'mon, now. Is washing a load of socks - and JUST SOCKS - the same as a load of bath towels? Is this how they come up with the discrepancy?

Maybe the test facility in Portland isn't using the same high-capacity machine as the the test facility in Memphis.

Have they considered the hard water vs. soft water debate as to which is better for your wash and which actually produces more suds? Because then, well, FUCK, I could be getting OODLES more loads if only I were washing Osi's tighty whiteys with Evian!

In case you haven't noticed, the good - or perhaps evil - people at Tide pushed me over the edge today. Their nonsense about the same number of ounces = any number of loads comes on the heels of reports that oil shortages have not been driving up gas prices. "Oh, our bad," say investors. "It was our speculation."

So, if I am understanding this correctly, the same rat bastards speculating that we are going to run out of oil yesterday are the same ones just guessing at how many loads I can get out of my 50 ounces of Tide. Someone get Al Gore on the line. I am guessing he knows EXACTLY how many loads I can get out of my 50-ounce bottle of Tide.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Death-Defying Trip to McDonald's

Really, isn't EVERY trip to McDonald's laughing in the face of the Grim Reaper?

This one, however, was particularly perilous. If you are viewing this blog from anywhere in the Midwest, then you, too, were likely the victim of last night's winds, the remains of Hurricane Ike. Not unlike Tina Turner's ex, Ike thrashed around angrily, tearing things, quite literally, limb from limb. We are thanking the deity of your choice this morning that a) we have no large trees on our property and b) our AEP guys are speedy-quick.

We lost power last night at about 5 p.m., along with the rest of Columbus. Having already exhausted the peanut butter sandwich option for a snack and the bologna and cheese option for lunch (lesson learned!) there was nothing left on the "Things The Toddler Will Eat" list that didn't need to be cooked. Also, having not been outside all day, said Toddler was beginning to get squirrely by 6 p.m.

Into the Family Truckster we packed, and began our journey. Down Cassingham, strewn with branches and all-out limbs and, in some cases, entire trees. This, perhaps, should have been our first warning to give the peanut better another go.

We turned onto Broad and discovered all the traffic lights were out for as far as the eye could see. Here, I must pause and issue a general refresher from driver's ed. Six simple words that can prevent accidents, near misses and general road rage: IT'S A FOUR WAY STOP, PEOPLE.

We traveled maybe 6 miles down Broad and I cannot tell you how many idiots just careened through the intersections liked they owned the damn road. Let me tell you that Osi takes this as a personal affront. He makes it his mission to honk at each of these people (and often those going the other direction, too) and tell them loudly (although our windows are up, as are theirs) the correct procedure for approaching an intersection where the traffic light is out. Oh, he doesn't use so many words. And frankly, I now fear for the increased vocabulary of The Toddler.

After a 20 minute drive, we did procure chicky nuggets and The Toddler was once again a happy boy. Daddy, on the other hand, still had a 20 minute drive home, dealing with "these assholes." All the while dodging flying recycling bins, trash and, I think, Miss Gulch on her bicycle.

We did regain power at about 2 a.m., but there are a lot of traffic lights still out this morning. I fear for Osi's blood pressure on the 5 mile trip to work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Stink.

No. Literally. I am emitting a foul odor at this very moment. This is one of the reasons that I hate being hot. One of the reasons that my husband, lovely as he is, will have to retire by himself in Florida, while I retire to frigid Maine or maybe San Diego, if we happen to bed=come independently wealthy soon. I hate exercise and gardening. Both things usually involve sweating. (Gardening because it is done outside in nature, another thing I am not so keen on. I am an indoor Zimmer.)

So this morning I got it in my head that I was going to pull weeds and mow the lawn, because it was below 80 degrees for the first time in months. Ha ha. Nature got me. (Probably because of all those nasty things I say about it, and right in front of its face, too.) I managed to weed the cracks in the front of the driveway and mow the front yard, but as soon as I moved 'round back, Nature jack up the head to, like, 86, so I am sweating my tuches off like Richard Simmons sweatin' to the Beach Boys. So now, as I type, I am sporting the lovely au du gasoline and BO - oh so attractive. But hey, my yard looks goooooood.

So, yesterday was so bad it was - by the end - laughable. Jack has his three year pictures scheduled for Saturday. I thought I would get his hair cut because he is getting shaggy. Cookie Cutters has always done a really nice job. Yesterday, apparently, Betty the Butcher was on the job. I have no idea how a haircut can make a fine looking child seem like trailer trash, but this haircut accomplished just that. I actually put a little hair gel in it this morning to see if it would help.

After that, we went to the doctor's office, because Jack's allergies have been really bad. It turns out that, like Mommy, his allergies have a tendency to turn into sinus infection. Poor kid. We found this out after we were kept waiting in the office for 45 minutes. That seems a little ridiculous to me.

OK, so, we have dinner and Osi has a brotherhood meeting and I have sitter connection interviews, so Shayna comes to babysit. All is well there. I have 5 interviews scheduled, of which exactly 2 show up. Now this day is starting to get funny.

On the way to my interviews, I had dropped of Jack's prescription ant CVS. I told them I would be back in an hour. It is now 2 hours later, I am already 5 minutes late to take Shayna home and CVS has not yet filled my prescription. Of course not! Why would they have? They are in on the big fat joke that was my day!

You know what? I think Nature had something to do with this!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ramblings of the Not Quite Sane

Holy Moly. Has it really been almost 2 weeks since my last confession, Father? I'm gonna need at least 16 Hail Marys, 14 Our Fathers and a 2 Pear Martinis.

I have been up since 12:30 awaiting a thunder storm that the local news said would be here about then. Turns out it got here -oh - about NOW (4:30 am). Why was I waiting on rain, you ask? Because The Toddler does not lika da thunder and he often awakens. And since I had to pee at 12:30, I though "Well, hey, this is good timing. I'll just stay awake for a few minutes and wait for him to wake up scared and them rock him back to sleep." Turns out that logic was notsogood, as the storm ran to the north of us and the little bastard slept right through it. So here I am. Rock you like a hurricaaaane. (For those of you who don;t get the bad 80's music reference, just stop reading. I no longer like you.)

I had the most delicious thing ever today and if you ever get a chance, I hope you try one. (This beats even the deep fried Twinkie I told you about a few weeks ago.) It was an apple cider slushee. It was like ingesting autumn. Particularly enticing since Fall is my favorite season and it was about 85 degrees today. I am soooooo ready for sweater season and football weather and done with summer. To be honest, I am usually done with summer after the first 90 degree day. I hate being hot. Back to the slushee. You will never, ever convince me that apple cider and apple juice are the same thing. Cider is something special and tangy and crisp and this was frozen into something think and frozen and especially delicious that you almost needed a spoon to remove it from your cup. I am going to have a difficult time not going back tomorrow to get another one. And the day after that. I would say I would like to bathe in it, but there are some parts that just should NOT be that cold.

I am finding that we have become increasingly busy lately and I wonder what that is about. With me stepping up my duties with Sisterhood and Osi involved with Brotherhood and the High Holy Days coming up, that could be part of it. Football season is another part of it. I guess we've also made more of an effort to expand our circle of friends. For a while, it seemed like we were the only people hosting things and it got really old. I think I may have posted about that. Since that post we've broadened our social circle a bit to include friends from temple and Osi's work and it's really nice to actually get invited places. So I guess that sums it up. It's only a week into September and our October calendar is already a mess.

Which brings us to the real point of this post. The Cousin was after me to update. She is bored at work and apparently I am her long distance amusement. Like a dancing bear at a circus, only better :) Also, the Cousin would like to come to Bexley for a weekend in October. We are hoping to make that work. But you better be prepared to have the goings-on end up as fodder for the blog, baby!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kids' Party Planning - Is It For Me?

Well, now Feeb went and put an idea in my head. I HATE it when she does that.

For the past two years, I have been a bit elaborate about Jack's birthday parties. No clowns or pony rides (yet), but there was musical entertainment last year.

Let's review. The first birthday was a "Jack"-o-Lantern theme, featuring a 7 layer cake carved into the shape of a pumpkin. This went a long with hand-made, from-scratch invitations to about 40 people. A good time was had by most, but mostly the infant liked the wrapping paper.

Last year was a music extravaganza. Again, the invites were a from-scratch ordeal (they always feature a picture of the birthday boy). Marc "The Marvelous Toy" Rossio was procured to entertain about 12 kids of various ages, and the goody bags consisted of every annoying instrument you can think of (train whistle, maracas, kazoos, you name it. Parents are STILL thanking me for that).

I show no signs of being able to be contained. This year the invitations required no rubber-stamping or ink pads - thank God. I did, however, burn 14 of Jack's favorite songs onto a CD and design the CD jacket to be the invitation. Feeb says I am criminally insane. The postage alone killed me.

So, in my journey to find out what I want to do in life, could i plan other kids' parties or do I just really like planning my own? Also, it would have to clearly state in my contract that as soon as the first guest arrives, I hit the door. Generally, I loathe other people's children. My few close friends are the exceptions and I would do theirs for free :)

It seems as if hoity-toity snooty and fruity Bexley would be the perfect place to launch such a business. If only I had the vaguest idea of how to do it. I am going to put it on a list with "Writing a reality book for working moms who think they want to stay home." I dunno, would YOU hire me?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Am NOT Stay At Home Mom Material

It has taken me three years to be able to make this statement: I am not stay-at-home-mom material. And that is OK (I think).

Jack's preschool/daycare is closed this week for a general once-a-year hosing down and teacher inservice week. This means it has been all Jack n' Mommy all the time. Duuuuuuuuude.

I can;t even remember the beginning of the week. I had a babysitter Monday morning so I could get errands done, then we spent the afternoon on a walk and playing outside. Tuesday we went to COSI for their $1 day (YAY COSI - Excellent idea!). Wednesday we stopped by the JCC to see Jack's class list and then by Auntie Sara's to see the cousins visiting from Detroit. After his nap we went to Easton to play in the fountain. Today I had a babysitter for 2 hours while I had a doc appt. and picked up the goody bag stuff for his b-day party and then we're going to Mandie's after naptime. Jesus, I am exhausted just typing all of this.

We have done all of the above and the child STILL drays me about wanting every piece of my attention the entire time he is awake. I admit it: I am selfish. I need a few minutes, no, MORE than a few minutes of non-Wiggles time during the day. So I cannot wait until Monday, when Jack is merrily on his way back to preschool/daycare and Mommy is going to drink. Whatever they pay our lovely teachers, it is not ever going to be enough.

Still no word on being gainfully employed, however. I applied for a job with the Humane Society that I stoked about, but I haven't heard anything yet. So, I use my time by cooking for the Obama campaign volunteers (bad news. They now have my DNA. I inadvertently grated some of my thumb into the baked ziti I am making for them tonight), getting myself in way over my head in Sisterhood and generally over-planning yet another of Jack's birthday parties. Oh, and Face Book. Can't forget the Face Book addiction/huge time-water. I really need a job :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sciatica + Arthritis = No Sleep

Duuuuuuuuude. My hips hurt. And not for any GOOD reason, either. Finally went to the doctor on Monday and was diagnosed with sciatica - a hot-poker pain from my lower back shooting down through my right knee. Add that to the arthritis that every Fleming woman eventually gets in her hips, and I am hopped up an pain relievers that aren't relieving the pain, but making me a little loopy.

Along with the arthritis that every Fleming Woman gets, we made a nifty discovery at this year's Flem Fest. You can tell a Fleming Gal because we will bare at least 2 of the following three distinct characteristics:
1. A chin that is not quite double, but not quite a waddle. More like a baby goiter. Yum!
2. The Fleming nose. My sister has the bony proof of her DNA sitting square in the middle of her face. I have my dad's nose. Not much better, but not nearly as distinct.
3. Funky-ass toes. No other way to describe them briefly. Many of us have second toes that are so much longer than out big toes that custom shoes may, indeed, be in order. What the hell? I didn't realize I needed a "pointer toe." And yet, I have two. So do almost all of my first cousins, apparently.

Which brings us to the fact that these family reunions are actually a necessity. With a family of 9 kids and so many cousins floating around, you need to show up once a year and take a DNA census - to eyeball your kin and make sure you don;t end up dating them later on by accident. Matching 2 sets of Fleming DNA, I am quite sure, would result in the formation of a prehensile tail.

In other news...

I canceled my interview with the Bar Assn. this morning. Part of what was freaking me out is that they have an awful reputation as a place to work. Why was I interviewing at a place where I didn't want to work? Because I felt as if I needed to be going through the motions. Sending out resumes, going to interviews, getting rejected. Yadda Yadda. I DID apply for a position with the Capital Area Humane Society as a program assistant. This is more my speed. The other thing that was freaking me out is that I have no desire to go back to the level of stress of responsibility I had pre-Jack. Yet membership is all I have really excelled at. I am still looking to stay in the NFP world (apparently I just don;t ever want to make good money), but take my search down yet another notch to positions with less responsibility. This doesn't seem to elicit a gag reflex or the need to pass out when I think about it. A step in the right direction, don't you think?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Alice Down the Rabbit Hole...

I have an interview today at 10:30 am at The Ohio Bar Assn. To be honest, I am not looking forward to it. Their reputation in the not-for-profit world - at least 5-7 years ago - is that it was a pretty crummy place to work. After a meltdown this evening of epic proportions (mine, not the toddler's), Osi suggested I cancel the interview. It interview. It is interviews in general.

I feel lost.

I hate knowing that I worked so hard and went into so much debt to finish school just to make crock pot dinners and potty train. I know being a mommy is an important job, but still, over $20K in loans...I should be doing something with that to bring in the cash, right?

On the other hand, I am absolutely terrified of going back to work. So much so that I feel stuck, almost paralyzed. I HATE being the "new kid" and being the only person who doesn't know someone in any situation. Especially when everyone else knows everyone else and they are all just forming opinions about me. Also, what if the Bar really DOES suck and I hate my job (doesn't everyone? It's the American way.)? I fear not being qualified and mucking up a job, a child and a marriage in the process.

On still another hand, I can't justify Jack going to daycare 3 days a week if I am not working. Money going out, no money coming in on my part. Jack does enjoy it and I believe he is better-adjusted kid because of it, but could we really tolerate one another for 365 days a year, non-stop? And what the hell kind of mother says those things?

Osi swears we can get by until Jack starts school if we dip into funds set aside for Jack's college. So, what? Jack can go into debt so that I can sit on my ass three days a week?

You can see how this is a slippery slope of a black hole. More often than not lately, I find myself lying in bed dealing with stomach pains caused by the white-hot poker of self-doubt.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Love My Little Weirdo

We attended Nicholas Allen's 5th birthday party on Monday night. It was a superhero theme, but we are notsomuch into costumes, so we just showed up as ourselves - super enough :) Let me preface this entire post by saying that Feeb did an awesome job with the party and just about every kid seemed to be having a raucous good time.

My little guy was completely overwhelmed. There were a lot more older kids than we anticipated and they were all in costumes (many with masks) all charging around, being loud and hitting one another with swords, light sabers, whips, you name it. Jack freaked out in his own little way. Not in the meltdown kind of way that normal 2 year olds do. But by going directly to - you guessed it - the doors.

We spent the majority of the party trying desperately to find a door to open and close to make everything in our world OK. At one point, the birthday boy - in complete Batman regalia, including mask and supercool wings - got right up in Jack's face and growled. Fantastically entertaining for a 5 year old. Jack went into shutdown mode. Poor little guy. At that point I felt like I was no longer doing my job as a mommy because Jack obviously didn't feel safe.

We stayed for about an hour - long enough to open and close every door on the first floor about a million times and scarf a few cheesy poofs, and then bid our friends adieu. He and Derek were by far the youngest kids at the party, so I guess his reactions were age-appropriate (although Frat Boy Ulrich was partying it up in the sandbox), but I still felt self-conscious that he should have been having a good time, running and laughing and playing with other kids.

I so admire Erin;s parenting style. She is so laid back and accepts her kids for who they are. I am still living by the "normal" rules - something I know I shouldn't be doing and, with Jack, i just CAN'T - for both of our well being. He's a sensitive kid. And that is OK. I just want him to be happy. I am thinking that may mean skipping a few birthday parties in the future.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flem Fest 2008

My Mom's family reunion was this past weekend. Generally a good time. It used to be an every other year event -and people were happy to have it that way - until my uncle, or his new wife, one of the two, decided they needed to see the kin annually. Thus, the yearly trek to Akron (because it is now, apparently, always at my uncle's place).

At every gathering thus far, there has been some startling revelation. One year, it was that the brood of 9 had a half-sister (Hello Half-Aunt Dorothy, if you are reading). The next it was that my grandfather's name wasn't really William, it was George (although that is still under contest by some family members). No great revelations made this year, unless I missed them, but I did discover that my father can chase - and keep up with - a toddler while holding a beer. In my current phase of life, that counts as a marketable skill!

It was great to see my cousin Kate, the nearly-Broadway producer. She brought her new husband, Ted, who is CLEARLY "our people." I mean that in the best possible way. I guess it helps that he was introduced to us little by little. Only the older generation of Flemings was invited to the wedding. The entire onslaught of country cousins was on hand to greet him at Flem Fest and, I must say, our little Brooklyn design-geek held up well! He didn't startle when spoken to and made easy jokes with the rest of us. One never knows when a Fleming woman marries, what you are going to get. Check out The Show for more on that. I maintain that that is an anomaly. All the rest of us are Alpha Bitches (again, said with love).

If I have one regret it is that we had to leave too soon. My uncle insists on having the reunion at a park on a lake. Beautiful, yes. Toddler-friendly, HELL NO. Much of the time was spent with Osi or I chasing Jack and generally trying to keep him out of the water. Upon leaving, I asked my mother if, when i got home that evening, it would be too soon to send an announcement that Chez Zimmer would be hosting Flem Fest 2009. She thought so. Maybe next week.

I would love to have an extended bash, if only to spend more time with the cousins that I adore. I don't seem to get up to Akron to see Nikki or Jen nearly as often as I'd like and we all have our own lives, Kate is also quite grand and I would like to see her more often, too. As we get older, I hope we do make more time for one another. It's nice when you can consider your family your friends as well :)