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.