Thursday, January 29, 2009

In The Navy

I am currently seeking employment, which means I make the rounds on numerous job sites. being ubiquitous, I usually start there. Apparently, so does the U.S. Armed Forces, which is a little disarming (ha ha, bad pun totally intended).

The Navy has a pretty sweet marketing copy person, because they have made me want to enlist a number of times. For instance, did you know that they are currently hiring photojournalists? They also need editors and people with marketing experience (although I beg to differ, their marketing campaign on is genius).

Their current slogan, at least for the Reserves, is "Part time service. Full time life." Pretty savvy. Except, you know, there are, like, three wars going on and Reservists are known for getting yanked out of the "hey, let's help the flood victims" situations and plopped right down in the middle of, say, Kuwait.

Still, I wonder what editors and photojournalists in the Navy do. I mean, why did we have these folks embedded if we already had men and women trained in the arts over there ready to whip off a jaunty phrase and produce a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph?

Let me step back, because I think this is coming off in a mocking tone and let me be clear: I completely and totally respect the men and women defending our country. I respect the fact that we are, presumably, giving them training for a life after war. I just can't get my mind around someone snapping pictures in the middle of Baghdad.

But someone has to do it, I suppose. I was just surprised that they've taken their campaign to Like a middle-aged housefrau will be looking to get back to work and think, "Well, I have had no bite on the resume. The Navy says I can be an editor for them. Think I'll join up!" Maybe that happens. In these economic times, anything is possible.


I was in New Orleans this past weekend for a Sisterhood conference. Everything about it was nice. I traveled with a friend, we ate good food and learned interesting things. I came back with good ideas. However, being a realist, I realize that these are ideas that mat never get implemented because I am already over committed within Sisterhood, finding a job, at home at trying to plan this bad reunion I should have never signed up for.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Osi did an adequate job at keeping everyone alive. It was his first time being alone with Jack for an extended time. We did a test run this summer while I did an overnight run with my sister and cousins in northern Ohio. When I returned on Sunday, the house was not a complete disaster and both Osi and Jack were dressed.

Every now and again, I think every mom goes through the "I am so not appreciated" blues, and I am having one of those periods now. I am not the best housekeeper and I will readily admit it. But I do try to keep the clutter to less-than-my-mother's limit, dishes out of the sink and the bathrooms usable by company. I don't think guests have ever been blatantly grossed out by our house. (If you have please don;t publicly burst my bubble here.) I cook most nights - including preparing 3 days worth of baked ziti for when I was out of town. Osi does do the clean up when I cook, and vice versa. Still, most of the honest-to God child-rearing (bathing, teaching of manners, feeding, medicine administering, etc.) falls to me.

How will this work when I go back to work? How will I keep up all my other obligations when I have a 40 hour per week job to add to the mix? It scares me and makes me sad to think about it.

We're beneath a good (or bad?) 8 inches of snow today. Thus the title of this post. Jack came home from school Tuesday with a horrible cough that kept me up most of the night that night. It was much better yesterday and he slept through the night last night (aside from the usual 12:30 are-you-there-mommy? check in). However, he was up at 4:22 am. I SOOOO want to send the little bugger to school this morning, but the cough seems to be back. What to do?

I NEED sleep or I am GOING TO SNAP. Sending him to school exposes him to other kids, which is not fair to them or their parents. Though, I must admit, if I were working, he would be going to school today and i would be going to work.

Some days I feel like this whole motherhood thing was just a snow job. Some hours, literally, I am thrilled to be doing it. And some hours - say, like 4 am this morning - notsomuch. The scales thus fa are tipping to the positive. After spending the weekend with someone with a 16 year old boy, though, I fear the future.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rants and Raves

We have had an interesting weekend.

I'll start with a rave: Osi and I finally had a chance to spend a few hours together, sans little man, yesterday. We went to see Frost/Nixon. Now, I usually go to movies to get lost and laugh, so it apparently took The 'Wald by surprise when I suggested we go see the political/historical film. (Hey, the only comedies were entitled "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" and "Hotel for Dogs." Puh. Leeze.) The movie was exceptional! I was both entertained and educated during the 2 hour movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Funny how there were maybe 2 people in the packed theater under age 30. Wouldn't it be GREAT if The Millennials plugged into a little bit of this interesting entertainment rather than sitting through $9 of crap about an inept mall cop? If you get a chance, Frost/Nixon is well worth the money. It won the Golden Globe for Best Picture and the guy playing Nixon (Frank Langella) won the Globe for Best Actor. Plus, it has Oliver Platt, whom I have adored sine the Three Musketeers in the 90s. I hope you'll see it.

(Rant:) We arrived for said movie a good 20 minutes early and found decent seats. The theater continued to fill in up until the opening credits. Here is what I do not understand: A woman came into our row during the lights-already-down previews and asked that everyone in the row move down a seat so that she and her friend could sit together in our row. Now, there were plenty of seats available in the strain-your-neck first three rows of the theater and all of us had gotten there in plenty of time to secure the fact that we could enjoy the movie without having to do the arm rest tango with a stranger. It takes a lot of chutzpah to come in while the lights are already out and ask - ney, demand - that the entire row scooch down for you. She actually got into a loud argument with the people seated next to us. She was not even pleasant about it. I just don't get people. Had it been me, I would have sucked it up, accepted we were late and sat in the second row. That is the price I pay for not timing my arrival appropriately.

(Rave:) We also enjoyed - or tried to enjoy - a wonderful dinner at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe. Osi and I agree they have the BEST wings in Columbus. The bread them THEN fry and coat them. GENIUS! Also, they are large (bigger than Hooters? Don't know. Haven't been and won't go.)

(Rant): In the middle of dinner, we received a call from my sister, who was home with Jack. Apparently, the City of Bexley has stopped by (not the entire city, just a worker), and WE were the reason for the giant ice rink/puddle on our street. Oops. Some dumbass (that would be me) forgot to disconnect the garden hose from the outside faucet. Know what that means in -9 degree temps for several days? That is correct, friend - a burst water pipe. Yay! Luckily, our basement is, like, one of 6 in Bexley with a sump pump, so the water was running into the sump pump and then being pumped out to the street - thus causing the ice rink/puddle. Doh! And, even better news, it has apparently been broken since Thursday. We are both dreading the water bill.

(Rave:) Luckily, Super Duper Gary Cooper to the rescue! While neither of us is particularly handy, Gary (who basically raised Osi from age 8 or so on up) is the Jewish MacGyver. He came over last night and put a shut off valve on the offending pipe. We owe him a debt of gratitude and tiramisu.

(Rant:) With that crisis averted, we sat watching last night's news. The Director of OSU's Institute for Race and Ethnicity, made the following comment on the local news: "For a long time, African Americans have been on the wrong side of racism." What the hell? Is there a RIGHT side of racism that I have missed in 35 years on this earth? Last time I checked, ALL sides of racism were abhorrent. This is a man, theoretically one of the top in his field, implying that there is a correct side of racism? I just give up. Two steps forward, one step back. C'mon people. Think before you speak.

So, that was our Saturday. We are headed to Bubby and Zayde's for lunch today (rave, rave, rave!) so that Jack and Chelsea can play and relieve Bub and Zade of having to keep the kids constantly entertained. Let's hope the rest of the weekend shapes up to be a little less eventful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hair Slut

I have to confess this - out loud, in writing, whatever! I cheated.

I had a what I hope to be the wonderful beginnings of an affair this morning. It was scheduled by that pimp Charles Penzone. My husband even paid for it! Yes, friends, I cheated on my hairdresser. Oh, the shame.

It started innocently enough. We, like the rest of the country, are tightening our belts. One of the things to go on my list was the $45 haircut (let us not even discuss the price of keeping up the delusion that this is my natural color...). So, I had grown long, and shaggy and, disturbingly, poofy, not unlike a Chia Pet.

Then, lo, during the wondrous holiday of Chrismukka not one but TWO gift cards to Charles Penzone salons and spas were bestowed unto me by. Those close to me (and now, I guess, you) know that I am a fool for the hot stone massage. Why bother with a human touch when you can be rubbed into oblivion by greasy rocks? Wait a tick, that is actually MUCH better than it sounds, but I digress. The gift cards were given for the purpose of said massaging, but my hair is just about as bad off as my nerves these days, so I opted for a "cut and design" instead.

Oh, the thrill of being someplace I shouldn't have been - the chair of another hair diva. I mentioned my relationship to the new girl. Like all Charles Penzone "working girls", she clearly had no conscience, because the mention of my old girl didn't phase her. I was a paying customer and she would give me what I wanted, darn it!

And she did. The results are fantastic. I love the new, more textured 'do. I had been with my old hair diva for almost 8 years. (Criminy - a time period I am now realizing coincides with how long I have been married. While I am completely satisfied with my husband, I had a wandering eye when it came to my hair.) I'm not proud of the cheating, and feel as if I may run into my old hair diva on the street with my new, short cut and she'll brand a bright red "A" upon my chest.

But it feels (and looks) so gooooooooood. ;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Am The Masked Avenger!

Jack has had a rough month. It started with a double-ear infection just before Christmas. He now has a sinus infection and, over the weekend, all of his cranial orifices were so clogged that he ended up with pink eye. Ew. This has left me administering many medications to an unwilling child.

The last time J had an ear infection, we took him to a doc in our group who was not his usual pediatrician. He was a short, slight man, but had a nice bedside manner. When he tried to pin Jack to look in his ears, he needed help. As the then 2-year-old thrashed about, limbs flailing in all directions, the tiny doc looked up and said "Boy, he;s strong!" with the most weirdly intense, I-am-trying-to-hold-it-together smile I have ever seen from a physician.

I tell you this because now it is my turn in the ring with The Toddler. We started Saturday night with eye drops for the Pink Eye. After about 6 unsuccessful attempts, I tagged in my partner. Well, "tag" is not really true. It took BOTH of us - large-ish, grown people, to hold down The Boy and pry his eyelids open to administer the drops. I SWEAR he is going to have 2 black eyes by the time we're done with the drops tonight.

He also has what I call (God, forgive me) Wal-Mart Baby Nose. He wakes up with a thick crust of goop attached to both nose-holes. And this goop has multiplied, had a family, given them names. You know, taken root. This is stuff that cannot be sicked out by the Booger Ball (oh, what, you actually call it the "nasal aspirator?).

Here is something not a lot of people will say out loud: Only your mother loves you enough to pick your nose. This also involves me pinning him to the floor with my knees and holding his head in some kind of grip I must have learned from watching "COPS." I have tried sucking the boogies out with the little bulb aspirator thingny. I have tried having him blow. I have tried warm washcloths to loosen said goop. Aside from take a pick axe and a miner's head lamp up in there, this is the only way I can figure to get the job done, people.

Finally, there is the administering of the horrible tasting medicine. Even though we have had it flavored "grape," I have tasted it. It is BAD. This involves the aforementioned pinning, trying to get him to swallow the medicine while The Boy is basically blowing a constant stream of air out of his mouth so that nothing can go it (he's a smart little bugger). My only chance is catching him on the inhale. And to get him to swallow it, I have to hold his nose. Lord, it is awful. This entire routine takes a while each evening. And we've started bribing him with chocolate. It helps, but only with the taste afterward.

I'm not sure which one of us is going to come out of this latest bout of illness more scarred - physically and emotionally. I won't lie. The kid has a killer right hook. He land's it almost 50% of the time, because Mommy is old and slow. But I swear I need a drink every night after the trauma of having my only child scream "Noooooo MOOOOOMMMMYYYYYYY!!! STOP!" For a good 10 minutes.

OK, so that is my vent for the day. I am going to go pump some iron now, in preparation for tonight's match. God help me if that kid learns how to drop-kick.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Completely Biased View of the Mid-East Situation

I can't claim to have any insights on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Honestly, I have only recently started paying attention. If the truth be told, my attitude has always bee that there is going to have to be an all-out, to-the-death war to end the skirmishes over land and boundaries.

What I didn't realize (because I chose to ignore the information) is that, for so many people, it is an all-out, to-the-death war. On a daily basis.

An acquaintance on Facebook recently posted a really good note likening the Israel-Palestine situation to a U.S.-Canada relationship. He asked:

"Imagine this. The Canadian people elect a terror organization to run their government. That organization is sworn to the destruction of the United States. Its charter calls for us to be slaughtered. They hold large rallies at which they scream in unison “Death to America”. They animate their own version of Mickey Mouse for their children with Mickey armed with guns and rockets calling for our blood. They send suicide bombers into nearby Buffalo, New York and kill civilians indiscriminately."*

What would we do? Only what Israel has done - defend itself from the hatred and those obsessed with the country's destruction.

So it is through this paradigm that I now view the situation. How dare we protest? How dare people make a stink about dead civilians, when Hamas has been launching rockets into neighborhoods and schools for decades and Israel has tried - ironically - to turn the other cheek. The death of civilians in any war is a very sad thing - I am not without sorrow for the innocent. That being said, it is the government these people elected that is putting them in harm's way. When you are launching rockets from schools and homes, how can you expect NOT to be fired upon? To cry "foul!" is to out your own guerrilla tactics.

I am not surprised to learn that protests in Europe against the Israeli-Palestinian war have turned violent. I needed only to read that people were hurling shoes at Israeli Embassy guards to figure out the kind of extremists involved. The mind-set of this particular group of extremists is that THEY are the only ones with rights, THEY are the only ones who have lives that matter and that THEY have been wronged.

And guess what? These are the same extremists lining up for terrorist training camps that focus on targets other than Israel. These are people who want to board our planes. These are extremists that hate US, too.

"If you aren't terrified, you haven't been paying attention." I read that on a bumper sticker somewhere. It certainly sums up how I feel about the current situation. It isn't just about a strip of land in the Middle East. It is about how terrorist organizations get voted into power, therefore legitimized, and then start taking over the world - one small strip of land at a time.

*blatantly ripped-off from Gordon Hecker's notes. If you on Facebook, I highly suggest you read the entire entry. It is eloquent and succinctly stated.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Missed the Memo

I like my house. I don't l-o-v-e it, but the kitchen makes the cramped upstairs worth it. What I do NOT like is my neighborhood. I can hear the Sesame Street song in my head now "Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neigh-bor-hoo-ood..." Well, Snuffy, they are snobs.

I knew I was in trouble one day last summer, shortly after we moved in, when I pulled into our driveway and spied my next-door neighbor watering her landscaping (more on this later). She was outfitted in a tennis skirt, cutesy matching top, cardigan around her shoulders (hey, Muffy, you missed a spot!) and - the clincher - those little tennis socks with the balls at the heels. I didn't even know you could BUY those anymore! As I was wearing khaki shorts and a grungy t-shirt, I thought "Hmmm, this reeks of yummydom, no?"

Cut to the first cool day last fall, when the Central Bexley uniform was revealed to me: Capri-length yoga pants, a turtleneck and a North Face vest. I counted no less than 4 women on my block marching their kids to school in said uniform. Shouldn't they include this info in the closing? If the neighborhood association requires a North Face vest, than perhaps I can figure that into my closing costs (or, at the price of North Face, maybe my monthly payments).

We bought the house from our former rabbi, who loved to garden. I love the man still, but I have completely ruined dudes landscaping. I know he drives by every once in a great while and prays for my eternal soul and my black, black thumb. The summer we moved into the house - and this is not hyperbole - I replanted the damn flower boxes 5 times between Memorial Day and Labor Day. DeMonye's Greenhouse loves me. To make matters worse, the guy across the street owns a landscaping company, so I am quite sure we are a pox upon the neighborhood, what with the wilting and the dying.

I DO have to say that the one part of our neighborhood that I do love lives right next door. The Vitarteses (and I still can't figure out if there is more than one of them if they are "Vitarteses" or "Vitarti"). Until recently, mom had long-ish braided hair. They frequently wear tie-dye. The high school chic has a super-cool bohemian-style coat. They have giant dogs and more cats than I can count and their yard looks as bad as ours. They are unruly - for the Central Bexley crowd. I ADORE them.

"Come, Vitarti,"(that's what I'm goin' with) "Let us form a Hippy Uprising against these Prada-wearing, Beamer-loving maroons!" Screaming that from my front porch one day is my dream. The result being that the Zimmers and the Vitarti will rise up with our non-North-Face-having selves and convert the weaker yuppies into hybrid-driving, granola-munching hippies.

Hey, a girl can dream, yeah?

Moment of Clarity - While Unconscious

For the last three nights, I have had dreams about working for Obama. Two nights in a row, I was a speechwriter. Considering I think the man's oration is A-MAZ-ING, those were happy dreams, indeed.

Last night I had elevated myself to a potential candidate for VP. I was running against Michelle Obama, of course. In the dream, I was busily writing my own debate points and acceptance speech (Michelle told me in my dream that there was no way America would have 2 African Americans on the ticket...again I say, of course).

I have been really praying lately about finding my "passion." The thing that I truly want to do with my life. I think crafting presentations and messages for others might just be it. It was the part of my last job that I most enjoyed - the research, creativity, ability to combine my voice with the presenter's - I loved it.

Not having a background in media relations or PR, I think moving into a Director of Communications role - where this type of thing typically occurs - is out for now. However, I am researching to see if crafting presentations for others might be a marketable skill.

Several people have said I should write for a living. I would love to, but never know where to begin. Creating presentations and speeches for others allows me to A) have that starting point and B) use the writing talent my delusional friends think I may have.

I have not been this excited since I found out I could LEAVE work - oh the irony, I know. However, I am going to get back to researching to see if this could be an actual THING.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh, the Irony

I had a FANTASTIC visit from an old friend last night. We were inseparable in grade school. Because of that inseparability, when we both went from public school to Catholic school the same year, the "IN" girls thought it would be funny to start rumors that we were too close, if you catch my drift. Nothing like trying to navigate your way through lesbian rumors at age 11. Jess and I were constantly harassed and, because her mom has common sense, Jess went right back to public school after 7th grade.

I mention this for two reasons. She is possibly the only other person on earth that truly understands my hatred for the 3-headed torture beast that was Jodi, Erin and Annie. We were discussing this during her visit last night.

Lo and behold, this morning in my Facebook account, I have received an invitation to join a group for St. Mary's Catholic School alumni. Surely, you jest. It was started by the above-mentioned Annie and, apparently, she would like to reconnect with old friends (re: prisoners of war).

This brings me back to a question asked on New Year's Eve: Do I spend more time living in the past, present or future? I spend time in all three, as I think all people do. However, the effects of 7th and 8th grade have had a huge impact on who I have become. I just can't let those wrongs go, as many times as I have tried. A lot of people have stories of being picked on, but these girls kicked it up a notch - they sent me Playboy magazine and filled out info that lead an Army recruiter call my house looking for me to enlist.

So the irony of Annie wanting to "reconnect" having just spoken about her last night is not lost on me. How to proceed? (And these are all rhetorical, since I've already decided...) Should I join the group and see who else shows up? There is no one from grade school I want to find that hasn't already found me on FB. But maybe this would help me get over the scars. Should I just ignore the invitation? I decided to ignore it and try, once again - in the new year, to just Let It Go.

The present is where it's at. And the future is even better. I'd like my answer next New Year's Eve to be "Present." But Jess and I did decide that we have another 2.5 years until our 20 year reunion and, therefore, to shape up. So, you know, living a little in the future couldn't hurt :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bewildered by the Bra

Now that my plant biology friend Erin has cleared up how we grow seedless things (oranges, watermelons, grapes) without seeds (it's splicing. Shhhhh...super-secret botany intel right there), I am free to ponder other things. Like why in the world would any woman, in her right mind, need an 18 Hour Bra?

I have owned many over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders in my life. Some of them comfortable, some of the fancy-schmancy (rarely does this combination exist simultaneously), NONE of which I cared to stay in for 18 entire hours.

Let us do the math here. Even on your best day, a day you might like to repeat a million times over - let's say your wedding day - you are not going to be in the same foundation garment for 18 straight hours. That would require being up, alert, showered and dressed by 6 a.m. (a miracle in itself at Chez Zimmer) and then staying that way all the way until midnight. MIDNIGHT, PEOPLE. What are you doing for 18 straight hours that you can't give The Girls a little relief?

And here is another question: What happens at 12:01? Poor Cinderella only had the misfortune of losing a Ferragamo and having to hoof it home. I shudder to think what would happen if, at the stroke of midnight, the 18 hour wonder simply collapses under the heft of my bosom with a flourish of metal and elastic (and likely snapping sounds). I could kill someone - or at least put their eye out. (Heh heh, that would make almost as good a story as "French Toast Induced Head Wound", no?)

I simply do not understand to whom Playtex is marketing. Senior Vice Presidents who like to party after work? Working mothers with dinner meetings? I cannot comprehend why someone would voluntarily wear an 18 Hour Bra. Am I over-thinking this?

While we're over-thinking, here is something that'll rock your world. Since bananas have no seeds, all the bananas in the world are virtually the SAME PLANT. We could endure a banana famine should just the right disease strike the banana crop. Every single plant would be wiped out.

There is some super-secret botany intel I just don't need to know. I mean, how hearty are bananas? Are they hearty enough to endure 18 hours in a Wonder Bra?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Happiest of New Years

I asked Osi last night if he was happy or sad to see 2008 go. He said that the year had - in all - been pretty unremarkable. No huge gains, nothing horrible. Tru, dat. Since the past few months have been bumming me out with the job search, I am leaning more toward the "sayonara" end of things, but over all, it has been a pretty decent year. Let's review:

We met and fell in with some of the most fabulous people I think we will ever have in our lives. When you hear the phrase "life-long friends" I pray to the deity of your choice that it means these people. In fact, we spent one of the most fabulous New Year's Eves with some of them just last night.

We started at the Chambers', where we touched on all the forbidden topics, I think - religion, politics, and pictures of Pam's bachelorette party. Pam and Ken are fantastic and Pam and I are headed to New Orleans in three short weeks to attend a Sisterhood conference together. It is all part of my evil plan to get her to be co-president with me in 2 years. I think she's on to me. But she humors me, and - truthfully - that is part of the reason I love her. Isn't it always a little safer to humor the lunatic?

We moved from the Chambers' party, which we hated to leave, the the event we have been looking forward to since Thanksgiving: A Very Baskind New Year. I don't think New Year's celebrations get any better in my mind. It involved flannel pants, sparkling wine, cheese, chocolate and so much laughing that my face hurts this morning. We met fantastic new people and I don't think the room was without an outburst of laughter for more than 2 minutes at a time - literally. THAT is good stuff, people. Once you find that, you've got to dig in and make a home there (Or, as Liz Lemon would say, "I want to go to there.").

Also in 2008, I did get the Volunteer of the Year Award from Sisterhood and I made the decision to convert, so, you know, big Jewish year for me. Woop! And Osi has become a slave to, erm, I mean involved with Brotherhood. Seriously, though, I am so thankful he has found a group of guys to hang out with and talk football (even if their "staff meetings" are at Hooters - for the wings!). It's good to see him out with the boys. And they are all pretty good guys.

And in an effort to get something accomplished in the parenting arena this year (since the potty training has stalled and we were bink-free for 2 months before we discovered an abandoned binky and Grammy's...) we moved Jack to a toddler bed on Sunday. We have now had three out four uneventful nights of toddler-bed sleep. Yay!

Finally, we're looking forward to hosting the Cashmere Mafia and their spawn and staff (otherwise known as husbands) for a New Year's Day get-together today. Chili and beer and lots o' football. We plan on sending all the kids to the playroom with its glut of toys and telling them to have at it.

So, overall, as my dad would say, 2008 didn't suck. There is so much to look forward to in 2009 - a new job, conversion, no more's going to be a fantastic year at Chez Zimmer. I hope yours is, too.