Sunday, December 31, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

There’s an video on Yahoo this morning about how many people don’t know the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne. I admit, I’m one of them. Mainly because the words aren’t really English, they’re a Scottish dialect, and who the hell really knows what Auld Lang Syne really means, anyway? So, being the ever curious E-Lo, I decided to fill my brain with knowledge on the last day of 2006.

Robert Burns was the man who composed Auld Lang Syne. There were many poems and songs comprised of the same elements, but somehow his version became the most famous.

Here are the words in Scots:

Verse One
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne?

Chorus
For auld lang syne, my dearFor auld Lang syne, We'll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne!

Verse Two
And there's a hand my trusty fiere, And gie's a hand o thine And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught, For auld lang syne

Chorus
For auld lang syne, my dear For auld Lang syne, We'll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne!


Who knew there was even a second verse? And what the hell is a “guid-willie waught,” or a “fiere?” There are actually five full verses to the song, with words that make you think that you fell through the looking glass.

And how many people really question the words to this song? I’d say most people who sing this song are probably drunk by the time midnight rolls around and just stumble through it. I know I’m guilty of that.

Roughly translated into English, the words are:

Verse One
Should old friendships be forgotten and never remembered? Should old friendships be forgotten
And old friends and days?

Chorus
For old friends and days, my dear
For old friends and days
We will still take a drink
For old friends and days

Verse Two
And here is a hand my trusted friend
And give me your hand
And we will take a good toast
For old friends and days

Chorus
For old friends and days, my dear
For old friends and days
We will still take a drink
For old friends and days


Ah… now it all makes sense, right? Although, I admit, it's much catchier in Scots.

So tonight, at midnight, after you kiss your significant other, take the hand of your trusty fiere, raise your glass, and make a right guid-willie waught to auld lang syne.

Have a safe and happy new year. For old friends and day, my dear.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holidaze

It seems like every year Christmas and I grow farther and farther apart. I used to really love Christmas, even back when I was working in retail, because then I was really feeling the whole holiday vibe thing, but now... well, let's just say there's no more vibe. I don't know if it's the complete and utter lack of snow in Western PA or the fact that I'm just getting old.

You'd think with a baby Christmas would be more fun. But it's not. Because she's still too young to get it. I opened all her presents that I wrapped on Christmas morning, I opened all the presents from my mom, Ryan's mom, grandmas, great grandmas, aunts, uncles, etc. And it sucked. She got way too much stuff again. I wanted to say to these people, "were you not there on her birthday? Because I think you were the one that got her seven of these same blinking, noisy things."

How do you put a limit on that shit? It would be one thing if it were nice stuff, but she got a lot of junk, like dollar store junk. Is it wrong to tell people to limit themselves to one gift or just buy a gift card? Because diapers would be useful. I always need them. They come in more handy than the 500,000 toys that are still sitting in boxes (some from her birthday too!).

This year we had to leave from our house, go to Ryan's aunts house, to his mom's house, to my mom's house, back to his mom's house... and we learned that we're never leaving the house again on Christmas. It's a valuable lesson.

Here's to a happy new year.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yeah, Santa... it's like that



Lyric and Santa did NOT see eye to eye. But they were able to remain at least somewhat civil... somehow I don't think it will effect the amount of presents she gets this year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

1.5 Kids

Ryan and I have been talking lately about whether we want to add to our family. We've discussed the ramifications of it, and how much harder things will be, how much more responsibility we'd be facing, etc, etc.

But we decided to do it...












This is Rocky, Lyric's new best friend.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Because I have nothing better to do while my baby naps...

I'm getting my haircut tomorrow evening. I still haven't decided on options 1, 2, 3, or 4. I might just combine them all and be done with it.

But what if my hair ended up like this?



Oops, I dumped the bottle of bleach on my head!

Or this:



At least with this one I had the excuse of having yellow M&Ms over my eyes, so I couldn't see what the hairdresser was doing.


But this, this is the kind of hair that my husband fears:


And it's no wonder, really.

I don't even have a good comment for this one.

I'm so goth. If only I could have added the eyeliner too.

In case you're wondering, you can go to clairol.com to do this to yourself. For free! You can't beat that with an ugly stick. But you sure can beat me.

Signs that you're getting older

You think thoughts like, "wow, this washer is fantastic!" and "hmm, it's 9:30 on Friday, is it too early to go to bed?"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's not too late...

To vote for my hair. It's a democracy here in E-Lo land, and your vote counts. My hair appointment had to be postponed because of a water main break, so let me know what you think.

Here's what Ryan thought:

Number 1: "This looks too much like your normal hair."

Number 2: "This is too motherly."

Number 3: "This one isn't bad."

Number 4: "This one is too bitchy."


I knew that out of all of them, he'd like the one that my hair would ever be least likely to look like. I like number 3 myself, but there's no way I could pull off that look every day. Too much curling involved. I'm leaning towards number 2, and when I told him that, he said "go figure." His fear is since I've had a baby, that I'd get an awful mom haircut. You know, one that says "I'm now asexual." Of course, I'm too high maintenence to do that, but have become too low maintenence to maintain my normal pre-baby looks.

So it's still up in the air. What do you think?

E-Lo Do!

1
2
3
4

VOTE! I'm getting my hair cut tonight. What should I go with?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Little Girl

Last week I took Lyric to the doctor, where she weighed in at a whopping 21 pounds and measured at 28.75 inches tall.

For those of you who know nada about child development, this is pretty small. It's average small, but small nonetheless. She's in the 60th percentile for weight and the 25th for length.

I remember back when everyone told me what a big baby I had. Now she's pleasantly petite. Or abnormally petite, whatever the case may be.

One thing she's certainly advanced in is growing teeth. The kid is getting three molars right now. She's going to have a mouth full of teeth before the new year, I swear.

She's not walking yet. She doesn't even seem close. For a while I was worried, but now I'm chilling out about it. She doesn't need to walk yet. She's still a baby. I can carry her.

For now.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Oops, I did it again... threw up, that is

Britney.

Britney.

BRITNEY.

(Only look at these pictures in the privacy of your own home. Or where you don't mind looking at buh-ginas on the internet).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanks for the boredom

A few years ago, I was fairly anti-Thanksgiving. I know that seems weird, I mean who besides Chandler Bing hates Thanksgiving, what with all the gravy and turkey and cranberries, etc? But yes, I hated it. Hated eating turkey (even though I love turkey), hated going to see family (even though I love my family)... I was pretty thankless.

All in all, my Thanksgivings have always been pretty good, in spite of my poor attitude. My favorite part of the holidays is seeing friends, especially out of town friends, and getting together and drinking. Nothing has changed about that.

This year, I was totally looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday. I was making dinner, lasagne, and I was excited to have friends and family over to have some drinks in our new and totally awesome basement bar.

My dad was the only person other than Ryan and I to drink in our bar all weekend.

Sigh.

I feel like lately I've been doing a lot of anticipating, only to be let down. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe my expectations are too high (yeah), or maybe I take things too personally (definitely), or maybe I'm just bored too easily these days. It's tough for me to go out to bars, because I have a baby who needs to sleep at a certain time, and people aren't typically fond of babysitting until 2 AM, and I'm not fond of coming home trashed to a baby who needs me. It's a double edged sword sometimes, trying to be a mom and be social. Or anti-social, which is more me.

Last night we were invited to a birthday party for a distant relative of Ryan's. Instead, we thought we'd invite some friends over to drink in our bar. That way, we wouldn't have to worry about leaving our baby anywhere, and we wouldn't have to drive or spend money. All the reasons we built the bar.

Everyone had plans. So Ryan, Lyric and I went out and bought a washer and dryer. On a Saturday night. The last night of my vacation. The vacation that I spent every single night on the couch, with a beer in my hand, watching television.

Could I BE any less interesting?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

CAKE FACE!!!

Nursing my Zoloft hangover

Last week I entered the realm of the medicated, and let me tell you, it’s already made a world of difference. My marriage is better, my life seems easier, and I don’t always feel like I’m on the verge of a meltdown. My doctor put me on Zoloft since it’s best for breastfeeding mommies like myself (that’s right, she’s almost a year old and I’m still going... that was a topic of interest at her first birthday party... “so when is THAT going to stop?” No wonder I’m medicated), although she really wanted me to go on Lexapro. But the Zoloft seems to be working fine. All the vitamins and exercise in the world couldn’t have corrected the misfiring in my brain, thanks for asking though, Tom Cruise.

My medication was put to the test over the weekend, when Ryan and I had Lyric’s first birthday party. My house was jam packed full of people, and my mother, aunt, and cousin barked orders at me in rapid succession, until I felt like my head would explode and people would have chunks of my brain along with their birthday cake, since I forgot to buy one of those giant tubs of ice cream.

The girl made out like a bandit though. She got a little too much, if you ask me. But I only say that because all this junk has to be crammed into my house. I can’t even imagine having another kid. Where would he/she go? So that’s the end of birthday parties of that caliber.

Thank goodness for western medicine. Pictures of icing covered baby face to come.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Now that she's a child of GOD...

My baby was christened yesterday. Yes, my baby. Christened. Into the Christian religion. Weird, you think? Two agnostic parents agreeing to baptize their child? Yep, and I'll tell you why we did it.

Pressure.

My parents were born and raised Catholics, but they aren't even vaguely religious. They stopped going to church long ago, before they even sent me and my brother to 9 years of Catholic school. But they bothered me until I was half crazy to get my child baptised, they didn't care where damnit just as long as she got some holy water dumped on her head in front of a congregation of strangers.

So yesterday we finally took that step. It wasn't so bad, even though I had dreaded it for the past week. She looked all pretty and fluffy in her white dress. And the funniest part? They forgot the holy water, so she got the holy tap water from a holy plastic pitcher.

It was a country church.

Ryan and I were both baptized as babies, so I guess it's only fair that she is too.

Pictures of her in her fluffy dress to come.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Holding myself accountable

I'm so lazy lately. With EVERYTHING. I have no real social life, I don't work out any more, I don't write hardly at all... what is up with me?

Well, I'll tell you what's up with me. I'm complacent. I'm apathetic. I've let my life become my kid and my job and I've let myself go and become BORING.

I feel bad about myself. I want to have a life outside of work and baby that doesn't necessarily involve my husband making plans with our friends, because that's the only time I ever do anything. I have to take that step and make shit happen for myself.

Step one is admitting the problem. Step two is doing something.

Secondly, I have to start eating better and working out again. Since my brother's car accident, back at the beginning of July, I have done nothing with myself. I've gained weight back. I drink too much. I started smoking again. I eat junk food. That has to stop too.

Agggh. I've had a bad week. Sorry to post about all this shit but I had to get it out there.

The one thing I feel good about today is that I voted. I was voter number four in my precinct. I really wanted to be number one, but I'm giving myself some time to let that happen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What she looks like when she's using her Jedi mind tricks on me...

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Note the orb in the first picture. Oooh, spooky Halloween orb! I get those in pictures constantly. I swear it's because I don't clean my camera lens.

Scary campaign ad of the day...



C'mon, dude, you're gonna get your kids involved in your dirty politics because you're down in the polls? Puh-lease. Gag.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloweeeeeeen...

Good morning. Today is probably one of my favoritest days of the year, and while I'm perfectly aware that favoritest is NOT a word, I'm still using it, so shut up, it's Halloween!

Last Thursday Ryan and I celebrated 4 years of marriage. That's something, huh? I mean, it's no decade, but c'mon, people, give me props here. 4 years of being married to an asphalt worker is no easy task. Long hours, black rocks all over the house, tar in the carpet... you get the picture.

Last Saturday I went to my first strip club. It was the end of the night, after Ryan's show, and let me tell you, half of those girls had to have been moms with the way their bellies jiggled against the poles. Whew. When I think of strippers, I don't think of belly flub. When I think of me, I think of belly flub, and that's ok, because I'm a mom who advertises the fact that she's a mom, and I live a pretty wholesome life, with the exception of my excessive overuse of the f-word. I'm not the one dancing naked on poles so c'mon, ladies, do your freaking crunches.

Lemmee see, what else?

Tonight I'll dress my kid up as Princess Leia and take her trick or treating. Well, not really, cause she's too young for candy, but I'll still show her off a little around the neighborhood. Mostly we'll just hand out candy.

In the spirit of Halloween this week, I'll be posting some of my favorite dirty political ads. I'll start with an ad for Paul R. Nelson, conservative republican candidate for Senate in Wisconsin. If you listen to the Opie and Anthony show in the morning, you'll know exactly who I'm talking about.



JESUS. Talk about scary.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Neglecting my bloggerly duties

*cough*


*sneeze*


It's getting dusty around here again. Not only is it dusty in my little corner of cyberspace, it's dusty in my actual house. My housekeeping skills have dwindled, mainly because I have no time to keep house. Laundry is sitting around waiting to be put away. Lyric's toys are strewn about the living room. Dishes are in the sink.

Balancing the demands of my new job, being a mom and a wife, and having my own personal time (ie, blogging) is tough. My job is keeping me super busy right now. I'm putting in tons of overtime, working Saturdays, going on trips, but it's highly fullfilling and I really feel like I'm where I belong. I'm in a good place, working with some good people, and doing stuff that matters. Well, matters to me, that is. It's nice. And the paychecks are nice too. I think I'm finally past that place where I have to worry about money so much, and that's a great feeling.

However, I'm feeling a little guilty because I've been neglecting you, my readers (have I mentioned how amazing I think it is that people actually find me interesting enough to keep coming back here, even though I rarely have time to return the favor?). I apologize for not visiting you guys. I want to, I really do, but time is tight right now. In about a month, things should settle down, and life will start to get back to normal. Until then, bear with me.

For now, go tell Greg happy birthday.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Realizing the truth that I never wanted to admit to myself

I have to admit, I was fairly nervous about this trip. But only because I'm the type of person who never goes any where or does anything, even if I want to. How I became so rooted and so stagnant I have no idea, but like any good wife, I'd like to blame my old man of a husband. I used to love traveling and going new places, and he's just not into it. Why, I don't know, but it's another thing about him that makes me realize that I have indeed married my father.

But that's not the point. The point is I was nervous, leaving my baby and my husband, going somewhere new with people I hardly know. And on the way down, the coworker that I rode down with said to me, "the people down here are a little stuffy. They make a lot more money than us and to them, we're just ignorant rednecks from PA." I chuckled a little to myself, cause I'm totally NOT a redneck.

At least not in my head.

I proved that wrong when I innocently tried to throw away my coffee in the hotel lobby podium, because I thought it was like one of those garbage cans like they have in Burger King. Totally embarrassing.

Also realized that I'm a total redneck because last night was my first Japanese restaurant experience. Eating sushi and sashimi, that is. And drinking sake.

Oh yeah, and last night was my first time ever staying in a hotel where there are no rooms under 200 bucks.

Did I mention that yesterday I was wearing an outfit that I bought at K-Mart? Think anyone noticed?

Sitting here in my $250 dollar hotel room with my laptop hooked up to the free internet, watching my flat screen plasma tv that is mounted on the wall, I know I'm a redneck.

Hmm.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Things that I'm focusing on instead of the fact that I'm going to miss my kid immensely for the next four days

1. Not hearing her whine.

2. Painting my nails.

3. Plucking my eyebrows.

4. Drinking without worrying that I'll have to wake up when she cries.

5. Smoking (gasp) a cigarette without guilt.

6. Taking long showers.

7. Shaving my legs.

8. Sleeping in a king sized bed all by myself.

9. Taking time in the morning to sit, watch tv, and drink coffee, instead of dashing like a madwoman all over my house to feed the baby, change her diaper, carry all of our shit out to the car and then run like hell to get her to my mom's house so I can be at work early to do overtime.

10. I'm still going to miss her no matter how I look at it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Making me sad

That this is really happening.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061009/ap_en_ot/cbgb_s_shutdown_5

Although CBGBs has long passed it's heyday, it's still a mecca. I'm glad to say that I've been there, at least once.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Busy Bee

If you haven't noticed, my new job is keeping me extremely busy. And not only are my weeks booked, so are my weekends. I'm working an average of 47 hours a week (with over time, thank goodness), and I have weddings, christenings (my own baby, thanks to pressure from my family), listening to Ryan's band practice, watching the Steelers lose, and video shoots for work coming up. I'm also heading to Washington DC next week, which I'm sort of excited about, but nervous at the same time. I've never been much of a traveler, especially by myself with people I don't really know yet, and add the fact that I have to be away from my baby for 2 nights on top of that and my stomach starts doing flip flops. I knew travel would be part of the job, I just didn't realize it would start happening so soon. But it will be good. I think.

Speaking of my baby...




I'm also planning her birthday party. Can you believe THAT? If you're in the Western PA area the weekend of the 18th, come on down. Gifts are not necessary. I'm sure she'll get tons of pointless doodads that day. Like this.

Also, if you're in the Pittsburgh area on October 28th, you should come to the Market Street Ale house and hear the Shitfits, which is Ryan's Misfits cover band. Their K-Rock ad starts playing tomorrow, and I can't wait to hear it. Yep, they're going to say "Shitfits..." but of course bleep out the "shit."

It's amazing what amuses me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lyric's first ALF

Saturday we spent the day in Clarion for the Autumn Leaf Festival. I've posted in the past previous years about ALF, about how it was a time of drunken debauchery and fuzzy memories... until last year, when I was so pregnant my legs could barely carry me. This year was also a little different, because usually ALF is a reunion of sorts for all of my Clarion friends that I went to school with. This year nobody was very interested in ALF, or had other engagements, but I've never been one for breaking tradition, so in spite of being the only losers that were going to be there out of all of my friends, Ryan and I went. Not to mention the fact that since last ALF I had a romanticized image in my head of pushing my baby stroller through the crowded streets.

Thankfully, our friends Janae and Chris showed up and spent the weekend with us, which made me feel a little less loserish, and made me have a good time. For me, there's nothing like autumn, it's my favorite time of year, and the weekend was the most perfect, beautiful ALF weekend that I can remember. I think the last time the weather was that perfect was in 2001. Last year was cold and wet, and the year before that was really cold. This year I was sweating under the warm indian summer sun, and Lyric got her first blush of sunburn on her chubby little cheeks, which incidentally makes her look even cuter, if that's possible.

I was excited to take Lyric to her first parade, even if some of the first paradees were some arch nemesis.

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Using the kids, as always.



These people were following this guy.

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Number 88 himself was walking in front of this monstrosity of a bus, but I didn't take his picture, because I prefer to remember him like this:



What next? An action hero running for governor? Oh, wait...

After about 3 miles of Zem Zems, some friendlier faces.

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Then the only gubernatorial candidate that a sane person would vote for.

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We were standing next to a crowd of drunken rednecks with Harley Davidson t-shirts, NASCAR ball caps, and mullets, who screamed when Ed Rendell walked by, "LYNN SWANN!!! DON'T VOTE FOR ED, HE'S GONNA RAISE YOUR TAXES!"

They totally convinced me. Convinced me that the only reason they'd vote for Lynn Swann is because he's an ex-Steeler. Schyeah.

Anyhoo... Lyric enjoyed the parade.

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She even flirted a bit.

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She bounced to the marching bands, ate cookies and pizza, and finally passed out in her stroller. We walked back to the university campus because I wanted to buy her a shirt (Clarion IS the place that helped to create her... it's where Ryan and I "hooked up" if you know what I'm sayin'), and had a lovely and tiring day. We went back to camp, drank a couple pots of coffee, left the babe with grandma and pappy, and we hit the bar.

Now, back in the day, we would have driven back to Clarion and went to the Loomis or the University Inn, but instead we ventured to Cook Forest and hit the Trails End. We soon discovered that we were paying just as much for beer there as we would have been if we had hung with the rest of the alumni in Clarion, and made our way back by midnight. Janae and I were giddy... but she was giddier than I was. It was fun, but sure enough, Lyric woke up shortly after we got home, and I had to be in mommy mode. Buzz kill! But I was happy to snuggle up next to her and go to sleep.

Cause I'm old now. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bumper Sticker of the Day

"If it's got tits or tires... it's gonna cause you trouble."

Nice. And that's why you should be a gay pedestrian. Nice blue truck, dude.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

E-Lo’s Top Ten Latest Search Engine Queries for Squirrel Stories

10. Stories related to perogies
I love perogies! I’m a fan of perogies! You can’t be from a Western Pennsylvanian Polish family and NOT love perogies. But alas, I don’t have any stories related to perogies, unless you count the time that I decided to make my own perogies from scratch for the first time. I was in my kitchen for 4 hours. I haven’t done it since.

9. President Bush picture in horse poop
Who WOULDN’T like to see a picture of El Diablo in horse poop? I would. But no President Bush horse poop pictures here. And believe me, I tried to find one to post.

8. Vagina Stories.
Ah, yes, the ever present mention of the word "vagina" here on my blog. And “stories” for that matter. Although I maintain the title “Squirrel Stories,” there are fewer mention of squirrels than there are of vaginas. Does that mean I'm going to change the title of my blog? No. But completely understandable search results.

7. Amputee Vagina.
Now, this one, I’m not sure I even want to know about.

6. Mom Boobs.
Again, completely understandable, as I have mom boobs and have talked at great length about them.

5. CBGB’s eat feces suicide.
Um, huh? Yeah. Only one post about CBGB’s here. But no poop eating or killing of oneself involved. I know, it’s disappointing.

4. Nippular area .
Totally related to the whole “Mom Boob” subject. Yep.

3. Fucking squirrels.
I don’t know if this is all about squirrels having sexual relations, or people talking shit on squirrels. Either way, with a title like “Squirrel Stories” of course I’m going to have all kinds of hits from people searching about squirrels. Such as…

2. Lincoln squirrel stories.
Did Lincoln have an affinity for squirrels, or was he a mortal squirrel nemesis? We may never know. And I’ll never know why that querie hit my blog, or why someone was searching it.

1. And the totally unrelated “smash fluorescent.”
It’s typically not a good idea to smash fluorescent bulbs, that much I know. But that’s all I know, and that’s probably all the person that searched for that knows. Unless they shoved that fluorscent bulb into their vagina and a squirrel came out of their ass, which in turn made them lactate all over Lincoln's face, and now I've opened a new can of worms. BOOBS!

This has been another episode of E-Lo’s Top Ten Latest Search Engine Queries for Squirrel Stories. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Do Not Pass Go

Today I got finger printed. Not because I got thrown in the slammer, but for my job. In order to get finger prints taken, I had to go to a local police station.

I've never been in jail. I've never even been to a jail. So needless to say, I was pretty excited about going to a jail to get finger printed.

I got taken into this tiny room, a room that I could only figure was an interogation area, with a tiny table, a door, and no windows. I sat down while the officer took my paperwork to get stamped. And I waited. And waited. I peeked out the door at the holding cell. I wondered if there were any criminals being housed. Finally, another officer came around the corner, looked in at me, and told me he'd get started with my prints. He flirted with me shamelessly. It was kind of cute and endearing, even if he was totally old.

I don't get flirted with that much these days.

The new job is going just fine. So far, so good. I really feel like I'm finally in a good place. And that's a wonderful thing.

Monday, September 25, 2006

First Day

The first day on a new job is always so weird. I should know, I've had many many jobs. Most of which involved retail. Today went well. There's a lot to learn and a lot to get used to, but I shot my first training video and that was fun. All in all, the day went very quickly. The people are nice, and I even ran into someone I know from college. I actually think I know a lot of people that work there... my father in law works at a different branch of the same company. He can't wait to email me. He recently learned how to do it. Email, that is. So now when I see him he talks company talk with me. It's pretty funny.

But I'm totally exhausted. Getting up at 5 after not sleeping well is a killer. So hopefully more tomorrow. For now, rest. And go read Greg's latest post, but make sure you read his previous response to yours truly.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Jitters

I start my new job tomorrow. As usual, when starting a new job, I'm a little on the nervous side. When I'm nervous, I'm cranky, and when I'm cranky, little things set me off, like the fact that I lost part of my keys, my house key and my mail box key; also the fact that I have a huge pile of laundry sitting on the floor by the bathroom that I know won't get done all week, and the fact that I have clean laundry to put away, dishes to do, and mucho paperwork for my job to fill out.

Needless to say, I have a butterfly-ish feeling in my stomach about all of it.

Anxiety, you are not my friend.

Anyway, wish me luck. At least wish that I'll like this job, as opposed to the many other jobs I've had and didn't like.

Time for sleep.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Who’s degradation is this?

“This is your first moment of degradation on the job”… that’s what I always thought about taking drug tests for jobs in retail. They make you pee into a cup, prying into your private life, seeing what kind of chemicals you might have floating around in there. I always hated having to do that, not because I consistently use illegal substances, but because, as the title of this post claims, it feels degrading.

I never thought about it from the other side though. The people who collect your pee, pour it into those little flasks and apply those sticky little labels with your signature on them. That’s a fairly degrading job, now that I think about it. But you know what? Just like anything else, it’s a job. We’ve all been in crappy situations, whether it’s redneck wives constantly asking for copies of “3” for their redneck husbands, tripping and falling in front of customers at the electronics counter, or being told off by people who are no better than you because you don’t have a new release video game in stock and they drove all the way from where the fuck ever who the fuck cares. Yeah. I feel your pain.

So because I’m going to be working for a company who specializes in background investigations and pre-employment screenings, I had to do the pee in a cup thing yesterday. Have I mentioned that Monday will be my THIRD week in a row of not working? My husband is practically shitting his pants that I haven’t made any money in almost 3 weeks. But anyway, so I received a Fed Ex package from my soon-to-be company (and the Fed Ex man just unceremoniously threw the package on my porch and practically ran away like I might open the door and bite his face off like a rabid chipmunk) with the paperwork for my pre-employment drug screening. Yay! One step closer to a start date!

So I dropped Lyric off with my dad and went to pee in a cup. I signed in, and 20 seconds later the women working slid the window open and told me to come back. I handed her my Fed Ex’ed paperwork and she looked at it and heaved a big sigh. That’s when the attitude started.

“This company is such a pain in the ass.” Wow, saying “ass” in front of a client is totally professional, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and chuckle for you.

Dead serious stare. “I’m serious. They’re a pain in the ass. I don’t know, I guess I get sick of touching URINE all day long.” Whoa, lady. You’re talking to the wrong person on this one. Perhaps maybe you should consider another line of work? I mean, you do work for a company that has the word “LAB” in the title. Seems to me that collecting urine is a part of the job description.

“Ok, you can put your purse in that locked box… oh, well, it won’t fit!” Ok, here she’s making fun of me now, because I have a HUGE purse. And the box was tiny. I mean, it was the size of a man’s wallet. What the fuck?

This woman’s attitude was probably the most awful I’ve ever dealt with. And all she had to do was work for a total of 5 minutes. There was nobody else in the office, nobody waiting, and when I came in she was chatting on the phone with someone. She was sitting in front of a computer, probably with internet access, yet she was acting like someone had peed in her Wheaties.

So that’s what I did. I peed on the outside of the cup. BITCH. Who’s sick of touching urine now? I change shit filled diapers all day. Do I love doing that? NO. But do I tell my daughter, “You’re a pain in the ass because I’m sick of touching your shit?” NO. And you know what else? SHE doesn’t give me a paycheck. So SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DO YOUR JOB.

Whew.

I’m sick of rude people. I really really am.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Is it October 31st yet?

I know I'm totally jumping the gun here, but it's coming upon my favorite time of the year. Fall! Today was the perfect fall day, chilly, a little rainy, the perfect day for snuggling with my baby.

Fall makes me think of Halloween, and anyone who knows me knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Having a kid for Halloween is so awesome, because now I can dress her up and make her cute(r). I've been thinking about how I want to dress her. We thought of a bumble bee, because we call her "queen bee," but after looking at costumes at stores like Target, Walmart, and Kmart, I've decided I don't want her to have just any old dumb baby costume for Halloween.

Then I found this:


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It's perfect. Not perfect for my baby, but perfect for her perfectly geeky parents.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Yes, it's fall over here in Squirrel Town

The leaves are falling and some of you may have noticed the new look here. And if you haven't noticed, well, um, are you blind? cause it's pretty freakin obvious!

I was sick to death of looking at pastel squirrels, so I opted for giant orange flowers on a brown background. Because, you know, that's waaaay better. I owe the majority of this design to Jason Gaylor, because he creates the best photoshop brushes EVER. I wish I could make stuff like that. If you are a regular photoshop user like I am, I highly recommend checking him out. My favorite ex-Mormon mom posted about his brushes a while back, and I was smart enough to look, and that's how it all started.

Ok, now that I'm done gushing about that, I will remind you to go over to Greg's, and check things out there. You won't regret it. In fact, you might sort of feel like, "oh, maybe I'm regretting this" but then you'll be like, "wait... hold the phone... this is cool." So again, go there. I'll say it every single day until you do, goddamnit. Because that's the kind of annoying person I am.

Speaking of annoying, did you know that today is national Talk like a Pirate Day? Avast, ye you soil-licking varmints. Savvy?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You too can bomb the world and advertise for free at Squirrel Stories

Turns out, my friend Greg finally started a blog. About time too, since he's a fantastically funny writer, and an all around good guy that I like to drink beer with. His blog is called "bomb the world," and it's not so much about bombing the world as it is bombarding him with emails. All you do is email him, anything - a word, a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, a rant, a question, a quote. Then he'll work his magic and write a response inspired by your words.

So check him out (but not in a dirty way, cause I know his girlfriend and she WILL kick your ass... ok, no she won't, but let's pretend she will cause it's more fun that way), and participate by emailing him at bombtheworld@gmail.com.

DO IT!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lightweight Mama

I look forward to Fridays these days, because typically Fridays are the days that I allow myself to drink a few beers and let my stringent, anxiety-ridden motherhood persona somewhat drift away for a bit. Sometimes life gets a little overwhelming for me, and I know what it feels like to be a single mom, because with Ryan working 70+ hours a week, I'm left to do it all. Thank goodness my mom and dad will take Lyric at the drop of a hat. I don't like to keep score, but sometimes I count the days that Ryan goes without changing a diaper.

Listen to me. I've been home with my baby for a week and I'm already on the edge of the cliff. Pathetic!

Some people think that babies get easier the older they get, but I'm here to tell you, that's simply not true. Now that Lyric is mobile, she gets into everything. She hates having her diaper changed, and since she's developed a case of baboon ass (read: diaper rash) it's even harder, because there are multiple steps involved in the diaper changing process. If I'm lucky enough to wipe the poop off her butt and get the diaper cream on, she's taking off running, smearing the Triple Paste all over my area rug. The same rug that she's pooped on several times.

I bet all my friends can't wait to come over and walk on that rug in their bare feet.

Last Saturday my cousin and her daughter offered their babysitting services. They came to our house and stayed with Lyric while Ryan and I went out. We went out to eat, then decided to stop at this party that we were invited to. Unfortunately, I didn't know when to stop with the beer. I wasn't wasted by any means, I think I may have had 4 beers, and mentally I felt pretty clear, but I was glad not to be driving. We got home around midnight after having a pretty good time. Ok, we had a great time. I don't get to go out often enough, so when I do, it's all new and shiny and exciting. Luckily, Lyric had been sleeping for a few hours when we got home, so I meandered up to bed and when I put my head on the pillow, my head spun. I calculated the amount of beer that I had and it just didn't add up. 4 beers is making my head spin?

I used to be able to drink a lot more than that.

Lucky for me, Lyric didn't make a peep until about 8:30, and then she slept with us until about 9:30. She's very accommodating to her drunk mother.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stranded

Because the rain has been non-stop-ish over the past couple days, coupled with the fact that we park our cars in the yard, which is the “driveway” (that my husband has to put in), Ryan had to take my van to work today, because the car is stuck in a swampy mess. So I’m stranded here, in my house, with nothing to do but blog and clean. Obviously I’m putting the cleaning off. But I predict boredom. So here’s what I’m going to do:

Post this.

Clean the kitchen.

Take pictures of my daughter when she wakes up because I’ve seriously been slacking on posting new pictures.

Then I’ll come back. By that point you’ll have told me a story that will entertain me. Right? RIGHT????

Because I can’t watch another day of Meredith Vieira’s awkwardness like I did yesterday. Granted, she’s an improvement to Couric, but could she be any dorkier?

Ok, now give me a piece of your mind.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When Anxiety Attacks *UPDATED*

Third interview complete.

Trouble breathing.

Possible heart failure.

Money spent on a new suit: $135.00.

Time spent wearing new suit: 1.5 hours.

Knowledge that I have the job: none.

Confidence: 50/50.


And so it goes. Done with the interviewing process. My confidence is a bit shaken, as you can see. I don’t feel that the interview went as well as I pictured it in my head. I stammered over some things, I froze up once, and I was generally nervous. More nervous than usual. But I asked good questions that got conversation rolling.

I’m starting to think that they’re playing with me, like a cat with a semi-dead mouse.

I AM THE SEMI-DEAD MOUSE RIGHT NOW. At least that’s what I feel like.

Did I mention that I’m unemployed? That I quit my job? That I’m UNEMPLOYED?

Shit.


Ok, now everyone give props to Greg, who ran his first marathon on Sunday. A whopping 26 miles and 385 yards. He finished in 3 hrs 47 min 2 sec. I would have been dead after the first mile.

Especially with these saggy mom boobs, which my mother pointed out to me yesterday. So we’re shopping for a suit, cause I wanted to dress to impress, and she says, “Do you have a good bra?”

Now by good, I’m wondering what “good” in terms of bras really are. I used to have quite a collection of bras, all with a bit of padding and some underwire. They were considerably smaller than the bras that I wear these days, which are neither pretty, nor lacy, nor padded (unless you count my Johnsons nursing pads) nor fun, nor underwire. But they’re easily accessible, so I can pull my boob out at the drop of a dime, and let my baby gnash her 7 teeth into my nipples, which she does frequently.

Question: Do all nursing moms have nipples that are quite as calloused as mine?

Anyway, after giving her a puzzled look, she said, “uh, they’re pretty saggy looking.” My mom doesn’t beat around the bush. She’s always truthful with me, and sometimes I take it to heart and sometimes I don’t, but yesterday I knew that what she was saying was true, and that I’ve been in denial for quite some time about my once perky breasts that no child had ever clawed or chewed upon before last November.

Most of my nursing bras are as old as Lyric, some are even older, and old bras tend to lose their staying power after some wear and tear have been put to them. Most of mine are definitely ready for the garbage, but something makes me keep wearing them. Nostagia maybe? Convenience? Poverty? Who knows?

So I gave in and let my mother buy a new bra for me, since it was she who pointed out that the girls have gone south for the winter. Today, as I sit and type this, I’m wearing a padded underwire bra that is considerably bigger than the size I wore pre-child, and I feel like the mom boulders are practically brushing my chin.

Sexy!

Now if that didn’t score me points during my interview, I don’t know what would.

Keep your fingers crossed that I hear something, anything, soon.



**********************
I GOT IT. Damn right.

Enjoy the silence...

It's getting a little dusty around here, huh? Sorry about that. Busy!

My 3rd interview is today. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll update later. Then I'll tell you about how my mom told me I'd better buy a good bra because of my saggy mom boobs.

AWESOME!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Night

First things first, Suri is a damn cute baby. Too cute, even. I’d like to see pictures of her crawling on the floor eating dirt like my kid does, then I’ll be satisfied.

Last night was my first night without Lyric. She stayed at my mom’s house because Ryan and I went down to Pittsburgh for the Black Label Society CD listening party. That was fun. There’s nothing quite like a bunch of metalheads in one small, concentrated area. There’s sure to be exposed boobs along the way, and there certainly was. The biggest ones I’ve ever seen, live and in person, and I knew the person attached to them, but that’s a story for later.

Anyway, I grudgingly gave up my child for a night out at the Hardrock CafĂ©, and it was kind of cool. We got to meet Nick Cantanese, who I made sign an autograph for Lyric (hey, she’s a fan… she was at Ozfest, remember?). He was nice, although I think he mistakenly thought he was signing an autograph for an unborn child, as he rubbed my belly afterward. I took no offense, since I do have a poochy belly leftover from the stint that Lyric spent living in there, and told Ryan that Nick had anointed my womb, and our next child is destined to be a guitar player, perhaps the “evil triplet” (you have to read the wiki on Nick to understand that reference).

Anyhoo, as he was doing a Q&A, a girl named Becca told him that she’d flash her huge size F tits for a set of patches, which is something you can’t just get from BLS, you have to be “cool” to get them. It’s like a gay gang thing. Whateva. So she repeatedly flashed her enormous boobs like, 5 times. I watched her thinking, “boy that face is familiar.” Yeah, her face. I noticed it, believe it or not. Later on, I was walking past the bar and she grabbed me and said, “Hey E-Lo!” We did a sort of, “don’t I know you” type of questioning, and I discovered that when I was a grad student, I worked in one of her classes, and I taught her how to do digital video editing. She told me that she had gone on to work for CBS and Fox, but had to quit because she couldn’t deal with looking at raw news footage all day. I’d be all over that shit, but whateva! Anyway, NOW she and her fiancĂ© make adult videos for people.

Christ.

I was telling Ryan that she worked for CBS and Fox and he said, “you should be proud!”
“Why?”
“Cause you taught her.”
“Oh. Well, she doesn’t do that anymore.”
“So? It’s still cool.””What’s even cooler is now she makes pornos.”
“Sweet!”

I taught her the EDITING part.

Enormous boobs.

Her boyfriend does “stripper karaoke” too. That’s right. Stripper karaoke. Only the best KIND of karaoke!


It was interesting.


So my job interview was this morning and it went famously. I’m meeting with the vice president of business development next week, so I’m moving right along. Thanks for all the prayers, thoughts, and support. I think I have this in the bag.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jarred out a reverie…

I have a customized Yahoo radio station that I listen to at work, and subsequently, I share it with my coworkers, because they sit in the same room as I do. I have the explicit lyrics option on (as in, don’t play music with explicit lyrics). I personally don’t mind explicit lyrics, in fact most of the music I listen to has some naughty words in it. I turned it on the plain fact that I work in a call center and I’m mostly on the phone with customers all day.

A song just came on that I was surprised to hear, because I immediately recognized it as from Social Distortion’s Live at the Roxy album, which is one of my favorite live albums. I’m not usually a fan of live albums, but that’s one I like. I can recite Mike Ness’s discourse with the audience from that album from heart. And I’ve heard some people (women) describe Mike Ness’s voice as “an orgasm for the ears.” So when I heard him start talking, I was immediately pulled into a type of trance like state, a sort of auditory orgasmic euphoria, because the aforementioned description does accurately describe what his voice does to me. Plus I’m fucking hard up, so you could probably touch my big toe and I’d quiver.

Needless to say, I was pulled back to reality when I heard him say, “This is “Don’t Bring Me Down, MUTHAFUCKAS!”

So much for that explicit lyric option.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Updates

My second interview is next Wednesday. Woot!

Not counting my chickens, but I previously put my 2 weeks in at work last Friday. My boss claims he's not letting me quit. The words, "what, are you going to chain me down to my chair so you can continue to torture me" ALMOST came out of my mouth.

I did put my 2 weeks in because of the other job(s) I was hired for. I finish my last week of instructor training tomorrow, and my other job (if I don't get the one I had an interview for) starts the week of the 11th.

Either way I'll get dental. That makes me happy.

It's the little things.

Speaking of dental, Lyric now has 7 teeth. With number 8 pushing through. Wasn't she just born?

Time to start planning the first birthday party. Who wants invited?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mmmm... yummy jobby goodness...

Wow.

I just got back from my interview, and I have to say, there have only been a couple of interviews I’ve been on in my life that I felt THIS confident about. The last time was for my current job. I didn’t necessarily know if I’d fit the job, but I was excited about the company. My supervisor talked it up and made it seem like this wonderful place to work, and while I had my doubts, I was still pretty excited. Alls well that ends well, and I got the job, obviously. And we all know how that turned out, a layoff later. The time before that I had an interview with a company in Butler doing graphics and video production, which is what I really love doing. I felt really great about the interview, and the one kid that worked there even went to school at Clarion, like me, and was a Communication major, like me! I thought I had it in the bag. Wrong. Big fat rejection, with no real explanation why.

THIS interview was more like that one, where I interviewed with the whole team, and they were great. The genuinely all seemed like they loved their jobs, and told me how much fun they had working there, etc. It was awesome. I felt so comfortable, and now I know that if I don’t get it I’ll be crushed, much like I was with the video production job. I still hate those bastards. Totally toyed with my emotions…

Anyhoo, they all seemed pretty impressed with me and all my skills, and I got to talk baby for a while with one of the girls that works there who has a little girl who is 2 weeks older than Lyric. I was there for an hour and a half. Longest interview EVA! But totally cool. It sounds like everything that I want to be doing. Even though it’s further away than my current job, but still, if it’s that cool, I don’t care.

If I get the job I’ll get to go to Boston for a trade show before the end of the year. A job where I get paid to travel! Amazing! Plus the hours seem totally flexible AND I can… Work. From. Home. Not all the time, of course, but if I need to!

Sigh…

According to the supervisor I’ll have a second interview next week, so keep your fingers crossed for me. This could be the job I’ve been waiting for.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

When Opportunity is knocking your door down

What is going ON with me lately? After years of nothing but rejection letters, I’ve had more calls in the past two months for jobs that I can barely even keep my head on straight. Although I did recently have a friend re-vamp my resume, so I think that it helped.

Today on my way home, I was thinking about my job sitch. The idea of working in retail again, although for fairly good money, was sort of upsetting to me. I know that it will be better for me mentally than where I am right now, because I know that I won’t be micromanaged to death like I am currently, but the idea of working evenings and weekends of course is very unappealing. I made a little mental wish that I’d get a call for a job I applied for a few weeks ago, something that sounded fairly promising that is in my field with a reputable company that has great benefits.

Wouldn’t you just know it, when I got home, there was a message on my answering machine from that place. Sweet!

I’ll have an interview Monday or Tuesday, so puh-LEASE send good job getting vibes my way! Good, lots of money-type job vibes.

Yowza. I’m feeling pretty hot lately. People want me. They really do.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Panic! At the minivan

Saturday started off like any normal, less than exciting day. Actually, it was kind of exciting, because Lyric and I walked up the street to watch the little football players pep rally, and that involved E-Lo getting some much needed social interaction with other moms, which was cool.

Then we took a nap and decided to go out and about. We went shopping for a while, and since it was Saturday evening, I decided to get a Sunday Butler Eagle. I’m a stickler for getting the Butler Eagle every weekend. In my opinion, Sunday’s Eagle is the only one worth getting. I must get it every. Single. Weekend. So I stopped at one of those paper dispenser things outside of one of the stores I was at, and to my dismay, it only took quarters. The Sunday Eagle is 75 cents, and I had 2 quarters along with 2 dimes and a nickel. So I weighed my options. I could stop at Sheetz, leaving my baby in the car while I ran in for a paper, or I could pull over at another paper dispenser, only leaving my baby for a second. The latter sounded best, mommy-wise, so I pulled over in front of Blockbusters and Aldi and hopped out to grab the paper. It took me a couple tries as always to wrestle the paper out of the thing, but I managed it and walked back around to the drivers side and pulled on the door handle and almost fell on my ass when it wouldn’t budge. The doors! Had locked! But… baby… inside… car… running… panic… what… help… can’t… think…

Of course my brain stopped functioning correctly for at least a full minute as I ran around in circles like a headless chicken. I ran into Aldi, which was swarmed with people, and after about 5 seconds I ran back out and peeked in the back window of my illegally parked van at my daughter, who was chillin in her car seat in the AC listening to Fleetwood Mac, like a good girl. My brain, which still was not quite functioning, told me to find something to break the windows. Then my logic and reasoning skills kicked in and said, “E-Lo, there’s a better way. Take it down a notch.” After a few deep breaths, I called Ryan. Mistake! He was on his way home from work, about 20 miles away in a company vehicle. He was just as panicked as I was. I decided to call the police. I called information to have them connect me, and they connected me with Butler City. I needed Butler Township. They told me to call 911.

“What’s your emergency?”
“Um… it’s not really an emergency… I locked my keys in my van-“
“Mam, you’ll have to call a tow truck-“
“Well, my baby is locked inside.”
“Oh. Well, we’ll call a tow truck for you. In the meantime we’ll send an officer.”

So a policeman came, about 5 minutes after my call. I was practically peeing my pants. I was parked in front of 2 busy stores, there were pedestrians everywhere, and I was totally embarrassed. So when the patrol car rolled up, I was almost in tears, especially since Lyric had caught on that something was weird, since her mom was standing outside the minivan staring in at her instead of letting her out! Which is where she always wants to be!
The policeman asked me how I was doing. Then he commented that I was probably a nervous wreck. I agreed. He told me a tow truck was on the way and that their insurance doesn’t let them open cars anymore, which I knew, but I didn’t care because I just wanted my baby out of the van and screw their damn insurance! Ahem. Anyway, after what seemed like an eternity of silence (probably about 30 seconds had elapsed) my cell phone rang. It was Ryan. He was 5 minutes away. Huh? How did he go from 20 miles to 5 minutes in a matter of 10 minutes? So I figured I’d wait and see who got there first, Ryan’s dump truck or the policeman’s tow truck. Sure enough the dump truck came racing into the parking lot 1.2 minutes later.

That dump truck didn’t know it could go that fast.

Needless to say, Ryan saved the day. Or maybe it was Jimmy, his co-worker, who flew through Southern Butler County to save my baby. At any rate, I was relieved, although seriously humiliated and kicking myself for just not saying screw the paper, I’m going home.

I’m sure it’s only the first of many mommy mishaps.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The post where I think things through

Do you ever have to take a step back sometimes in your life and wonder, "how the fuck did I get here?"

I do that all the time. When Ryan and I first started dating I used to think to myself, "oh my god, I'm having sex with HIM?" Not because it was a bad thing, but because I've known him, like, forever.

I often say to myself that it's a great thing I have such a good sense of humor, because if I didn't, I'd be living in a padded room somewhere.

I had my job basically pulled out from under me. Yesterday I went to meet with the guy, who told me on the phone on Thursday that we would go to lunch. I thought, wow, that's cool, my boss is taking me to lunch. Nice! Instead when I got there he took me to his office, sat me down and basically told me how they had hired someone else part time, he was being sued, and he had lost a 200K a year client all because his nephew, who is his graphic designer, sucks. He flat out said, "I can't fire my nephew." Um, excuse me, but if your nephew just caused you to lose THAT much money, it would be in your best interest to say, "kid, I love you, but you're killing me. Later!" At that moment I looked at him and thought, "you're an idiot." Then I thought, "uh oh, I already think my boss is an idiot and I don't even work for him yet... eject, eject!!!"

Among other things, I don't think it's going to work out with him. He seems fairly unstable.

Sadly enough, I've had enough of small businesses. They don't get you anywhere except for stuck.

Sooooo... sick as it is, I'm back to square one. The same square that this circle was stuck in for years. Retail. I of course got offered a job by the boobie looker man. Why wouldn't I? I've worked in retail for years and I have great boobs. There are some things that I'm just plain great at. And I've got to escape that horrible office that I'm in. As much as I love the women I work with, the fact is we're stuck working for a very sexist boss, who is just plain mean (if by mean you mean psycho), and for the year and a half that I've been there, he's changed my job 4 times, laid me off, took away my 401k and benefits, and I haven't had a raise.

The new place is offering me very comparable pay, which in 60 days will increase to more than what I make now, great benefits, and although I'll have to work evenings and weekends, I'm really thinking about it.

At the same time I'm thinking, I'm almost 30. I have a child. I have a masters degree. Shouldn't I be past this point in my life? Why why why?

I just don't know. I have to do something though. In the mean time my eyes are wide open.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Diagnosis


pretty puffs2
Originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

For the past few months I've really not felt like me. I blamed it on motherhood, learning this new gig as the be all end all to a pretty damn cute little girl. But there was something nagging at me that didn't feel right. My relationship with Ryan had changed, and I felt sad more often.

I started thinking that maybe PPD was rearing it's ugly head at me, but then I'd have a good day and things would feel normal. But in the past couple of weeks, I've really noticed that I'm not ME. The other day I actually thought to myself, "what the hell am I so sad about? I have SO MUCH to be happy about." I just got a new house, and while I love it, I have anxiety about it. I just got a new job, and while it's great and all, instead of being excited all I can feel is worried that it's going to suck as much as my current one. Not to mention that little beauty of mine.

Last night I took one of those depression screeners and found out that I have moderate depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Can someone pass the Lexapro please?

My major problem right now is that I don't have health insurance. And I'm still breastfeeding (those teeth remind me every. single. time.). I'm not sure what steps to take to help myself get out of this funk that I'm in.

Today when I got to my mom's house after work she and my dad were super nice to me. I told her last night on the phone what I found out, and she's dealt with the same thing. So she had a beer waiting and cheeseburgers. What can I say, the woman knows how to cheer me up.

So right now I'm in a holding pattern. Which is the direction my life has been going for the past year or so. It's almost a comfy place, but kind of like when you sleep in too late, you still want to get out of bed and do something productive.

I'm ready for that.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mojo Rising

I got a new job. A pretty decent one. It's not exactly what I want, but it's a step in the right direction. Basically I'll be doing more creative work and less technical work. I hate technical. I also hate the hostile work environment I've been stuck in for the past month. So I'm looking forward to getting the eff out.

I also started training this week to be an online instructor with a fairly reputable institution. That's exciting in and of itself. So it's good really, that I'm getting more streamlined in my career.

But I'm exhausted this week. It's been all work, work, work, and little of anything else. My teeth are killing me and I broke my toe last night. Plus the stress and anxiety of having to deal with my asshole boss doesn't help.

I'm looking forward to quitting.

Good things are happening around these parts! I'm hoping to keep the ball rolling.

Monday, August 07, 2006

More Boob Talk

Probably one of the most disheartening things that can happen to a woman on a job interview is being interviewed by a man who can't make eye contact with her, unless if by eye contact you actually mean eye to boob contact. It happened to me on Friday. The man interviewing me could not stop staring at my breasts. At first I thought I was imagining things, but then I started mentally willing his eyes to meet mine. My eyes starting to bore a hole into his skull, challenging his droopy old eyes to meet mine. "You bastard," I thought. "You dirty old fuck."

This was the HR manager for a giant hardware corporation. This is the man who is in charge of recruiting people to join the company that he represents. And he couldn't take his eyes off my tits. NICE.

The good thing is, the interviews are rolling in. And I'm starting to get pretty good at them. Every interview I have, good or bad, makes me more confident in myself and the skills I have. And the fact that I have nice boobs helps, right?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tastes like chicken... well, more like cantaloupe juice...

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. I'm not sure why breastfeeding needs a week, cause it's like every day at my house. I'm a boob feeding advocate, so I thought I'd mention it. But I won't be preachy about it. If you appreciate breast feeding, or are just a perv who likes to look at pictures of women feeding their babies from their breasts, you should check out The Celebrity Baby Blog Breastfeeding Gallery. I've often wanted to take a picture of Lyric nursing, because that's usually when she makes the cutest faces.

Here's to you lactaters!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Whiny E-Lo Rant

That's what I've felt like lately. But I read something today that I totally agreed with:

"If you don't love what you do and look forward to doing it, that means you are condemning yourself to a life of discontent."

To me, a job is something you do because you have to do it. Otherwise it wouldn't be called a job. If you love doing it, well then, that's just a bonus, because not many people can honestly say they love their jobs. I know one person who loves his job (Greg) and I would love to be able to say that. But I've never been able to say that. I can look back on some jobs that I've had in the past and say that they were definitely not as bad as the job I have now. I can look back a year ago at my job and say it wasn't as bad then as it is now.

But the only person who can do something about it is me. Same with Ryan and his discontent with his job. He hates his job more than I hate mine. Go figure, since it's been 100 degrees out the past three days and he works with hot asphalt all day.

I don't like spending the day doing something I don't like, being abused and belittled watching my co-workers be abused and belittled by our boss, and not having any time to spend on me time, or with my baby, and having to do everything around the house because by the time my husband gets home he's exhausted and I'm the only one who gets anything done, which is amazing in itself because all day long I never stop moving.

I feel like I've aged 20 years in the past 2 weeks. I have no motivation right now. Just writing this is taxing my brain.

I just found this article about how to cope with your job if you hate it. There is no mention of excessive drinking. That's how I coped with working at Target! It worked! It really did!

I also found an article about workplace bullying, which can be defined as repeated "verbal abuse, behavior that's threatening, intimidating or humiliating, or work interference." And that's what I deal with. I can tell people over and over again what it's like, but nobody would really believe that it's as bad as I say.

Oh, but it is. Worse than the last time I went back to work and was a glorified mail clerk. Worse than the time before that when I had to repeatedly lift 27 inch televisions into the trunks of rude peoples' cars. Worse than working at Walmart at the service desk and dealing with people trying to return a broken toaster that they've had for five years, complete with crumbs and all.

The question is, how do I get out of it? What do I want to do with my life? And how do I get there? I'm almost 30 and I have no retirement fund started. I don't have health insurance. My tooth has a giant crater in it. My van needs and oil change. My hair needs cut and I'm in desperate need of a pedicure.

A massage would be nice too.

Something good is bound to happen sooner or later.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Misery loves company

Which is why I'm glad I had a weekend full of house guests. And I'm glad I have a house to have guests in. But do you know what I hate?

Guess. Just guess. C'mon, deep down, you know it.








My job.











Seriously. Looking back, I was happier at Target. I was. Really.

Ok, I'm starting to think that nothing that I do for money will ever make me happy. But for real, my job SUCKS SWEATY MONKEY BALLS. I used to have an office there. Now I sit in a big room with everyone else. In cubicles? No, we don't even have the courtesy of cubicles. It's all out in the open. It's like I work in a call center.

I used to have an office. Have I mentioned that?

Sigh. The job hunt is back on, full force. Not that it ever really stopped.

I'm so exhausted. I've even been working overtime. In E-Lo land, there IS no overtime. Overtime is a myth. Only Ryan works overtime.

My kid has four teeth now. FOUR. Could be part of why I'm tired.

Must go collapse...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Got a tie dyed Rancid shirt

Several weeks ago, I purchased my very first pair of Birkenstocks. What an exciting time for me when it comes to acquisition. My first house, my first baby, my first Birkenstocks… soon I’ll get a puppy and I can die happy.

At any rate, the Birkenstocks, while not the most attractive of sandals, are possibly the best shoes I’ve ever purchased. The only time they leave my feet is when I go to bed at night, and even though I have much prettier sandals for work, I still wear them to the office. Work appropriate? Who cares? They’re so comfy! They’re almost as good as wearing no shoes at all!

I hate shoes. No, let me rephrase that. I LOVE shoes. I hate wearing them. I love buying them. I hate having to walk around in them. I live for the summer, when my feet can breathe, free of socks and other binding materials.

If you would have told me ten years ago, when I was wearing dog chains around my neck and black eyeliner for lipstick, that I’d be wearing Birkenstocks, you know, when I was busy drinking 40s and chain smoking and going to punk rock shows and experimenting with various mind altering drugs, I would have told you that you were crazy.

Now I'm a mom, a crunchy, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, pull my hair in a ponytail and go type of mom. I never thought I'd go this route, but I did, and I'm liking it. Especially since the footwear is so comfy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time Suckage

This week has involved me returning to work full time. This has been challenging, because I haven't had my daily fix of internet usage, because this week I'm covering for other people, so I've been very busy. I also don't have internet at my house yet, nor can I walk into my office without clearing a path first.

It's all good though because I already have overtime built up this week, my kid is good for my mom and dad, and working means money, which I'm desperately in need of.

The house is shaping up as well. It's going to take some time, obviously, but this weekend the bathroom renovation officially begins.

I'm excited.

Hi.

That's all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Home is where the arguments begin

Oh… right. I have a blog here.

Sorry. I’m out when it comes to high speed internet at the moment. I get the shakes until I either get to my mom’s house and can check my email, or until I get to work and can illegally look at websites.

So. We’re all moved in. I’m happy, yeah, but overwhelmed at the same time. There’s just so much stuff! Yesterday I must have walked around in circles for two hours while I tried to figure out what to do first. I knew I had precious little time, because I had put Lyric down for a nap, in her crib! and time was fleeting. So I went downstairs and looked at my potential office, which was stacked with boxes. Hmm. I looked in the guest room, which looks more like a junk room. Hmm. I decided to paint my toenails. Ok. Now I really needed to get something done. Back to the office. I attempted to move our falling apart bookshelf, then decided it would be better suited for the trash. But then where will I put my books? That’s more boxes that I can’t unpack! Crap. So I decided I better wash my face. Back to the guest room. First I had to clear a path to get in there. Once I did that my tummy started growling. I needed to eat. Into the kitchen, the one room that is completely organized, to make lunch. Just as I was sitting down to eat, I heard Lyric waking up.

I didn’t get anything done. I suck.

We stayed for the first time on Tuesday, and let me tell you, when the three of us piled in our queen sized bed to go to sleep, Lyric was entirely too wound up. She was excited and kept looking around. Then she realized Ryan was there with us, which is unusual. Naturally she wanted to play, and we wanted to sleep. It took forever, but I finally got her to settle down and go to sleep. Since then every night has gotten a little easier. Soon I hope she’ll be sleeping all night in her crib, but that’s still a strange place to her.

Oh, and the arguments. If Ryan and I make it through redecorating our house without either killing each other or getting a divorce, it will be a miracle. We both have vastly different ideas of what we want. I’m not happy with how certain things in the house are, mainly the bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room. Every single room in the house needs painted. The bathroom is my main area of contention. It’s gross and I hate it. We’re going to completely tear it apart, which will be interesting, since it’s the only working bathroom in the house. There’s one downstairs, but it’s non-working. The kitchen floor is another sore spot for us. It has this disgusting carpeting on it. I scrubbed it, but to no avail. I want to tear it out, like NOW. I’m not allowed. You know what’s under it? More carpeting. But it’s a vast improvement to the shitty, cheap, torn up, stained carpet on top. Ryan disagrees. So until we can get money to put laminate flooring down, I have to live with it. He actually said to me yesterday, “I’ll never understand your vanity.” Vanity schmanity. If I wanted to live in a shithole, I would have stayed at his mom’s house. Besides, I gave him the entire basement to do whatever he wants to! A bar, a practice area, and the only thing I get to do down there is laundry. Shyeah.

So next week it’s back to work, full time at my old job, suck, but that means getting cash to do improvements. And the weekend warrior portion of my life begins again.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Meme Continued

20 Things I Looooove

1. My new house. I don’t officially live there yet, but it’s cool to know that I’m a homeowner. The possibilities are endless!

2. My friends, who moved me in. I didn’t have to lift a finger. A Lyric, yes, but not a finger.

3. My van. Last summer when we were car shopping, I told Ryan to shoot me if I ever bought a minivan. He somehow worked his magical brainwashing powers on me, and now I own one. Let me tell you. Best. Car. EVER. So practical!

4. Dogs. I love dogs. I can’t wait to get one, because now I own a house!

5. The fact that the place where I used to live that someone tried to screw me over for is now nothing but a hole in the ground with a cement slab beside it. Long story.

6. My family. Duh! I know that goes without saying, but family has been super important to me lately. More important than where I live. Thankfully I had Ryan to worry about that. I’ve spent every day over at my mom’s house, with my brother and my parents and my baby and my sister and nieces and nephews, and this has probably been one of the best weeks all summer.

7. Beer.

8. The Sounds. I love that band! I just bought their latest CD and I’m wondering why I didn’t get it sooner. What’s wrong with me? This is my kind of music. It reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on. But it’s so good.

9. Ice cream. We have a long, turbulent history, but I have to say, I love it. And so does the jelly roll across my tummy.

10. My houseplants. Betcha didn’t know I have quite the green thumb. I have more plants than any normal person should. In fact, the more the better. It’s like an obsession at this point.

11. The fact that I got carded on Saturday, not only when I bought my husband a 12 pack of beer (which he drank without me), but also when I bought him a pack of cigarettes (which he thankfully smoked without me). So not only do I look like I could be under 21, I look like I could be under 18! A 29 year old mother! Ha! That made my day.

12. No more milkglass. Ever. Well, until I visit the in-laws.

13. Getting a massage, or my hair cut, or a pedicure. Doing something for me.

14. Pilates. It helped me lose a lot of baby weight. And I have killer abs… underneath the jelly roll.

15. Taking pictures. It used to be of interesting subject matter, like this:

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or this

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and this

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but now it’s more this:

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But that’s pretty cute.

16. Going to eat Chinese food. It’s rare that I get to, because Ryan doesn’t like it, so me and my mom go together once in a blue moon. I’ve been dying for it for like 3 weeks now, and we’re going with my sister who is in town visiting on Wednesday. I can’t wait.

17. Blogging. Obviously! I’m amazed that anyone even reads my blog! That’s the coolest thing about blogging, I think. I often wonder if I’d still do it if I knew that nobody read it. Maybe.

18. Being alone in the car and turning the music up loud so I can sing and car dance.

19. Discovering myself as a mom more and more every day.

20. Being happy. With myself, with my life, with where I’m at, in spite of all the challenges I’ve faced lately. In fact, I welcome the challenges. They make me a stronger person.

I’m tagging Vince, Julie, and Inanna. Nyah nyah!!! 20 things you hate, 20 things you love.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Look what I bought yesterday

Sometimes you get new shoes, and sometimes you get one of these:

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Is it common for real estate agents to buy you pizza and beer when you close on a house? Cause ours did.

Every. Single. Life. Changing. Experience. of mine HAS to have alcohol involved! Except when I gave birth, but I had good drugs for that.

Anyway, the house is 54 years old, needs a lot of work, but it's home. At least until 2036.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Meme Time!!!

Meme Time!!!

FFF tagged me, so I must deliver. Besides, I love talking about myself.

20 Things I HATE. Or strongly dislike. Most mostly hate.

1. Drunk kids that run into people I love and mess them up physically. My brother is home now, but he has a long time until he’s healed completely. He can’t put any weight on his right side, and he can’t use crutches because his collarbone is broken.

2. The spam that I get every. single. day. that says "you've won the Zambia National Lottery! Please claim your prize!" Piss off.

3. When people call me when I’m watching my shows. This isn’t really problem right now, but when someone calls when I’m watching American Idol or Lost, I refuse to even answer the phone.

4. There’s this guy who still lives here in Butler who once spread a rumor that I was a slut, and that I used to come to his house and get all drunk and high and have sex with random people. The funny thing about that is, that I did indeed go to his house a few times with my boyfriend and smoke pot, and probably ended up making out with my boyfriend, but there were no other people involved. So he told this girl that I was a slut, and once when Ryan and I first got engaged we ran into this girl, who Ryan was friends with. She asked Ryan what was new with him, and he told her we were engaged, and she said, “to HER? Oh my GAWD, Ryan, what are you thinking, she’s such a slut!” Ryan politely told her to go fuck herself… so I hate that kid, AND…

5. I hate her. Because I’d never even met her, I had no idea who she was, and here she already had this preconceived notion that I was a bad person because of things that someone had lied about.

6. I hate the fact that I can hold a grudge for so long. I think it’s hereditary.

7. Zombie movies. And Ryan loves them.

8. Getting so drunk I throw up. I haven’t done that in a while. See, I tend to avoid things that I hate.

9. The feeling that I want to have a cigarette now when I’m drinking and around people who smoke. And that I’ve given in to that feeling a few times.

10. Oooh, I really really hate it when you give your camera to someone and ask them to take a picture of say, you and your family. So they take your camera and step back so far that when they take your picture, they’re like 20 feet away from you. So then you have a picture of you and your feet and the floor and the ceiling and the whole wall, along with various other strangers on the sidelines. I like close ups! CLOSE UPS!

11. I hate the fact that in our country, conservatives are so obsessed with what “family” is, that they only can accept marriage can be between a man and a woman. It’s all “family values” this and that, and if you ask me, family has gone to shit. People have to work ungodly hours and don’t get to spend enough time with their kids. Kids don’t have the guidance they need so they grow up and become assholes and expect everything to be given to them. Not to mention that I find it disturbing that in America, there are people without homes, food, or medical attention. It’s bullshit.

12. I hate people who abuse children and animals. People like that don’t deserve to breathe my air.

13. I hate my MIL’s house. In case you didn’t already know that. I’m glad that I’m almost done living here.

14. I hate that in the past 2 weeks I’ve gotten offers for jobs that pay nothing.

15. I hate that my baby has a snotty nose. Not because of the slime trails on my t-shirts, but because I feel like it’s my fault.

16. Shakira’s voice. Who the hell gave her a record contract? She sounds like Kermit the Frog on steroids.

17. When people tell me that kids are great until they start talking. Seriously, we actually ran into a guy at Eat n Park on the Fourth who told us “yeah, I liked them… then they started talking.” What an asshole.

18. Pat Robertson and the like. No need to explain.

19. I hate dealing with real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and people like that. I never want to do it again. They’re in the business of toying with emotions, and it’s ridiculous that they can make you do the things they do.

20. Spiders.


20 Things I Love will be next time. After some much needed updates.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Being a mom means letting go of being a germaphobe and instead focusing on, "is that dog bone a choking hazard?"

Now that Lyric can move herself from room to room without the aide of another poor human being whose back is breaking under the weight of my little bruiser girl, it's common for her to get a lot more dirty. When I say a lot, I mean a LOT. Especially since it's summer and on top of being a little mobile dust mop, she's sweaty and sticky. She slides herself across the floor on her belly and by noon her once white shirt is now a shade of gray. Or brown, depending where she was sliding. Yesterday she got these mysterious brown spots on the front of her, and I have no idea what they were, only that my dad and I tried washing them out, but they didn't completely come out, then my mom treated it and tried, but there were still a faint trace of them. Finally we just gave in to the fact that there was some sort of impenetrable stain on it, put the shirt back on the baby, and she proceeded to soak the collar of the shirt with apple juice.

Mobility also means you must have a spotless house. And in my house, that's nearly impossible, because number one, this is not my house, it's my MIL's, and she has had the same carpet in the kitchen for the last 30 years, number 2, I have a husband who plays in asphalt all day every day, so it's common to find little black rocks here and there. I can never have a nice carpet as long as he's around. Anyway, my child will find the teeniest pieces of dirt and play with them. If they're big enough, she'll put them in her mouth. The other day I found her chewing on a twig. Before that, it was a gum wrapper. Before that, it was a fuzz from the carpet. Last week at my mom's house I found her with Peanut's dentabone in her mouth.

She has great breath.

Last night she pulled herself up for the first time with both Ryan and I there to witness it. Ryan was lying on the bed and I was fussing around the bedroom getting ready for sleep, when suddenly this little head popped up from inside the co-sleeper. Before we knew it, she was standing there, perched precariously over the side, and Ryan's hand shot out to steady her before she either toppled over on to the floor or landed on her butt in the co-sleeper.

The co-sleeper is now obsolete.

Not to mention the fact that now I'm sick, thanks to the snot queen's love of smearing her snot all over me.

Kids.

*************************************************

As for the update on the job sitch, they took it quite well that I'm not going to work there. I think my friend was more pissed than they were, so she was kind of giving me a vibe that they weren't going to be cool with it, but they totally were. Now that I have that off my plate, my stress level has gone down considerably. I'm still waiting to hear when I'm going to start full time at my old job, but I'm in no hurry since I still have a month of unemployment left.

FFF, I promise I'll do the meme tomorrow! It requires a lot of thought, and my brain is on autopilot lately... now it's on cold meds.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hooray for Monday (note the sarcasm)

So far, it's 7 AM and here's where I stand:

My baby is sick. She had a terrible runny nose all day yesterday. You know, the kind of runny nose that grosses people out? Yeah, and she kept rubbing her face on me so my t-shirt had lovely baby booger trails all over it. But do I mind? Of course not, because she's cute.

I kept telling her, "this is what you get for swapping spit with your cousin." My niece and her son are in town visiting, and David is 3 weeks younger than Lyric. Friday we had them sitting by one another, and my daugther, who could care less about binkies and only uses the soothie kind to teethe on, reached over and pulled his binky out of his mouth and popped it in hers. My reaction was to call her a brat, but then I realized that this is my fault. It's my fault because when I'm strapping her in her carseat, I put her soothie in my mouth to make her laugh, then she reaches out and pulls it out of my mouth like she's saying, "Mother, you are so silly. That belongs to ME." then proceeds to put it in her mouth and chew on it.

My fault.

So needless to say, David had a touch of a cold and now Lyric does too, which makes me feel bad, simply because of the amount of snot on her face.

Yep. Also, no closing yet. This week sometime it will most likely happen. We are just waiting to hear whether or not our sewer passed inspection yet, because if it didn't, we don't want to be repsonsible for footing the bill. So the fact that it hasn't happened yet isn't a bad thing, because we could be in a situation like this. And we did have a huge sewer clog. Not sure if it was beach towel related though.

Oh, and my boss does want me to come back full time. Which is fine. I'm sticking it out, only because I make peanuts now as it is, and going to the other job would entail me making even less peanuts, and being that I have my OWN little peanut to worry about, I'll stay where I make more and have health insurance. So today I have to call this place and tell them I'm not going to work there. I think that I'll be burning some bridges by doing that. They seem like the kind of people who would hold a grudge.

But you know what? Here's the way I look at it. My friend got me the job, because she works there. They all know that I have a Masters and tons of experience in graphics, and yet they only offered me this tiny salary. The same exact amount that I was making when I first graduated with my bachelors. Then I went to a different job and was making MORE than I would if I would take this job. And that was SEVEN years ago. So the more I think about it, the more I'm like, "what the fuck?" I should be insulted that they only offered me that much. Plus, no benefits! And they asked me if I would be willing to stay there. Forever? For what? What are you offering me that would make me want to stay? Of course, when I accepted the job, I was only thinking that my unemployment would be running out soon. I wish I would have taken more time to think about it, and realize it didn't make sense. But I was/am under a lot of stress, so that could be the culprit.

But that's where I stand this morning. Not looking forward to the phone call that I have to make, but oh well. That's life.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Overheard at the hospital

Doctor: He'll probably go home in four to five days.

My mom: Oh, that's great!

Doctor: Soon this will be just a distant memory.

My mom: Yeah, he doesn't even remember the accident!

Doctor: Well, what I mean is, uh, you know, this is something he'll get over and he'll have lived through, you know. It didn't affect his memory.

My mom: OH. Ok, yeah. Yeah, definitely.


My mom's a dork.

Brother dear is doing good. Moved out of ICU last night, on to a regular room. Last night I was talking to a very nice woman in the waiting room, whose husband was having surgery on his heart, and I told her all the things that were broken on my brother. I said, "he's very lucky to be alive." And the woman said, "no, not lucky... he's very blessed."

She's right.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Curling up into the fetal position waiting for the next month to be over already...

Just when I thought things couldn't get any more stressful, they do.

My brother seems to be doing fine. Yesterday they thought he was losing a little blood, but when they did an angiogram, they didn't find anything out of the ordinary. However, he does have pneumonia.

I looked into daycare. It's an outrageous amount of money and I can't afford it. I'm considering not taking the job that I was offered, because it's a pretty significant paycut, and staying put for a while. So this morning I've been trying to get in touch with my boss about when and if I can come back full time. If I stay, I will continue to look for a job.

The other part of THAT is that I talked to my mortgage broker last night and she practically yelled at me for putting my 2 weeks in at my old job. She told me I had to undo it, otherwise the bank would need a month worth of paystubs from my NEW job that I haven't started yet. Had someone told me this I would not have done anything, job-wise.

So I think for sanity's sake, I'm going to stay where I am for the time being. I think. Still haven't talked to my boss, so wish me luck on that.

Also, our closing may not happen tomorrow. Our house failed it's sewage inspection a while back, and although there was a plumber there to fix the problem a few weeks ago, nobody has been out to re-inspect. So the bank may have to put money in escrow for us to fix any problem with it. We just found out about THIS yesterday too.

Hmm... what else?

Does it seem a little drastic that I'm ready to eat gallons of ice cream and run up some major credit card bills?