Friday, March 29, 2013

The Plight Of A Helicopter Mom

   Yesterday I took my daughter to the show, Shen Yun, which is a performance of classical Chinese dance. We have been to the show once before, and plan to go again, because we really enjoy the dances and the costumes are gorgeous. We go to see them at McCaw Hall, and we always get box seats, which are  up high. Heights are something that make me nervous, but they don't seem to bother my daughter at all.
   Since heights obviously don't bother her,  she is leaning over the rail of the box, which is three stories up, and I am grabbing hold of her and hissing, "Don't do that!" After about 50 times of this, both my mother and my daughter are sick of me and my mom is making cracks about how she's glad I didn't see what they were doing the previous weekend, when she took my daughter to a ballet performance without me.
   And I'm rolling my eyes and exclaiming, "Oh my God, don't tell me!" Because I just really don't want to know. You see, I have a very, very vivid imagination. Sometimes this is a true blessing, but when my daughter is leaning over a rickety-ass railing three stories up, this is nothing but a curse. Because I can see her, clearly, crumpled on the floor with her arms and legs twisted at unnatural angles and blood and brain leaking out of a cracked skull. This flashes into my mind every single time she leans over that damned railing. So I can't help grabbing hold of her, because I panic.
   We make it through the performance and intermission without me causing to much of a ruckus, mainly because my daughter is nicer than I am and stops messing with me and we are in the car going home, complaining about how we were too warm. Now, for whatever reason, McCaw Hall is really warm. This is a great venue, but they do like to be toasty. But my mom is exclaiming that she's too warm even though outside the temperature isn't even 60 degrees, and she mentions that she never acclimated to the south, when we lived in good old MS, because she was always roasting.
   I have to argue with this because in Mississippi in the summer you could literally fry and egg on a car hood. I know this for a fact, because my bestie and I got in a shit load of trouble for frying eggs on her mom's car hood. And that intolerable heat kept us in a constant search for any body of water to jump in so that we could cool off. My bestie has even lost part of her toe to a snapping turtle lurking in the water of one of our creeks, and that didn't even stop us, although it did cause our collective moms to forbid us from jumping in random-ass creeks. We never stopped, so we spent a lot of time grounded. As I'm reminding my mom of this old habit of ours, she turns to my daughter, reminds her of the whole rail business, and tells her, "This is not your mom. This is the alien that took over your mom, and she came from a really wussy planet."
   And you know that your are a true helicopter mom when your parental freak-outs has your own mom calling you a wussy alien body-snatcher. Gotta love Grandmas. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage

      There has been a lot of gay marriage propaganda floating around me and I know that this is something that people really get up in arms about. And I know that my stance on gay marriage takes some people by surprise being that I was raised Catholic and Catholics are not supposed to support gay rights. But I do. And mostly, I still consider myself Catholic even though probably every Catholic reading this is screaming at their computer screen that I am not Catholic. That's fine; I can live with that. What I can't live with is hate mongering -- this is behavior that I will not accept in myself.
   You see, in my formative years, I had this really great Priest and I went to this really great church, and I was taught that God is love. God loves ALL his children, not just the ones that society as a whole approves of. And I know that people can start throwing up all kinds of Bible verses at me to defend the fact that homosexuality is immoral and all that good drama, but myself, I was raised and taught in the belief that you should love your neighbor, treat others as you want to be treated, and not judge. I cannot align that view with the outcast of every person who does not live the same way that I do, and so my solution is simple. I will not pass judgement, I will respect others, and I will treat others the way that I wish to be treated. This is the core of what I believe about God, and I will not betray this because some spiritual leader is hellbent on preaching hatred. My belief is that we will all have to answer to a greater power one day, and I believe that God is that power, and I will go before Him with a clear conscience, knowing that I have stayed true to what  I believe is the core of His teaching. To me, this means accepting the homosexual community.
   Do I understand being attracted to the same sex? Not really, because I have never been remotely attracted to women. I don't think women are sexy at all, so I have to say, I kinda get why guys might like guys. I sure do. Do I think that you can't help who you are attracted to? Yes, this would explain why I am unfailingly attracted to assholes. The more I like a guy, the more he tends to be an ass. I can choose not to be with an asshole, but I can't stop the attraction. In my case, being single makes sense, because who the hell wants to be with a jackass? But in the case of a really great gay person wanting to be with another really great gay person, being single no longer makes sense.
   Do I think that gay is a natural state? You do find homosexuality in nature; if you have ever lived around a bunch of male animals, you will have seen this for yourself. If God was really against gay relationships, why do you find this in nature? Personally, I would think He would have left something He disapproved of so strongly out.
   So to me equal marriage rights for the gay community makes sense. I understand that gay marriage is just flat out against some people's beliefs, but just because people can marry someone of the same sex, this does not mean that you have to participate. This does not take away from your rights at all. This harms NO ONE, so I don't see why it isn't allowed. This just gives a group of people the same rights as everybody else, and in a country that is supposed to stand for equality and justice for all, allowing everybody to have equal rights seems pretty damn important. And for those of you who might start saying, "Well, we don't give murderers and pedophiles equal rights" -- kiss my ass. This is not the same thing AT ALL. What two consenting adults do in a loving relationship is not even equal to a crime, much less crimes of this nature. Why did I feel the need to add that then? Because fools have actually tried to argue this point to me, and I call bullshit. When you resort to that argument, you have lost the argument altogether.
   And as for kids, well, there are plenty of kids in abusive heterosexual homes. Your heterosexual status does not make you a better option for raising a child. Love, guidance, and connection, biological or otherwise, makes you parents, and all people have this capability. I feel that denying someone this is wrong, and there are a lot of kids out there who need someone to love them. If someone is willing to open up their home and truly love and care for a child who needs just that, who are we to deny that child? Do you really think you are doing that child any favors, by having that child stay in a foster care system or orphanage just because you don't approve of homosexuality? There are too many kids in this situation for us to be denying someone who truly wants them and will love and care for them. But you want to deny this? That seems like a bad call to me.
   We all have our opinions on this, and I know that so many of you are going to have a problem with my opinion, but this is how I feel. You are welcome to your opinions, but you aren't going to change mine. Not allowing equal rights goes against what I believe this country stands for, my own ethical code, and what I believe God stands for. Plus, no one is hurt by this. If you don't like it, don't do it. Go have a heterosexual marriage-- no one is taking that away from you. So don't take someone else's rights away from them just because they are different. No one in this world is the same. Normal is a lie we tell ourselves in order to feel comfortable about ourselves, but in reality, we are all weirdos. Let's not deny our fellow weirdos the same rights that everybody else has.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Response To Classist Attitudes

   I was reading an article that I found online about a mother who felt she should pick her child's playmates because of how they lived and who their family was. She felt that this was not classist behavior, because she felt she was looking out for her child's safety. Now, this is a fine line to walk, because we all want to keep our children safe and sheltered. There isn't anything wrong with wanting to be sure your kids are safe. However, was this classist? I couldn't help but feel that some of what she said was classist, and certainly some of the comments to her article were.
   I've been thinking about this article for about four days now. Some of the things that I read just bothered me; the fact that so many people seemed to agree with her bothered me even more, so I'm going to state my own opinion about who you should and shouldn't let your kids be friends with.
   Personally, I feel that there are NO children that you should ban your child from playing with based on trivial things like money and family and where they live. If the child in question lives in an unsafe environment, then maybe you should veto overnights and play dates from that home, but that doesn't mean that the child couldn't come to your home. That doesn't mean that your child shouldn't play with that child on the playground or talk to them at school or call them on the phone. The parents might be total cesspools, but what part of that is the child's responsibility? What part of that can the child control? To me, this is a classic case of victim blame. And think: there is a chance that you could be a good influence, and good role model for that child. A lot of good people started out in bad homes; don't be so quick to write them off.
   One of the issues that was brought up wasn't even the possible bad influence, or danger that to your own child; one of the issues was the possibility of bugs. Now, lice scare the hell out of me, but the fact is, you can catch lice from anybody. A clean person can have lice just as easily as a dirty one, even more so, because one of the ways of getting rid of lice is to grease up your hair. Lice thrive better in clean hair; grease smothers them. My own daughter has had lice, and she didn't catch is from an unclean, unsafe environment; she caught them from a daycare. Lice are immortal bugs, hell to get rid of, and I understand the fear of exposure, but tie your kid's hair up when they go out, and keep your fingers crossed. Or else make them grow up in a bubble. Your choice, I guess.
   One of the other issues that was brought up was that some mothers felt that their kids shouldn't play with kids whose families were on welfare or whose siblings had different fathers. That is utterly, hopelessly, unarguably classist. Sorry, if you share those views; you are classist. Don't kid yourself. And this is the thing that really made me blow up, because I have been on government assistance. I'm off all assistance now, but once I was one of those struggling, single welfare moms; I did what I had to in order to keep my daughter fed. And if, God forbid, I ever do have another child, that child will not have the same father. There is no way in any kind of Hell that I will ever procreate with the man who fathered my daughter again. And my daughter and I, we are not bad people. We still live under the poverty line, but we are good, hardworking people who care about our family and friends. Our economic status has nothing to do with our morals and our ethics. I know so many great mothers and fathers who have been down on their luck and are on food assistance and medical assistance and childcare assistance, and if you don't want to have your child associate with us, this is your child's loss, and believe me or not, your child is losing something.
   What type of lessons are you teaching your child with this attitude? They are going to have a fair amount of trouble when they go out into the real world and realize that people are diverse. And they are going to have to figure out how to work with people who are not the same as them. They are going to have to respect other's views, beliefs, backgrounds, and cultures. How do you think your child will fare with this if this is not something you have taught in the home? The real world is going to be a rude wake-up call for them. And how do you think your child will fare against a child like mine: who has been taught to respect and get along with people since her birth? How do you think colleges, employers, and new acquaintances will view them? Who do you think will be more socially acceptable; someone who knows that every person has value, or someone who has been raised to think that only a certain type of person has value?
   The economy now is hard to survive in; I don't know what the economy will be like in the years when our children are trying to build their own lives. But the foundation that you give your child will have an impact on whatever they manage to do. This foundation can make their lives harder, or can make their lives easier. Myself, I want to give my child every advantage possible, and to me, that means making sure that she knows how to accept and value people for who they are, not who you think they should be. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired

   There are just some things that should not be shared. I could be all crazy and start listing random things like herpes, dog breath, details about your crusty, calloused foot, but I won't, because today, I want to talk about the cold germ. Now, I understand that sometimes you just can't stay home. My work would have a shit fit if I called out every time I caught a cold. But there are times that you can keep from contaminating the innocent person next to you (or the one having to ring up your groceries and take your money *hint, hint*).
   See, I know that sometimes you just need to stock your fridge; you've been sick for a week and your kids are fixing to skin and eat the family pet if you don't get some food in the house. Been there, trust me. And I do go to work with a cold, because my mom never let me stay home from school when I only had a cough. Not calling out over minor illnesses is something that has been engraved into my behavior, but the thing here is that I do everything possible to prevent the passing of germs to my customers. I do the 'vampire cough', ya'know, the one where you cough into the crook of your elbow, instead of your hands, which touch everything; then I pour on the hand sanitizer and make sure I'm coated up to my elbows. Plus I always turn away from my customers so that I am not coughing over their food or in their faces. So I don't think that it's much to ask that the same courtesy is applied towards me.
   What does this mean? This means please don't lean over the counter and cough in my face, which one extremely ragged and dirty looking man once did to me. I don't know if this is related or not, but about a week or two later, I came down with a monster cold that lasted a whole 3 weeks. That's a mighty big coincidence. Also, this means not wiping your dripping nose with your bare hand and then grab your money and hand that contaminated cash to me with the same hand. That would be super nice. Another thing that you shouldn't do is crook your finger at me to come closer, so that I lean over the counter only to have you whisper to me that you have laryngitis, all the while bathing my face in your disease-ridden breath. And to top it off, be purchasing a paperback and some gossip magazines and no food or medicine in sight??? Not even necessities there, and BAM!!!!! I'm sick for a month.
   I'm not saying stay out of the store, as I said, I go to work when I'm sick. I have to pay rent and buy food and give my daughter money for those stupid fund raisers, so I know that cooping yourself up in the house for the duration of your illness is not feasible. I know that. But I never try to purposely make someone ill (okay, no one except my sister, because that shit is funny and it's payback for all the daycare germs she exposes me to.) And really, what else does all this behavior seem like? Seems like purposeful contamination to me. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013


   I suppose that labeling me as a 'hoarder' would not be entirely inaccurate, yet there are stipulations to what I will and will not hoard. I don't want to keep things like broken umbrellas or raggedy-ass furniture. I don't feel that they will have a use one day, or that as soon as I throw them away I'll need them. Who needs that crap?
A stack of books awaiting shelving on the new bookcases. 
   That being said, there are things that I will hoard in abundance. Gaming equipment, movies, electronics, and most of all, books. I have books coming out of my ears. I have them in stacks around my house because I ran out of room on my bookshelves, although my Grandpa and his lovely wife just gave me a new set of gorgeous bookcases that will hopefully solve that problem, and I have tons of electronic books on my Kindle. I believe I have around 100 e-books stored on there. But e-books are not good for some collections. I don't like to have manga on the Kindle at all, and some of my favorite authors, such as Juliet Marillier, Robert Jordan, Patricia Briggs, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Stephen King, Richard Adams, to name a few, I have to have in actual copy. So I hoard.
   And my daughter is the same way. She hoards the exact same things. And we are the type of people who will read a book over and over again. If the book is good, we will read the thing until the words are practically worn right off of the page. The difference between us is the type of books that we read. While I will read anything, I love fantasy and sci-fi, with some Japanese manga thrown in. My daughter, on the other hand, loves science books and books with random facts in them. I believe her favorite series is the Weird But True books, which she has garnered information like 'the biggest blood vessels in a blue whale are large enough for a human to swim through' (interesting but kinda freaky) and 'the human stomach holds 3 lbs of bacteria' (that little tidbit gave me the urge to go drink a bottle of bleach. YUCK!). These are the things that she loves to read about, and her room is just as book-filled as the rest of my little apartment.
   This is where the hoarding issues come out, because we both have a terribly hard time getting rid of books, even if they aren't that good. If we get rid of a certain book, a few months from now, we might just need to read that exact book. Do you ever get that craving for a certain food, and nothing you eat is going to satisfy you but that one thing? That is how we are with books. We get the need to read one certain book, and nothing else is going to get rid of that mental itch. Nothing is going to satisfy but that one story (or selection of facts, in the case of my daughter.)
   But I don't like the term hoarders. That implies one of those crazy trash heaps that you see on those stupid reality shows. Collectors. Yeah, we are collectors. No hoarders here. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Twisted Tales From Two Customers

   I've not been feeling so swift lately, which is not too unusual in and of itself. I have a daughter in public school, a sister who teaches daycare, and a mom who's a nurse. Germ city at my house; I always seem to have something brewing.
   I went to work though, because face it, as yucky as I feel, I just haven't been sick enough to call out from work. Especially since my work is super-strict about call-outs. That seems to be what most people get fired over, calling out to often. So I sucked it up and went to work. Well, this past week, two customers have stood out in my mind. One customer was mine, and one went through a coworker's line. Both were kinda ridiculous, although I believe my coworker's story blows mine right out of the water. So I'll start with hers.
Prayers To The East
   My coworker was working her line when her customer asked her which way east was. Now, she's a bit like me in the fact that she can't tell you what way east is. I can't. I mean, if we had compasses we could, but our work is checking. There isn't a lot of need for knowing which way east is in the checking business. So when the customer got angry and demanded to know which way was east is because this customer apparently needed to know so that they could face that way for their prayers, my coworker was really nice and started calling around to find someone who could tell what way east was. I would have just shrugged and said that I was sorry, so I am taking the time to point out that this was really nice of her. 
   I believe the person at customer service was able to point her east, but when she relayed this information to her customer, her customer was not thankful. My coworker did not get gratitude for going out of her way and out of her job description to help this customer face east for their prayers. What she got was rudeness.
   "I knew which way east was," the customer said, "I just wanted to show you Americans that you don't know everything, like you think you do." And then the customer went to the end of the isle and knelt down and prayed right there, in everybody's way. 
  I was going to let the rudeness of this story speak for itself, but I do think that I am going to have my say. This coworker is one of my favorite people to work with, and she didn't deserve to be treated like this. So I'm just going to say this: If I were traveling or looking to relocate, I would not go to a place that I so obviously hated. This is a big world. I can't think of any place that I hate so much where I would treat everyday, average citizens in this manner, but if I ever do find such a place, I won't go there. If, for some reason, I was forced to go there, well, I was raised to be polite regardless. Rude is rude, no matter what reason you think you have, and as I said, I don't believe that my friend deserved to be treated like this. 

Milky Apples
   I was checking, and not feeling too swift, as I have said, and I didn't notice anything amiss with the order. Usually I will notice if there is milk all over something, but I did miss this, and that's my bad. So when my customer was bagging his groceries (my store is a bag-your-own-groceries place) I was surprised when he exclaimed, "There is milk all over my apples!"
   Now, this is not as unusual as you might think. Milk cartons were not meant to be laid on the side, and they will leak out of the top when laying on the side. A lot of people don't know this, but any cashier does, because we are always having to clean up spilled milk. 
   I was already checking out another customer, but I stopped and I got paper towels to clean off the guy's apple bag and explained to him that this is what must have happened. But he didn't want to hear any of it. "There is nothing wrong with the milk container, it's dry." He says, brandishing the milk container in my face. Well, they do tend to be dry when they have leaked out of the top while laying sideways, so I said so, but still, he argued, "No, you must have done it while you were checking."
   Wait, what??? 
   "What do you mean?" I asked.
   "There is milk all inside the bag too, you had to have put it in there while you were checking."
   "I didn't pour milk into your apples," I said, and I am more bewildered than grumpy, because he was watching me the whole time, so I was trying to figure out when he thought I had poured this milk into his apple bag. There was a lot of milk in that bag, but you could tell that the milk had leaked out of the cartoon. You can see through those cartoons and it wasn't as full as it should be. He had to have had the milk laying on it's side on top of the apple bag, so that the milk could drip into the bag. 
   But I didn't argue; like a good little cashier, I offered to refund the money. 
   "No!" he yelled, "I guess you thought I just didn't need those apples!" And he stormed out, without taking the apples. I was a bit befuddled, and the person that I was currently checking out was laughing. 
    Because we checkers always pour milk into our customers' apple bags. It just makes sense. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Easter Bunny Blues (Not For The Faint Of Heart)

   Easter is coming closer and closer and I'm getting ready for the holiday because this is a big one for my family. There is Easter candy all over the house for weeks and the kiddos are all hyped up and jumping around and excited because that old Easter bunny came.
   One Easter, my mother brought home this giant Easter bunny that she got from Seattle's Best Chocolate, and I mean, this thing was huge. If you had set the Easter bunny on the floor, the thing would have reached my knee at least, and although it was hollow, the chocolate was thick. Too thick to easily break off with your hand.
   This was our first Easter in Washington, so it was just myself, my daughter, and my mom in the apartment; my sister and her daughter were still living in Kansas and her son was not yet born. It was a good thing that my sister was not around, because she is a tad bit squeamish.
   You see, this Easter bunny was too big to break off pieces by hand, and the chocolate was really good, so my daughter was always wanting a piece. Nor was I smart about breaking the pieces off; I used a steak knife to kinda pry off pieces of this bunny. Not my most genius moments.
   One evening, after dinner, I was prying off a hunk of chocolate for my daughter when the knife slipped. I didn't even feel pain for a minute, and I stared at the knife sticking out of my hand in shock. The knife had gone in at an angle, and it had gone in til only half of the blade could be seen. If the knife had gone in straight, it would have gone clean through the palm of my hand and out the other side, but instead, the knife buried into my palm and went down towards  my wrist.
   I stared at this thing in shock, and then I grabbed the handle and yanked the knife out. Immediately a stream of blood followed. Now, this blood did not just flow out: the blood shot out. Like water might burst out of a busted pipe or a punctured hose. It sprayed up into the air in a thick, red arch, and spattered everything with gore. There was also this hissing noise that I will never forget, a kind of "scwhhhhhhhhhhh" sound that accompanied the escape of the blood from my body. Really, it looked and sounded like a bad special effect in a movie, except it was real.
   I ran to the kitchen to grab something to put on the cut, and my daughter watched all this with big, freak-out eyes. I held the towel on for a minute, to see if applied pressure would stop the bleeding, but when I lifted the towel, blood sprayed out and got all over the kitchen. Both the dining room and the kitchen were covered in blood; the apartment looked like a crime scene.
    "Go get Grandma," I ordered my daughter, and she ran upstairs to get her. Grandma had been asleep, but after seeing the disaster in the kitchen and dining room, she had me in the car and on the way to the ER in no time.
   I walked into that ER looking like I don't even know what. My shirt was covered in blood; the towel that I had pressed against my hand was red, and it had been white. The security guard took on look at me as I staggered into the ER and had said "Oh my Lord, what happened to you?"
   Well, I was never one to spare myself from humiliation, so he got the "I cut myself with a steak knife trying to cut up a chocolate Easter bunny" story, and he LAUGHED. And laughed, and laughed, while the nurse took the towel and threw it away and wrapped my hand in what seemed like 20 lbs of white gauze bandage.
   I didn't wait long in the waiting room, apparently the knife had slipped into the artery in my wrist, and it seems that they put you on the fast track for punctured arteries. Mom (grandma) and my daughter had left me there with a cell phone to call when I needed to come home, and they had gone back to the apartment and mom was cleaning up the blood soaked areas.
   I got called back to the waiting room quickly, and the bandage was carefully removed, but the bleeding had actually stopped. "Sometimes arteries will repair themselves if they have enough time," the doctor told me and then got to work numbing up my hand.
   Because the knife I had stuck into my hand was serrated, there was a lot of tissue damage, and she had the tweezers out and was trying to piece the skin back together. Of course, I watched all this, and years later, I can get an awesome reaction from my sister when I talk about the doctor putting me back together with tweezers. (I also get a good freak-out when I try to replicate the way the blood sounded as it sprayed out of the palm of my hand.)
Knives + Me = Bad News
   It only took three stitches to close up that little cut, and honestly, if I had known that the bleeding would have stopped on it's own, I probably wouldn't have gone. I hate going to the doctor's, much less the ER.
   I really pissed my mom off two days later. The stitches were itching so badly that I got some scissors and took them out myself. Still have a small scar on my palm from that one, and my daughter does not trust me with a knife. Every time I get a tiny knick, or make any 'ow; noise, she'll say in a menacing tone "You better not have cut yourself, Momma." Kids. Cut yourself one time, and they never let you forget.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Warning: Angry Barracudas

   My daughter has reached that age: the age where she wants some alone time, she needs some privacy, and hugging Mom in public is not that cool anymore. This time is a somewhat sad time for me because I have to let go a little, and I don't like letting go. She isn't quite as bad as a full-blast hormonal PMSing teenage girl, but I know that this time is coming. I've heard all the horror stories, I remember my own teenage angst, and I am as braced as I can be.
A bedecked door. Do Not Enter.
  Of course, there is some relief that she is not as bad as I was. I can say this with some authority, because I was already a known troublemaker at the tender age of 11, and my daughter is not. I was also not the popular girl; I had a few friends, and my bestie, whom I equate to sister in my head. My daughter is doing better in the friend department, which I hope means more support for when she does slide down that estrogen induced mania of teenage girl drama. This could also mean more peer pressure, but I have to be somewhat optimistic here.
   One thing that I can be sure of is that my daughter will do her teenage years unlike anyone else. She already has some claim to unusual behavior, and her latest venture into weirdness is how she goes about claiming her private space. She has recently acquired the desire for some privacy. Before, she would follow me around like a lost little puppy, but now she locks herself into her room, occasionally popping out to mess with my head by telling something insanely weird, but mostly arranging her stuff and guarding her property. Like a dragon guarding it's hoard.
   In an attempt to give everybody a fair warning, she's plastered her door with warning signs. Do Not Enter. Angry Barracudas. Wait, angry what? Where the heck did she get barracudas from? Ask her and she just covers her mouth and giggles. She's also posted warning signs stating that her room is 'Home of the Blob.' What the heck is the blob? Ask, same giggle. I don't trust that giggle.
   You know what this means, right, kiddo? Mom isn't gonna be cleaning your room up. Since her room isn't under the water, I am fairly certain that I will be safe from angry barracudas, but what the heck is the blob? Repeating myself, I know, but this sign was posted to mess with my head. My daughter knows me well.

Beware the fish???
   All jokes aside, all kids need a little privacy. Don't get me wrong, if I even suspect something's amuck, I'll be nosing in to make sure the is nothing fishy (<--haha--) going on, but we all need some me time. Especially in my little estrogen shack. Girls need space from other girls; cat fights are ugly. Having no comparison, I don't know if boys are the same, yet I imagine that they need some space too. But sometimes moms just have a hard time letting go. So to all momma birds who are having to take a step back so that little birds can spread their little wings: you are not alone. I share your pain. The plus side is that one day, we will get to see those little birds fly. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Too Many Passwords

   Checking yesterday, I had a woman come through my line who used the wrong PIN too many times, which caused her card to lock up. Any cashier/checker (whatever you want to call us) has had this happen. The cards tend to give you 3 tries and then the card locks for 24 hours, just in case someone has stolen your card. Because crooks aren't smart enough to try again after 24 hours, apparently.
   The woman in this case just pulled out another card and grumbled about having too many passwords to remember them all, and not for the first time, I agreed. We have become a password driven society. Not that I don't understand, as someone who has had her information & identity stolen, I completely understand the need for all these passwords. But at the same time, she's right. We have PINs and passwords for every single thing.
   Myself, I only have one bank card, so I don't have to worry about PINS, but passwords, oh yeah. I have three e-mail accounts. I have one where my daughter's father can contact me, but that one was broken into, so I changed the password and I also made a new e-mail account and switched all my important, financial related material to that one. But I didn't want to close the other, because informing my ex of a new e-mail involves communication with him, something that I will go to extreme measures to avoid. So I kept the violated e-mail, but with a new password , and I have the other. I can check that one stress-free. There are no ex e-mails waiting to pounce. But that is another password. Then I have the e-mail that is linked with this blog. Being that I have had information stolen, all of my accounts have different passwords.
   On top of the three e-mail accounts, I have a school log-in and password, bank password, energy bill password, cable password, Netflix password, a password to my daughter's school, and a password to all my favorite online shopping stores. That is over thirty different passwords!!!! Consisting of numerals, capitals, and no words that are contained in the dictionary.
   No wonder my brain is mush. No wonder I walk into a room sometimes and can't remember what I was going to do in there. All these passwords have taken up all the space in my brain. I can completely sympathize with these people that can't remember their PINs and have ten different cards, because I will sit there are cycle through passwords on all of my sites, but I don't have a three try limit. My e-mail is just like, "Haha, nope, try again." Imagine if there were a three try limit; I would never get a chance to write a post for this blog again, because I can never remember which password belongs to which account. I remember all the passwords, but to match up, on the first three tries, which one went with which site, I would be locked out.
   That's like the end of the world for me, forget all these other false alarm Doom days. The world will really end on the day that I can't get into my e-mail accounts or do my online shopping. At least, I'll feel that way. I'd rather face the zombie apocalypse then lose access to my online accounts. (Not that a zombie apocalypse wouldn't be interesting, and I know who I'm feeding to the zombies first, fair warning.)
   But the point is, I suppose, that we all probably have this problem from time to time. We have too many passwords. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Mad Computer Skillz Of Your Favorite Village Idiot

   I have a special relationship with my laptop. I need my laptop badly, this machine is my lifeline. I use my laptop for my online college classes, e-mail, my incessant need for Facebook, my blog, banking, shopping, and my daughter uses the laptop for her school Powerpoints and research. But as much as I need this laptop, as much as I would be lost without the thing, I still hate the machine. I mean hate. With a passion that beats all other passions.
   I am not a techie person. Oh, I love all my gaming systems, but I don't have a clue how they work. I only care that they do work. The thing is, with my Playstation, I don't have to worry about things like viruses. (There is a special hell waiting for the people who implant that shit into other's people's computers.) With my Xbox, I don't have to worry about updates installing automatically, and then totally screwing with my entire system. Nor do I hate spending money on these things, probably because they don't cost so much.
   I paid a crap-load for this computer that I have now. And at a mere 5 years of age, it's a train wreck. I spent around a grand on this worthless pile, because I'm a sucker, and in a mere 5 years, it's a piece of shit. Never again will I spend that much on a machine.
Beautiful, ain't it?
   The fact that I spent so much in the first place on this laptop means that there is no way in any kind of a hell that I am going to spend more on repairs or upkeep. In turn, this means that I have to do all repairs myself, and I am a technological moron. I'm not good at fixing shit; I break shit. And I do nothing for aesthetics; I don't care what this pile of plastic and metal junk looks like. This means that about 6 months ago, when my battery went kaput and I refused to spend the hundred bucks to get a new one, I removed the battery and permanently plugged the laptop into the wall. And when the cord refused to stay in, I taped that biatch in. Not moving now. That also means that when one of the hinges busted, and half the shell cracked off, the shit got ugly. My computer is not a pretty sight.
   The software stuff is what I worry about fixing. The stuff that keeps my programs running. I get a lot of tips from a very good, tech savvy friend. I try not to mention names on this blog, because it's open to the public, but she knows who she is, and she's a super-smart woman who has given me the knowledge to keep my shit running, because before she helped me out, I had no idea that my anti-virus program was worthless, and I had never even heard of the programs that clean your registry. Not a clue. But now I do, and I use them often. But sometimes that isn't enough, and my laptop gets all busted, like what happened yesterday evening, causing a horrid morning of computer repairs before work. None of my programs would open. Nothing. Everything would turn on, but not a thing would open. I couldn't get on the internet, couldn't use Microsoft Office, couldn't get on Facebook or do my school work, and I was flipping out, so I tried to run scans, but I couldn't open up my anti-virus programs.
   What the hell kind of damn virus did I get? I was pissed, and the first step that I always take when fixing my laptop is to spew obscenities at it, calling it every bad thing that I can think of, and threatening it's little computer-chip life. No one comes near me at this point, because I am breathing fire and smoke is pouring out of my ears, and they are afraid. Once I am done, I usually run virus stuff, but as I said, I couldn't. I couldn't even get the thing to turn off. My laptop would not shut down. So I held down the power button and forced the shut down. Then I turned my laptop back on and opened up in safe mode. My safe mode has three options, which are safe mode, safe mode with networking, and safe mode with command prompt. I always use networking, because I have no idea what that does to help fix your computer, but this option allows online access, so that I can go on Facebook and bitch about having to fix my damn computer again. This is very important to me and a necessary part in fixing my computer.
   Everything was working perfectly in safe mode, but a system restore was recommended, in case something installed was causing the problem. Well, the only new installs have been the automatic installs that happen sometimes when I power down, but I was desperate, so I did a system restore. Well, that took forever. So I jammed out to In This Moment, and P!nk, and some other stuff, and griped on Facebook, and fixed lunch, and dithered around, and finally the system restore was done. I don't think that the system restore should have taken so long, but my laptop is slow, so who knows. That did do the trick. I am now in the process of running diagnostics and all that, but at least now I can open my programs without being in safe mode.
   But when this computer finally goes kaput forever, I am going to smash it to little pieces with a hammer, and then I am not buying another expensive, useless piece of junk. Bring on the Walmart specials. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Conversation With An Idiot

   This morning, while  I was getting ready for work and jamming out to Avenged Sevenfold, there came this loud banging on my door. My first reaction was "Crap, my music is too loud." So I went to apologize to whichever neighbor had come to complain. I try to be nice to these neighbors, because they are pretty quiet and have been good people to live next too. I will totally blast a neighbor out with my music, but only in retaliation to having to listen to their crappy music first.
   However, the person so rudely banging on my door was not a neighbor. The person banging on my door was some lady that I have never seen before, and this is the line she greeted me with, "I've been looking forever. You give really bad directions."
  "Excuse me?" I reply, because I have never spoken to this lady in my life, "Who are you and what do you want?" And my tone is a tad bit pissy.
   "I have an appointment," she tells me matter-of-factly.
   "Not here you don't," I say and I start to shut the door, but her damn foot is in my doorway. I am considering smashing her foot with my door when she starts whining, and I hate whining. With a passion. Unless I am the one who is whining, I don't want to hear it.
   "I called and I was told that the leasing office is 25B, and isn't this 25B? This IS the leasing office," she whines.
   Now, let me give you a little picture of myself at this time. I was in the middle of getting ready for work, so I have my work shirt on, but I am still in my pajama bottoms. Avenged Sevenfold is blaring in the background, I have no shoes or socks on, and while my hair is brushed, I don't have my hair clips in yet. I don't really look like a leasing agent at this time. To further paint this picture, let me explain my apartment door. There is no sign that says leasing office, no hours of operation listed, nothing that points to this door belonging to a leasing office and not a private home. Usually, leasing offices want you to know that they are leasing offices, and they don't try to blend in with all the other apartments.
   She's not right in the head; this seems to be the only explanation, so I take pity on her and say," The leasing office is the building by the main road."
   "No this is the leasing office!" she exclaims.
  Yup. That's it; the final straw. I am done with this moron. "Move your foot," I snap, " This is not an office, this is my private home, and you are NOT coming in here."
   She moves her foot and I slam the door shut, in her face since she has not bothered to back up. I go around to the window that looks out at the sidewalk and look out, and she is still standing there, looking at my door. This is why I shouldn't answer the door. I know that I shouldn't answer the door, but I do it anyway. I don't know why. The woman stared at my door for another minute or so, and then left, but I do wonder how long that woman would have stood there, staring at my door, if I had not answered though. 

Monday, March 4, 2013


   The move to cable, for me, was to save money. I got a deal that included internet and phone, which was a lot cheaper than what I was paying for my old internet and phone service, plus I got cable, something that I haven't had for over seven years. And I love The Walking Dead (best zombie show ever!!!) and now I don't have to wait for the program to be available on Netflicks, which is great, because I got a lot of spoilers waiting. Plus, I am not a patient person.
   But that's just one show, on one channel. I was sure that my daughter and I would be watching other things. Well, now I know. 180+ channels, and all I want to watch besides my Walking Dead and The Game of Thrones is The Golden Girls and I Love Lucy. 180+ channels, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and that's all that's on that is worth watching, for me at least.
   However, my daughter is obsessed with the Food Network. Not because she likes to cook, no. She likes to watch some Worst Cooks show, I don't really know what it's called, and then she chases me around our apartment, describing that nasty shit to me. Now, I have talked about my food phobias before, but I used to be able to get away from nasty-asty food at home. Now I am being followed around by my traitor daughter as she giggles insanely and describes things like cinnamon coated hamburgers, vanilla chicken,  and bacon flavored ice cream. G.R.O.S.S. I can't escape. If I go to the bathroom and shut the door, she will shout through the door. It's the best thing ever, in her eyes. I don't understand how some people can eat this crap. My gag reflex is too strong. I feel sick even thinking about that stuff they cook on that stupid show.
   And don't get me started on cartoons. Ok, I admit that I watch Pokemon with her. Those little things are cute, and if we all lived in a Pokemon infested world, I would totally devote my time catching Pokemon, because apparently that is a legit career in that world. But even this does not hold a candle to Loony Tunes and Animaniacs. Where is the cartoon violence? Where are the anvils and pianos that drop on the unsuspecting heads? Where is roadrunner and tweety bird? Are you kidding me? And what is up with Bayblade? That cartoon is about spinning tops. All those kids getting all worked up over some fancy tops. That's boring. Tops are not awesome. Wile E Coyote rocketing himself into the side of a cliff is awesome.
   I'm saving money, and that was the main point, so the cable won't be getting shut off, but to all the people who ever asked how I used to live without it? The answer is easily. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Dolls With Big Eyes

They are looking at me. 
   I was vacuuming my apartment, a shocker, I know, but I have company coming so I wanted everything to be nice. I started on my daughter's bedroom, and something was bothering me. I was jumpy and kinda freaked, but at first I wasn't sure why. Then it hit me. The dolls. Their eyes were following me all around the room. Everywhere I moved, those big eyes seemed to be looking straight at me.
   Ever tried vacuuming a room under that kind of stress? Not easy, but I know myself, and I know that no freaky doll eyes are really following me. I can't shake the feeling of being watched though, and I keep glancing nervously at the dolls, which sit on my daughter's desk. My daughter has a workstation bed, which is similar to a bunk bed, but with a desk area on the bottom instead of a lower bunk, and the bed on top, which is full size. She sleeps, every single night, with these dolls right beneath her. And the fact that she has placed them on her precious desk means that they have some value to her, so I can't go chunk them in the trash bin outside, which has crossed my mind.
The root of this fear. 
   Besides, they aren't doing anything right now, but what if throwing them in the trash bin sets them on a murderous rampage? Nuh-uhh! I am not messing with those dolls, but I don't take my eyes off of them the entire time I am vacuuming the room. And I am glad that my daughter is not here to witness her mother's fruit cake freak-out. Because I know good and well that there is nothing alive about those  dolls, and their eyes just seem to be following me because doll makers use big ass eyes in dolls. The problem in not the dolls. The problem is that I watched Chucky to many damn times. But I love to be freaked out, and I can never seem to help myself when I come across a scary movie. I have to watch it. This is the price that  I pay, I guess. I have to freak out about things like murderous dolls, evil furbiespossessed furnituregremlins, and witch's knifes. I need to stop watching all that supernatural mumbo-jumbo, but I can't help myself! I have two freak-out flicks planned to watch with my sister this very night, and I'm just gonna ignore those big-eyed dolls in the next room. Bring on the fear!!!