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Friday, June 24, 2005

STFU People!

You know, I sat here for a good bit trying to come up with a title. I hadn't written about my time with Brian, which was wonderful. I have to say, he has an absolutely winning smile, looks MUCH younger than he really is, and knows enough about a myriad of things that keeps conversation flowing. He was gracious enough to not laugh at me too much when I couldn't remember exactly where in New Zealand my mother-in-law was born (you'd think I'd know that Mt. Hood IS NOT in NZ after 25 years!) and he was kind enough to take a second picture of us so that my 2nd chin wouldn't show like it did in the first (Brian, PLEASE send me a copy of that last picture, yeah?) He brought me a lovely paua shell necklace, which I'm still wearing. It will always remind me of our meeting. Anyway, it was a welcomed break in what has turned out to be a horrific workweek. An "oasis," if you will, in the middle of an unforgiving desert. Thank you Brian, for taking the time during your holiday.

I'm wondering how much longer I can stay at this job. I'm being nit-picked to death. I'm a good secretary. Oh, excuse me, Administrative Assistant *ahem*. I take pride in what I do. I support everyone in that office and do their crapwork. I do the work that they won't even do themselves. I'm detail-oriented, organized, and I KNOW that I've made some great positive changes around there. But it's a very rare day that I get even the smallest acknowledgement. In fact, I get criticized on a daily basis. What was it yesterday, you ask? Well, I omitted a comma. I was asked to order a new rubber stamp with the company's name and address, which I did. My crime? In order to fit the entire name of the company on the first line, I had to leave out a comma. If I added the comma, it would have added two characters past the limit and upped the price by $10 for the whole stamp. So instead of the stamp looking like this:


It looked like this:


The office manager took little time to point out to me my "error". She also didn't like it that I put the new printer toner cartridges in the supply room instead of next to the printers that they belong to. I was simply trying to keep the working office space from getting too cluttered. I apparantly don't close envelopes properly, so she asks that when I prepare an envelope for mailing that I don't close it. Mainly, I know the purpose of that is so that she can check my work, which she does, as I stand at her desk and watch so that she can "critique" me. At the end of the day, I'm responsible to take all of the mail, so when I'm ready to leave, I have to stand at her desk while she double checks each and every piece of outgoing correspondence against a "shipping spreadsheet" that she created. You see, in my first week there, I transposed a number in a zip code and ever since then, we've had to enter all letters on this spreadsheet. She failed to mention that 4 of her own outgoing letters were returned for WRONG addresses, but she made a big deal out of me transposing a zip code. When I go to the bank to make a deposit for the company, she'll call me on my cell phone to "remind" me not to forget a receipt. When I go to the post office to drop off certified mail, she'll call me on my cell to "remind" me not to forget a receipt. I want to scream at her; "I'M 44 FUCKING YEARS OLD!!! STOP TREATING ME LIKE A CHILD!!!"

The senior partner at the firm hates me. I don't know why. He just does. I thought if I kept smiling and being pleasant, I could win him over just like I won over Mean Bookkeeper Lady. She and I get along quite famously now, simply because I killed her with kindness. But that only works if they know you're alive. So I guess I can't say that my boss hates me. He doesn't know I exist. Yesterday, in one of his huffs because his luxury bus was in the shop, he asked the Office Manager to get one of the interns to go pick up his personal bus driver. Well, none of the interns showed up for work. In fact, they haven't shown up all week. So that leaves me. A little "pick-up", which is a personal favor in my book, turns out to be a 2 and a half hour, 101 mile drive. Is there a "thank you?" Is there ANY indication that I've done something to help someone out of a jam? No. As a matter of fact the next day, when I say "Good Morning" to this man, he doesn't look up, he doesn't grunt, he doesn't even acknowledge that I'm in the same room. That's how it is every day.

Why do I put up with it? Because we need the money. But I'm thinking that I should go find a minimum wage job and work double the hours just to find some peace. I feel more and more worthless and every day that goes by a little more of my spirit leaves. There's no joy there. A dark cloud constantly surrounds me. I hate going to sleep at night because I know the morning means I have to go back. I don't want to give them this victory. But we need the money. I guess I hate that part the most. But I have no choice. The only choice I have is the PLACE where I choose to offer my time and talent. It's time to move on.

Oh, and Tom Cruise, PLEASE for God's sake, STFU.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I'm leaving work on time today. 2:00 on the button. I'm not gonna let anybody there guilt me into staying "a little longer" to make any copies for them, or file their silly paperwork, or answer their phone. I'm leaving on time because I have a train to meet.

I'm heading straight over to the Irvine train station to collect a travelling blogger on holiday. Brian from "Shadow Footprints" is here in the US from New Zealand to visit his brother in San Diego. He's honored me by asking if we could meet up while he's here and he's making a special trip up by train for just that purpose. I'm thinking that work is going to drag by and I'm going to be a clock-watcher today. It's a long, long way to 2:00, but when it comes, I'll be flying out of there on invisible wings.

I'm a little worried, however. Even though my Mum-in-law is a New Zealander, I might just be mesmerized by Brian's "fresh" Kiwi accent and spend all my time just listening to him talk. That's a very yummy accent, ya know?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Mr. Golden Shoe Posted by Hello

Sometimes, The Signs are Golden...

Update: Plucky Sister Vianney stays!

Last night, Bryson told us that he was receiving an award at school, but that it was no big deal and that we didn't "have" to come if we didn't want to. PUHLEEZE Son. When have we not wanted to come to anything for you guys? He said that he really didn't think it was any big deal and again said that it really wasn't necessary for us to attend. Hmmmmmm. Something's up, and you know me, I gotta find out what the deal is. So off we go.

As Charlie and I find our seats for the ceremony to begin, Bryson goes off to the other side of the auditorium to sit with his friends....God forbid he should be seen sitting with his parents. The audience hushes as the principal gets up to make his opening speech. His speech, as it turns out, is more like a David Letterman "Top Ten" monologue. It's hilarious, actually; something to the effect of, "Top Ten Reasons You Know You're A Teacher." One reason that the audience particularly liked was when he said, "The Number 5 reason you know you're a teacher is when you have an inexplicable urge to throw a shoe at someone you don't even know." Apparantly, a favorite teacher has a habit of taking off her shoe in class when the kids get a little unruly and threatening to throw it, so that comment went off really well. Once the principal's "monologue" was over, he immediately said he wanted to thank his collaborative writing partner, Bryson, who spent some time in his office today. Huh? "Don't panic Mom and Dad, he was sent to help me write this...honestly." Insert sigh of relief here.

As the program progesses, we wait anxiously to hear our son's name called for the catagories listed; "Best overall student", "Community Service", "Most Intelligent", "Student of the Year", etc. etc. The proud parents glowing as their children receive their beautiful medallions, but nothing yet for Bryson. Charlie leans over and whispers, "He did say he was getting an award, didn't he?" I nod. It seems the medallion awards are over, but a teacher gets up and says:

"Now we'd like to give an award called 'The Golden Shoe' award. The Golden Shoe is reserved for the student who creates the comic relief, the class clown, if you will. This is the student that you just want to throw your shoe at sometimes because you just can't seem to get them to focus but you know with every fiber of your being that they CAN soar academically. This is the fidgeter, the charmer, the frustrater that you can't help but love. The Golden Shoe award goes to Bryson..."

Charlie leans over again and quietly says; "Figures."

The auditorium explodes in yells, applause, and chanting. Bryson literally floats down the aisle, smile beaming, raising his arms in victory, proud as proud could be. He's handed his award, raises it to the audience, and as he does, I go up like all the other proud parents of honor students before me, with my camera ready, and take his picture. What else can I possibly do? As his teacher hugs him, he whispers something in her ear and she laughs with tears streaming down her face. I asked him what he said to her and he smiled and said; "I think I'm the only kid you've ever really thrown your shoe at." And she said; "I think you're right."

My son, Master Goofball of the Year. I'm so proud.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stupid People...Where's Your Sign?

We have a standing joke in our family, stolen from a comedian a long time ago whose name I can't remember, that stupid people should carry signs. This would help to warn the rest of us that they're coming. So, whenever the kids, or Charlie or myself do something really stupid, someone will inevitably say; "Uh...where's your sign?" Lately, I'm thinking there are a few people out there that should be carrying signs and so I'm going to ask them now.

People that went to the beach to "watch for the impending tsunami" off the California coast after the Northern California earthquake yesterday....where's your sign? Are you braindead? Did you not see the devastation that took place in December on the other side of our world? Are you SO stupid that you laugh and think that couldn't happen here? There are times when I'm embarrassed to be a Californian. This is one of them. Idiots. Then again, my brother in Nevada says that if we get a big enough shaker, California's gonna "break off" and he'll have beachfront property. Both of us think the other should be wearing a sign. But I'll let those Tsunami Watchers have mine for the moment.

The VERY small contingency of bigoted Catholic parents at St. John the Baptist School in our town...where's your sign? Principal Sister Vianney has been there for 43 years, God bless her. So now, because she thinks that ALL children should have the opportunity to a Catholic education and allowed the kids of a gay couple to enroll and attend, NOW the church, at your urging, has decided NOT to renew her contract? Are you kidding me? How many of you are divorced? How many of you are unmarried and living with your boyfriends/girlfriends? How many of you attend mass every week, go to confession regularly, say your rosary? C'mon. Gimme a break. Hypocrites. Not only should this family be left alone to raise their kids the way they want, Sister Vianney should remain the principal and you, all what is it...18 of you?... should shut the hell up and put on your signs. Kudos to the MAJORITY of the parents at the school who are protesting FOR the principal and the family.

Tom Cruise....where's your sign? The day that you wake up and suddenly you've grown a uterus is the day that you have a right to criticize ANY woman for seeking medical help and intervention in the care of her post-partum depression. Fucker. Shut up, put on your sign, and go change your girlfriend's diaper.

Guess who's PMSing?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Grown-Up Games

I just sat down and read comments and I have to say that MzOuiser pretty much nailed it. Charlie and I spent the weekend "playing" grown-up games, completely guilt-free. It was blissful. What started out as a day date, turned into an overnighter at my sister's in San Diego, which then turned into a weekend getaway. All without forethought.

I called Lokelani and asked if she and her hubby Phil had any plans on Friday. She mentioned that they were planning to spend the day at the San Diego County Fair, but that she'd love for us to come and join them. So, after leaving lots of numbers, parental type instructions for the kids, and giving the "we trust you,....behave" speeches, we headed south with smiles that wouldn't stop. An hour and a half later, we arrived at my sister's and quickly loaded up and headed to the fairgrounds in beautiful Del Mar. I don't think I need to tell you that we ate our way from one end of the fair to the other. Phil said he could feel his arteries hardening as we spoke. Ahhhhh, fair food; one of the guilty pleasures of summer.

After the fair, we thought we'd go home, rest our old, tired feet a little, and then hit the Indian casino at Barona. It's amazing how much fun you can still have with a roll of nickels. Of course, you don't stop at that one roll, but the giggles of sitting next to my sister as we play slot machines is just priceless. As it turns out, we were a little more tired from the fair than we had anticipated and ended up going to the casino the FOLLOWING day after a quick visit from my brother, Lono. So, Saturday afternoon was spent gaming, then an amazing buffet dinner, then another hour or so of gaming. Before we knew it, it was 6:00 and kids were calling wondering if we were coming home. One suggestion of staying another night with Phil and Loke was all it took. Everything was quiet on the homefront, the kids were handling things well, and actually encouraging us to enjoy every second of our time away. They kept saying to us on the phone; "You guys deserve this. Don't worry, everything's fine, and NO, we're not having parties." So, with the generous hospitality of Loke and Phil, we enjoyed another night worry-free joy.

We sat out on their patio, overlooking the beautiful Lakeside valley and watching the squirrels romp in the open fields and talked and laughed for hours. We enjoyed each other's company over Margaritas, and they let Charlie talk and talk and let out all of his frustrations and worries over all of the things he's been having to deal with lately with his mom, work, and whatnot. It was completely therapeutic and much needed. We talked into the wee hours, knowing full well that the morning would bring the end of our grown-up weekend. Come Sunday, with a pouty face, I hugged my sister with an overflowing heart and thanked her. I don't think she or Phil know to what extent they've come to be as loved and precious as they are to us. But they are and I miss them already.

We got home to a clean house, three sleepy-eyed kids who I'm sure had a blast while we were gone, and lots of hugs. Tired and content, Charlie and I sacked out on the couch for the remainder of the day, looking over at one another every now and then and smiling. Good times. Way overdue.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Charlie told me earlier in the week that he was taking a few days off this week to take care of some of Mum's affairs. Have I mentioned what a good son he is? So, as he was explaining to me what his week would be filled with, he ended his sentence with, "I think you should take Friday off." I looked up from washing dishes and saw his face smiling back at me...

Me: (with a hopeful smile) Really?

Charlie: Yeah Honey...I think we both need a break. Even if it's only for a day. We've worked hard and God knows, you've put up with a lot of b.s. and been patient and helpful with my mom. Let's take a break together. I told Sis that I was taking my wife for a date day and I told Mum the same. We have a day. What shall we do with it?

Oh God. Music to my ears. It's been over 2 years since Charlie and I have gotten to get away and spend a weekend away from everything. And even though we won't get that now, and that extended time away alone will have to wait, just a day sounds like bliss. Last night, I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. I haven't felt like that since we were dating.

Giddy and grateful.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Because You Asked...

Averie wonders if she should wear a short wig to work from now on? Posted by Hello

Mr. Emo and the Artist Posted by Hello

Awwwwwww! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Trigger Happy

Lately, I'm just not getting enough. Yeah, I know you've heard this complaint before, but you can just clean up your dirty little minds. I'm talking about TIME. It just hasn't been my friend. At some point during our chasing each other around the bedpost, you'd think he'd stop and let me catch him. But no. I'm beginning to think that Time is gay and simply has no interest in what I have to offer. If that's the case, you'd think I'd know better. But again, no. I keep chasing him. In my effort to stay in the race, I keep deleting the daily horoscope and tarot reading that arrives every morning in my email. Now I'm beginning to think that I shouldn't be so quick on the draw. I should probably stop running after the elusive Mr. Time and stop to read. There may have been warnings I should have heeded.

There are things off-kilter in my world, but it's a good indication that I should keep my running shoes on. Behold the events of my last week:

*My eldest; bright, brilliant, talented, funny....gets her braid wrapped up in a dremel at work and nearly pulls her hair out. Now her head seems to lean to one side a bit. "Yeah, they're calling me Dremel-Girl at work now." She exclaims.

*My youngest; handsome, charming, athletic....likes a certain girl so much, that he allows her to put heavy, black make-up on his eyes to see what he'll look like "Emo". Little does he realize that it's waterproof and despite my best efforts with lotion, vaseline, and a box of Q-tips, he has to go to school the next day and actually BE "Emo". When I ask why, he responds, "You mean other than because she's hot?"

*My child in the center; vivacious, sparkling, gregarious...is late for school yesterday morning and doesn't want to take the time to properly pull out the iron and ironing board and decides to iron the shirt WHILE she's wearing it. A lovely iron-shaped 2nd degree steam burn now graces her tender tummy. As I pull out the Neosporin HOURS later when she finally has the courage to tell me, she says.."You're going to blog about this aren't you?"


This morning, I'm reading my horoscope.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dazzling Auburn Times Two

The female energy rocking my world lately has been intense, and wonderful. Though the school year is winding down and life is a bit frenetic, the entirety of last week was the buildup to a visit by two incredible people; Auburn Pisces and her dazzling daughter, Auburn Aries.

Yeah, it's been crazy. Yeah, we've got Bryson's hockey playoffs and Caris' prom. Yeah, my kitchen cupboards and linen closet are stealthily being emptied out by Averie and her theater prop department for her final "Project Night" production. But all I could think of was the countdown to Auburn Pisces visit. I could hear the ticking in my head everywhere I went as if it were that dreaded biological one. Except this ticking didn't bring fear into my world that something was ending. On the contrary, it meant something good was coming...soon. The only drawback was that the ticking was slow in the anticipation. I knew that once she was here, it would put on the gas and go faster than I would like. I was right.

Of course, the main goal of her visit was to take the amazing and precocious Auburn Aries to Disneyland, and that she did. Once safely landed in semi-sunny Cali, satiated with The House That Walt Built, and soundly ready for a pool-sized Margarita, she called me on Thursday night to ask me where a Mexican restaurant was so that she could get her hands on a cold one. Geographically challenged as I am, I hopped on the computer and Mapquested her to an El Torito, and then told her to call me the next day and we'd firm up the plans to hook up. Feeling that I'd done my tequila-laced good deed for the day, I settled in for the long, holiday weekend, watching happily as Caris modeled her prom dress for Charlie and I, and Averie snuck (sneaked?) yet more props out of my house for her play. Hmmmmmmm.

FINALLY, the day had arrived. The long-awaited Saturday. I couldn't wait. All was prepared, including the shiny new bottle of Patron waiting to meet it's lime nectar mate to bring us sweet, 100% agave liquid bliss. Soon, AP was calling to get directions. Charlie overheard my directions to her and said calmly; "Honey, give me the phone." I was happy to oblige knowing that his directions would get her here sooner than mine would. Cuz yes, I suck at directions. Take note.

Soon, I was standing out front waiting for her and thinking to myself how much my face was already hurting from smiling so much. As expected, the smiles were returned ten-fold. I couldn't wait to get my arms around her, but that would have to wait, because Auburn Aries was out of the car in a flash and joyfully presenting me with her divine artwork, created especially for me. So she, of course, gets the very first hugs. Brilliant and beautiful, with her dazzling red hair and sun-kissed happy face; she began her tale of the joys of Disneyland and rollercoasters with shy trepidation at first, but soon, as comfort would have it, her happy experiences rushed out like water over a spillway. Who could contain such effervecense, and why would they ever want to? This older-and-wiser-than-her-years cherub sparkles.

We hugged, pulled back, and we hugged again. With another warm hug in succession. If the energy emitted from us could be bottled, we'd be very wealthy women. But then again, we already are. She's beautiful, funny, warm and safe. As the afternoon edged on in it's very easy groove, we ensured our bond. Charlie, Master Mixologist and all-around wonderful man, kept the Nectar of the Agave Gods flowing, and the sweet friendship blossomed as well we knew it would. Auburn Aries kept Caris company as she prepared for her big night and continued to decorate our world with her artwork (which still graces my fridge door). Soon, we easily sequed from one pivotal life moment to another; prom pictures with Caris and her date, Averie's coming and going, Bryson and his friend playing computer games while Aries played "Let's spy on the silly teenager boys".

It was all so easy and fluid, and it flowed from one momemnt to the next. Auburn Pisces rolling with our life flow, generously giving of herself, letting the laughter roll, sitting through a long final project play (which wasn't always as good as it could have been...THAT's how generous she is). And now knowing full well just how completely doofusy my fifteen year old son is, she has family secrets. She floated with our family tide as if she was born to it. Truly, I think she was.