Thursday, December 29, 2005 

Crap Day

I almost killed someone today.

The story story starts with my Norton Internet Security subscription expiring. I usually take a laissez-faire attitude with these things, but I've been doing more surfing than usual and I feel as though the necessary precautions should be taken. So I found myself standing in line to purchase NIS '06 at CompUSA at approximately 9:02 pm last night. This is signifant because the store actually closes at 9:00pm and, at the time, I thought it was a stroke of luck that I had managed to sneak in the doors. I purchased the item, brought it home but found that it wouldn't load on my computer. All of us have dealt with computer glitches before and, even if they are minor, they are enough to turn your skin inside out. So after messing with the software, growing ever more insane, I decided to try an exchange the next day. Fast forward to today...

I found myself back in CompUSA, approximately 15 hours after the initial purchase, waiting in the 3-mile long line at "customer service." Notice the term "customer service" is being used loosely here because those in the line felt less like customers and more like cattle being led to their deaths. The "service" portion of the term also leaves much to be desired because what we were receiving was less like service and more like a dissertation on how busy the ONE harried fellow behind the counter was. Each "customer" who reached the front of the line was offered a 10 minute discussion on how busy the store was and how many returns were being made and how many breaks the representative had missed. After staring at the back of the lady in front of me for 20 minutes, I started to get antsy. Sighing loudly didn't seem to get us anywhere so I resolved myself to gritting my teeth and rubbing my fingers usual "defense mechanism" tics.

Finally, it was my turn to be "serviced", but alas! What was this that was happening???! Could it be possible that a random lady would actually cut in line??! I had seen her breeze through the doors, eye the long line and I had been skeptical of her motives, but never in a million years did I think she had the chutzpah to actually CUT! And IN FRONT OF ME!!??? But yet, here it was - actually happening before my very eyes. Before I could even say anything she had pulled her receipt out and was belaboring, point-by-point, the return policy. The "customer service representative" gave me a helpless, meek look and a sad little shrug as if to say "sorry, but no harm done, right?"

But oh yes, my friends, harm was done! I felt myself sway into a dreamlike state, a fog came over my eyes, my teeth clenched. I saw myself reaching into the woman's back, past her spine, expertly bypassing the entire respiratory cavity, until finally reaching the desired object - her heart. I wrapped my fingers around it and....suddenly I woke up, disturbed by my vision; feeling a bit upset by it. (I'm all about karma and love and meditation..)

I was able to clear the fog from my mind and shot daggers into the woman's back as she walked away - may she be cursed with a thousand little chin hairs for the rest of her life!

And all I could think is that she's lucky I'm a peace-loving person!


As an aside, I did exchange the NIS '06 for a new one, but of course, due to some snafu, it won't load either, so now I have to go back to CompUSA - probably for a copy of McAfee this time. Oh Lord, give me strength...

Monday, December 26, 2005 


The other day I was making baklava with my friend, Sarah and, as we melted THREE sticks of butter, she commented that when she eats food with that much butter her heart actually starts to hurt. Though it was funny, I totally understood what she meant. It's that ache in your chest cavity that sort of sits like lead. Yes, it comes from eating too much butter, but it comes from other things as well.

On that note, parenting sucks sometimes. I always knew I would be a mother. I just didn't think very much about the parenting aspect. I guess I had those skewed visions of making snow angels and giggling over butterfly kisses. Never once did I think my child would get into the cat's litterboxes or scream persistently from between the bars of her crib while shooting me accusing looks. Whether it was because I was naive or because no one tells you about these times, I just didn't think of them.

So we're trying to transition my little spit-fire into her crib. She's been cosleeping since the day (the second!) she was born. I admit, the switch from sleeping warmly nestled between your parents to alone in a jail cell, er, crib, seems like a wave of brutal reality hitting you in the groin. But the thing is that she doesn't really sleep nestled warmly. She kind of flops and turns and ends up sleeping with her head on my chest and her legs on his head. None of us are sleeping well. It's really time for her to move.

Admittedly, we don't really know the first thing about the logistics of how this should work. We know all the schools of thought from Pantley to Ferber. I have to say we tend to be much more on the Pantley side of things. We tried the "cry-it-out" method once and I developed a severe case of hives while listening to my baby scream as though she was being dis-emboweled. This caused me to determine that perhaps it just wasn't for us. In fact, I still think of that horrendous day and shudder. So we're kind of out in the cold. We tried one night with her in the crib which resulted in me seeing every hour turn over on the clock. Can't say we slept better that night.

And so we're at a loss. It's true, something needs to be done. The problem is that it requires parenting of the sort for which I am not prepared. I'm all about snow angels and butterfly kisses but I'm not sure what to do with this hardcore stuff. Maybe I can hire someone...

Any ideas?


Speaking From Experience

A Nice Christmas Present:

A So-So Christmas Present:

A Not-So-Great Christmas Present:

But it's the thought that counts...

Friday, December 23, 2005 

Baby, It's Cold Inside

My husband and I are of two different mindsets when it comes to the ideal inside temperature of our home. He feels that as long as we can't see our breath in the air, it's an acceptable temperature. I, on the other hand, would like to be able to feel my fingers and toes while sitting at my desk, and would like the baby to not have to wear mittens to bed.

His theory is that if we lower the temperature on the thermostat at night by about 10 degrees, we will save a large percentage on our heating bills. I have no problem with this theory and, in fact, support it wholly. My problem is that recently, when he turns the heat back up in the morning, he has actually been decreasing the usual daytime temperature in two degree increments. Let me expound.

Our usual daytime temperature was set at about 70-72 degrees. Around Tuesday of last week, I noticed that the temperature was set at 70. Okay, fine, no big deal, right? (Stick with me here...) Then on Thursday, I noticed that the temperature was at 67. A wee bit chilly for my taste. So I took the liberty of turning the thermostat up a bit. That evening, as we were preparing to don our parkas and snowpants for the night's sleep, he noted that the temperature on the thermostat had been moved. "Yeah, what of it?!" I retorted. 'Nuff said. Since then, however, it seems colder and colder in the house (though no one has spoken of the temperature drop, except wordlessly, when I put my dead, frost-bitten feet on his legs at night). The last time I looked at the thermostat, I had to scrape the ice off of it in order to see the temperature, but I didn't dare change the setting, choosing instead, to turn up the setting on the heating pad.

Today though, for some reason, the silence was broken when he suddenly exclaimed, "See, it's not too bad in here, is it? 58 isn't too cold! We've all gotten used to it!" Unfortunately for him, he received his answer when he looked over and saw his wife and child sawing off pieces of the Christmas Tree to burn for warmth. Yes dear, 58 IS too cold.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 

The Itch That Won't Go Away...

I had this whole thing planned that I was going to write. It was going to be about Solstice yesterday and the magical evening I spent sledding down a big hill in the moonlight with a random person, a friend, and a very good friend.

Unfortunately, however, the cat keeps licking herself and it's making me insane and I MUST write about that instead. The story is that after the baby was born, Lucy (the cat), developed some sort of dermatitis. Apparently she is allergic to something in the house (probably the baby). We have given her all sorts of organic foods and bottled Evian, but it just doesn't help and the only thing that does is a Cortisone shot every two months.

So the problem is that we're approaching the third month here. We just haven't had the time nor the funds to get her the shot and it's becoming more and more apparent that she's suffering increasingly every day. Now I've been itchy myself and certainly feel for her, but there is no sound like the one of a cat licking the same spot over and over and over and over. The only sound worse is the sound of her licking her own ass over and over and over. (Thank god, the itch is not near THAT part.) The sound actually causes a physical reaction in my body and I develop my own sort of tic. My heart fills with a red rage and I just want to throw things at her. Alas, even that does not help. She tends to glance at the offending item and swiftly run back into her corner to begin licking again. Obviously it's time to get her shot again and we must find a way, even if I have to sell fruit on streetcorners to get the necessary funds.

In the meantime, however, I slowly go insane with annoyance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

Wrestling With Demons

I've having a rough couple of days. I'm not sure if it's the cold, or the amount of things to do, or the ever-growing pile of bills that need to be paid. I'm just feeling overwhelmed and that, coupled with lack of sleep, is making me itchy and annoyed.

I'll try to do more later...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 

Bad Mama Blues

I'm familiar with guilt. I grew up in a pretty strict Catholic [mobile] home and was there when they doled out everyone's share. But no one told me, and I wasn't aware, that when I had my child, I would be handed out a whole other share of it. I guess maybe it's something "they" don't talk about or maybe other people don't feel it as much because they were not raised in Nazi-regime Catholicism. Either way, I just wasn't aware that it would be hitting me the second she shot out the chute.

I remember in the beginning it was always guilt about not enjoying getting up in the night seventeen times. Or about the fact that nursing hurt and I was not the picture-perfect woman in the whispery-white negligee feeding her child in the moonlight (rather, I would cry and tense up and crouch in a corner praying to the goddess of nipples to make the pain go away).

Now it's more about interaction. I feel as though we should have a schedule for everything:

7:30am - wake
7:35am - describe the morning light as it shines into the room and get her opinion on it
7:40am - get self bathed and dressed, get baby bathed and dressed
7:50am - have organic breakfast prepared for self and baby, have organic, free-trade, half-decaf coffee brewing
8:00am - feed baby organic breakfast while simultaneously giving cat organic treats
8:05am - clean baby with organic wipes while describing the process of cleaning oneself
8:10am - go through colors with baby using oil pastels and easel
8:12am - put away easel, take out miniature french horn
8:15am - listen to and teach baby how to play miniature french horn
8:25am - watch baby practice Irish jig dancing and give short commentary on the country of Ireland and its political strife
8:35am - go through body parts with baby using anatomically correct terms (armpit=axillary region)
and so on...

Alas, our "schedule" goes loosely like this:

anywhere between 6:30-8:30am - wake
8:35am - place baby on floor with remote control, giving me a precious two more minutes of shut-eye
9:00am - finally roll out of bed and put on same sweat pants that were worn yesterday
9:15am - go downstairs and start making cereal for baby
9:20am - place baby in high chair and remember cereal on stove
9:21am - clean up cereal on stove that has boiled over and scrape "clean" cereal into baby's bowl
9:23am - feed baby while checking cell phone to see if any "adults" that speak English have called
9:25am - give baby sweet potato puffy thingies in order to buy a few seconds to go pee
9:30am - put baby back on floor to play while trying to clean the kitchen, realize it's too quiet and find baby playing in cat's litter boxes
(I won't go further - don't want to incriminate myself...)

So, as you can see, there are no mini french horns in our future. We do read books about colors, but I'm afraid I bore her because just likes the concept of turning pages and doesn't seem to care about "red apples!" I try to explain things I'm doing, but she always seems busy chasing the cat and doesn't care how one makes coffee. I notice that I tend to gravitate towards the computer so that I can somehow "interact" with others who speak my language. Yet, I have committed to not being on the computer too long when she's awake...don't want to be emotionally absent.

I'm stuck in a quandry. Maybe this is just how it is. Maybe people don't get up and dress their babies in kilts in order to practice their jigs. But maybe they do. And this is what I fear.

Monday, December 19, 2005 

So Exhausted

This sucks. Seriously, it does. It's been a year now and I'm still looking for a good work-at-home position. I've searched here and posted a resume here (see "Unofficial Resume" on November 15 of Cleveland version). I've even done several customer service jobs which could be compared to plucking out one's arm hairs one-by-one. I did telemarketing (though I tried to convince myself that they were "customer service" calls), but experienced severe irritable bowel episodes prior to each shift. True, my experience is in customer service, and yes, I did a good job even though I hated it, but it's not where my true passion lies. Besides, the impending explosive diarrhea was a bit distracting.

So here I am, a year later and many, many, MANY dollars more in debt. I'm not sure what to do. Instinct tells me to wait it out; something will come along. But I can feel my throat closing when I think about's that old fear. Fear of not making it, fear of "the man" coming down on me, fear of failure, I suppose. Same old, same old. Where are all of those fabulous writing jobs?

What to do? And so I sit.


Twisted Humor

Hahaha! Thanks, Carrie!

Sunday, December 18, 2005 

Greatest Game Ever:

Oreo Matchin' Middles

Oh, the ways you can play! Of course there is the instructed way, but we've played every variation from "See-how-psychic-you-can-be-and-guess-what-shape-I'm-holding-up-without-looking," to "I'll-give-you-a-hint-and-twist-it-till-it-fits-together."

And the baby likes it too!


Sam's Club: The Eighth Level of Hell

So we just got back from Sam's Club. Somewhere between the masses of wandering zombies and the recycled air barely circulating, I fell into a deep state of exhaustion.

We had put it off long enough. We knew we had to go. There were two diapers left in the house, and though I briefly (very briefly) pondered re-using some of those barely urinated-in diapers, I was forced to discard the idea when I realized that we were out of wipes as well.

There are many reasons why I hate, no, abhor Sam's Club. Walking in feels like entering a Cathedral of Consumerism. Bright lighting, sirens randomly going off (seriously, sirens), hoards of people scrambling over car-sized cases of beef jerky and slightly rotting pears...these are just a few such reasons. Call me stuck-up, but I'm all about presentation. I have a hard time with jeans and t-shirts stacked on pallets. Also, there is the fact that one cannot leave without spending at least $100 and that's only if you keep your purchases down to 6 or less items.

So we got our diapers and wipes ($50 right there) and then we had to get two gallons of milk and three cans of pasta sauce. I looked at buying rice, but it's only available in 10 pound bags. It's all about excess at Sam's Club. You can't just get ONE DVD, you have to get the TRIPLE PACK! Who wants one Mary-Kate and Ashley DVD, much less three?? We managed to leave with not only diapers and wipes, but also a map of the United States and some bubble mailers. We simply had to have them. And the best part is that when you're done checking out, there are no bags big enough to hold your enormous purchases so you're stuck throwing a 20 pound package of pasta in the back of your vehicle along with the 35 rolls of toilet paper that you needed.

So why do we go? Because they manage to save us $5 each time we buy diapers. Hmmmm. I'm not sure it's worth it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 

Cat Shit

"Cat shit is even more disgusting than cow shit," says my husband, the expert. Apparently it's the difference between eating grass and eating meat that does it. He knows because he's learned from the ultimate in sources: his father. The anecdote goes that his father would throw away a dish before using it after a cat had eaten out of it. "Once a cat's tongue has touched a dish, you may as well throw it away!!!" A courageous statement, indeed. And so that begins to explain why my husband reacted the way he did when we found the baby playing in a toilet full of cat shit. Let me back up a bit...

Often we will all hang out as a family, either looking at the Christmas (er, holiday) tree or playing piano. Unfortunately, the baby's attention span is short and looking at the holiday tree takes about 2.4 seconds for her. So while we sit and take in its splendor, she takes off to find the next ladybug who will meet its terrifying death between her two front teeth or to play with all of the random plastic bags which populate our floors. But today, as we were playing piano and marveling at our amazing Mozart-like skills, a kind of silence fell upon our ears from the other room. I kindly asked my husband where the baby was, as I walked into the other room. I knew the cat food was safe because I had moved that to a higher area. When I noticed the bathroom door was open, I was immediately filled with trepidation - not knowing what monstrosities I might discover. What if she was quietly shredding the toilet paper and scattering it about the room? What if she had dumped the trash can all over the floor and was examining its contents with that innate curiousity which only belongs to her? Even my mind could not have dreamed up the sight which would befall me.

She was standing against the toilet, holding onto the edge holding a handful of cat shit. Yes. Cat shit. Not just cat shit, but wet cat shit, encassed in litter. And she was squishing it in her palm, watching it squeeze out between her fingers with a sort of unexplainable glee. Her excitement was tangible. Not only had she somehow gotten into a room that is usually vaulted, but she had also managed to feel this amazing putty-like substance with a texture unlike any other she had ever experienced. It was like having her cake and EATING IT TOO (except she didn't eat it, thank God).

To clarify, the cat is not weirdly bathroom-trained. And we do not normally have random clumps of cat shit sitting in the bottom of the toilet. My dearest husband had been cleaning the cat's shit buckets (litterboxes) and, after putting the buckets away, had neglected to flush the toilet. It was simply begging to be played in...or something like that...

So when I discovered the baby playing in the cat shit, my first reflex was to let her keep playing - discovery is, after all, the best play. But when my husband saw her, he went on a rant - there was talk of bleach - how best to use it and where. Various quotes from his father flew out of his mouth along with comments about how disgusting cats are "with their asses rubbing all over the place." The rant continued as I balanced the baby on my knee, took her shirt off (sleeves saturated with toilet water), washed her hands numerous times, passed her off to the husband and cleaned the toilet situation. In fact, the rant continued and digressed into a conversation about the inherent differences between cat shit and cow shit, along with the exclamations about a meat-eating diet vs. a grass-eating diet.

So the situation is over now; the baby is clean and napping. We've all been bleached and washed, rather obsessive compulsively. The question now, of course, is whether he'll remember to flush the toilet from now on after cleaning the litterboxes or will we have more "episodes?" And what, for Chrissake, will his father say??


Motivational Speech

Never try to give someone a motivational speech while they are pushing a stroller through six inches of packed snow. And for that matter, don't try to listen to a motivational speech while pushing a stroller through six inches of packed snow. Trust me. I've done this. And did I mention the frozen ice on top of the packed snow? And the annoyed baby inside the stroller who insists that shoes and socks are not necessary even in December and delights in dropping them by the side of the stroller? Did I mention the prized object - the liquid sustenance - the reason why anyone would push a stroller through six inches of packed snow - did I mention it sloshing all over said stroller, leaking down onto the head of the annoyed baby (having cooled itself on the way down the stroller canopy) and being half-gone by the time the destination is reached? And did I mention wearing the wrong shoes - clogs - and having them fill with ice and snow and discarded (but not retrieved) dog shit? Couple all of that with an itchy hat and an over-sufficient scarf and even Mary-freaking-Poppins couldn't stay positive, much less say the right things during a motivational speech. Seriously. Don't do it.

About me

  • I'm Sara
  • From United States
  • I consider myself to be a storyteller and often draw upon my everyday experiences in order to create stories. I grew up in a commune.
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