Sunday, July 31, 2011

I have a few pictures I've been meaning to post. So without further ado...

See those cute toenails in those cute flipflops? Yeah, that's me. I'm sitting at the park, reading a book, in clear view of the two little cuties I brought to the wading pool. Where's the pool you ask? Look between the legs of the incredibly inconsiderate ladies who rolled in and laid their shit right in front of my chair while I was away for a minute. My chair was there. My book was on my chair. My bags are all around my chair. Obviously someone is sitting there. Now, really. Are these women so totally unaware of personal space that they have no qualms invading my area? Apparently. They rolled in and dumped their blankets and towels and trash all over the place not even three feet from my chair. Then they obstructed my view of the wading pool with their fat asses and cellulite thighs. They were eating pizza, too, and didn't even offer me any! I could have reached in the box and grabbed a slice and then asked them to pass me a drink from the cooler, but I didn't want to seem rude.

Besides, they were all speaking espanol and that's a dilemma for me. Do I say something incredibly scathing yet witty and hope they understand me or is that a waste of my words and mental energy? Then I also run the risk of them pretending they don't understand when actually the youngest of the women explains exactly what I said and they really do understand and then proceed to talk about me and insult me right in front of me knowing that I don't know what they're saying. See? It's a dilemma. So I chose the high road. I posted their picture and pointed out their ignorance on my blog where they will never see it. So there. But somehow I feel better. So let's move on.

I was laying on bed the other night and it was really late and I rolled over and saw this face. Do you see it? This is a little quirk of mine. I like to take pictures of objects that look like faces. Did I mention it was really late? Ahem. Moving on.
Here is Mr. M at a birthday party for a little girl we know from PE class. I love it! He's so cute and I honestly didn't think he could be any cuter, but if he was a puppy...enough said. I love this kid! There was one point in the party where I had my own private laugh. The birthday girl had requested a Disney princess for her party. When the princess arrived, she came around the corner and I was like, what the? The dress was perfect, Sleeping Beauty. The wig was a little messy, like she didn't know she was supposed to brush it after she slept in it. But what got me was that she was carrying a boom box. Now, there are certain, ahem, parties where, ah, ladies in fun outfits and wigs and lots of make-up show up to, you know, get the party started, and typically they bring their own music, ahh, usually a boom box or some other such device. So when this princess came around the corner in her bright pink dress, messy wig, lotso make-up, and carrying a boom box, I started laughing and I turned to the lady next to me...and then I stopped laughing. This wasn't the crowd where I felt like I could point out the similarities between the Disney princess and the, you know, other lady who might come. But in my mind I laughed long and hard! (that's what she said!) The kids had a great time with Sleeping Beauty, though, and she did a great job with the face painting.

Today I went to the beach by myself. I was so proud of myself for doing this because usually I would find some reason to justify not making the drive or effort to go somewhere just for myself. I love the beach. I love the wind in my hair and the way my lips taste like salt after I've been there for just a few minutes. The ocean and the waves remind me of how small I am on this huge planet and that beyond the rhythm of my life, the world moves to the greater cadence of nature and God and the universe. I walked down the beach until I found a spot away from most people. I love the way the water rushes in and cools my feet and then flows out again tickling my toes with bubbles and sand. I could lose myself for hours at the beach. But not today. I only had two hours on the meter, so there you go. 

I spent some time just sitting watching the waves and trying to empty my mind. Sometimes it feels like I have the same thoughts ricocheting around and I can't get them out. Or I end up thinking about something on an endless loop. Thankfully, I remembered a small notebook I put in my purse, and I had a sparkly pen which is always more fun to write with, and I spent some time writing my thoughts out. I wrote down whatever I was thinking about and I felt so much better after a while. I guess I probably looked somewhat dorky, but who cares? I let myself relax in the moment and go with what I really wanted to do. So it was a good time. Although I think it may have ruined the pedicure I gave myself yesterday. Oh well. It was worth it!

I also walked the pier, which is an interesting experience. Walking towards the end of the pier that's in the water is a relaxing experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm walking out onto the ocean. I had my hair down and I love the feeling of it streaming out behind me, dancing around. A beautiful feeling, truly. I took my time walking and stopped a few times just to watch the waves and take in the moment. I didn't want to rush. When I got to the end, I made a slow turn and walked back. Total opposite experience. The flowing hair was now fighting to beat me back to land. It was getting tangled in my sunglasses and when I would try to wrangle it back, the tendrils would wrap around my rings and fingers and hold on tight. I think I heard laughing at some point, but that can't be right. Anyway, I finished my walk with a fist full of damp curls and some rowdy frizz in my eyes.

I hope one day I can look back at this point in my life and pull the good things out. Like today, going to the beach for myself was a good thing. There is so much right now that is wearying and tearful and just a grind to get through one day after the next sometimes. So the beach is going on the top of the good things list.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beach trip today! The homies and I took the kids and rolled down to our favorite beach. The waves are pretty much nonexistent and the water is not deep at all, at least for the first 20 feet out. The kids are free to play in the water and in the sand with little supervision. This is the first time I've gone down to the beach without a child of my own under five years old. I was free to chat and oil up for a tan since I wasn't chasing a toddler or refereeing snacks. Good times.

This was the view from our spot in the sand.  I love being right in the marina. We saw sailboats and kayakers pass by all day. Plus there is a specific swimming area marked out and there was a wide assortment of swimmers doing laps, too. We saw a few people in wetsuits, an old man with man-boobs in a speedo, and some lifeguards in training. Perfect place for people watching, one of my favorite pastimes.

This is not too clear, but at one point there was a sailboating class in session. Look in the center of the picture, far out there, and you can see all the miniature sails. The sailboats were small! We saw them maneuvering in response to commands from a bullhorn and it was really cool to watch.

Professor X and Princess O both enjoyed being buried in the sand. Personally, I would hate that. Professor X was pretending to be dead. Princess O was pretending to be at the spa, note the water poured around her and the relaxed look on her face. Can you see her toes? They really blend in!

And then there is Mr. M who is completely unpredictable. I love this kid!

He spent the day covered in sand, literally. He would get in the water, splash around enough to get wet, then come out and roll around in the sand until he was completely covered. All day he did this! I was very entertained and so was he. I have never seen another kid do this. But he was having a great time, covered in sand. Who knew? Then the music came on. One of my homies brought her iPod and speakers and Mr. M just loves to dance. He's serious about it, though. He's not dancing to entertain and make you laugh. He's dancing because he loves the music and is expressing himself. It was awesome! No pics though. Too bad.

Most of us had a great day. One kid barfed, big time, and had to be taken home. That always seems to happen to someone! The sun finally came out about halfway through our day and I got some major sunshine. I love that! It was a great time and I remembered how much I need to spend time with my homies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

This is the new project I started last week, a blanket for myself. I keep finding myself with time to fill and I thought it would be helpful to start something easy and long. I think this is a time-marking project, something to work on during this hard season of my life, and when it's done I can look back and have something to show for it, something I put my effort into to keep myself from losing my mind. I started with a garter border and went into some basket weave pattern, but I lost track of what I was doing when I got interrupted, so now it's just stockinette. I'm planning to let the patterns flow in and out of the blanket as the mood moves me and add some color, too. The yarn I am using is cheap yarn, but I love the color: coffee. Perfect.

Another thing I did to boost myself up a little was clean out my desk. Things in my room looked so bland. One thing I have always wanted to do is paint my bedroom and actually get a bedroom set. Never happened. So as I cleaned out my desk I kept finding pictures that the kids had colored for me and I decided to hang the artwork on the wall. I was surprised at how much it really does brighten the room and makes it cozier. I'll be spending a lot more time in here, I think, so I'm glad I made it look nice. My desk looks a lot nicer, too, with all the silly little junk put away and my books arranged more neatly. I put up some cards from my sister that are funny and also some that have birds on them. I can't believe I waited this long to really personalize my little space. I'm very pleased.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Job Search

Yes, friends, I am searching for a job. I know, I know. I realized in January how unhappy I was in my transcription job and was thankful that my ears put a stop to that one. I definitely felt like it was sometimes a lot of effort and time away from my family without equal compensation. But life goes on. And here I am hoping to get a part-time job, something for myself, outside the home. The kids are old enough to handle it now and I even think it will be a good thing for all of us. Maybe it will save a small part of my sanity. Who knows.

But the road to a job is fraught with peril. Remember the old days of filling out a one page job application and handing it to a manager? Right. Those days are gone. Instead, there is usually a four page application to be filled out online, basic information, tax credit for the company information, employment history, and then the list of locations and departments in which you want to work. Can you say intimidating? I haven't worked outside the home in about nine years. Just putting my resume together was a huge process of recalling dates and looking up addresses and phone numbers. A major pain in the ass. But necessary, I know. So the tedious transfer of all that information is step one in the application process.

Step two is where I get annoyed. Each company has an additional personality profile, sometimes 12 pages long! WTF? I get it. The company doesn't want to waste their time with people who ultimately will disrupt other employees with drama, steal things, or basically be too much of a Bilo to be an effective employee. However, some of the questions are really ambiguous. "I care about the feelings of my coworkers." Uh-huh. Well, honestly, I just want to do my job and go home. I don't care much for people I don't know and I certainly have enough drama in my own life without adding anyone else's. So how do you answer that? If I say yes, does the company think I will spend time gossiping and talking instead of working? If I say no, does that make me appear uncaring and therefore unable to relate to customers?

Another question was, "Companies must take risks for innovation." Huh? If I don't work there yet, how do I really know what kind of innovation? Are we talking about self-checkout or self-flushing toilets? Both are innovative ideas. Both involve risk, stealing or stagnation. How do I know what level of innovation we're talking about? I think I answered that one as neutral. Maybe I'm overthinking this. After 12 pages of personality profiling though, I think anyone would be a little burned out.

Another company actually had a language arts and math test after the application process. Wow. There was a warning at the beginning of the test that there were so many questions that I couldn't possibly finish the whole test, but don't worry, I'm only evaluated on the correct answers I give. So, does that mean I should just skip through the test and answer the easy ones? Was I supposed to figure that out? Dang. I just thought of that right now. Anyway, one type of question was, match the beginning letter of the word that matches this definition. That's right, you don't get a list of words but a list of letters. Here is an example, a tract of land for raising crops and animals...E,F,R,S. This is easy. The answer is F for farm, right? But there were a few I could not figure out at all! Come on, at least give me a list of words! The math questions were all word problems, too!

I mean, look, I'm not applying to a hospital. I'm not looking for a position to cure cancer! I think these companies are getting a little too analysis-happy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This past weekend we went to the mall. The kids love going in the Disney store, but I don't know why. We never buy anything! I guess it's all the colors and characters they enjoy seeing, which I'm sure is some Disney hypnosis marketing trick.

When we entered the store, there was a lady, not young, arranging some shirts on a display. She was crouched down on the floor messing with the shirts on hangers. We couldn't see her face, but I heard her talking. I just glanced down at her and then looked at something my son was showing me, a new Cars character. It took me a second to realize the lady was still talking, and I looked over at her, as did my two sons. At this point, she was pulling her face out of the shirts, hair covering her face, glasses crooked. And we realized she was talking to US. She had been talking to us since we entered the store. Wow.

I wonder if this is some Disney policy. No matter what you're doing, whether you're down on the floor scrubbing or arranging clothing, you greet the customer! Heil, Mickey! Well, this lady was certainly very zealous about giving us a greeting. My boys didn't even answer her questions because she looked so crazy and disheveled. Her running monologue went something like this:
"...oh, isn't that cool? Aren't the new characters from the movie awesome? Have you seen the new Cars movie yet? You did? You didn't? You did? Oh, yeah, me too! I loved it! Did you love it? Who was your favorite character?" All this but speeded up like ten times. Okaaaay.

Now, I hated that movie. I seriously would love to go to Disneyland and demand they reimburse me for the two hours I spent sitting in that movie. I want two hours on Space mountain, with bathroom breaks and free snacks. Just me, in the front, going again and again. That's would be a fair payback for having to sit through the movie. It was awful! The first Cars movie is one of my favorites, not a desert island movie, but still good. Cars 2 sucked. Big time. I hated it. That's right. I'll say it again, hated it! Two hours of my life, gone. Wasted. I should have taken a nap during the movie, then maybe I wouldn't be so bitter about it.

So when this mental patient of a saleslady started rambling about how "awesome" the movie was I just laughed and walked away. I really, really wish I would have laughed and said, "Oh my God, that movie sucked!" just to see what her reaction would have been. I should have. Dang. That would have been worth seeing the movie just for that. Next time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekend of Me - Saturday

This is the weekend I'm spending on my own, no kids, no husband, just me. I didn't make any plans and actually the trip was really spontaneous, so I'm just going with whatever I feel like doing.

Friday night I spent doing some knitting and watching movies. I couldn't really settle into anything, but watched parts of Notting Hill, Sense and Sensibility, and then Sleepless in Seattle which I let play all night. I'm not used to sleeping alone, so I left Sleepless going all night. When I would awaken occasionally during the night and the movie was over, I restarted it. Silly, I know.

Today I woke up feeling so heavy, the weight of all my circumstances on my shoulders. A little time in prayer and in the Word, and a quick hello from a friend, and I was feeling mucho better. I spent the morning watching my all-time favorite movie, "When Harry Met Sally", and I finished the black arm warmer I've been working on, yay! Eventually, though, the walls started closing in and I knew I needed to get out amongst other humans for a bit.

I headed to the movies to see Transformers. I wanted to get the perfect seat, in line with the projector, towards the back, but of course, the theater was really small so the projector was in line with the main aisle ripping the theater in halves. Okay. I got a seat near the aisle about halfway back and had plenty of room to put my feet up and relax. Until the family of five decided to sit right in front of me. Really? You have the whole stinking theater and you have to sit right in front of me? You see I have my feet up! What the? It's kind of like when you have a nice new car, maybe even your dream car, and you choose a parking spot far away from every other car and possible parking spot, but some jackass decides to park right next to you. Yeah, it's just like that. Of course, I moved my feet so they could sit, but even when the dad sat down, he looked at where my feet had been, like he's checking to make sure I moved them. Jackass.

Thankfully, the movie did not disappoint. The action scenes were plentiful and the special effects were perfect. Thumbs up. And Shia is one of my favorite actors to watch. He's really good at running and jumping and looking frustrated by the government.

Afterwards, I headed over to a shopping center to browse around before heading back to my temporary pad. I was so bummed that the glass gallery that displayed glass chocolates is no longer a glass gallery, but more of a bead store. No glass chocolates in the window to drool over. I guess that's a sign of the times. Why buy glass chocolate when you can buy the real thing and actually eat it?

I headed to a very small yarn shop after that and found some interesting needles I had to have. They are stainless steel, made in China by a brand called ChiaoGoo. The package states on the front, "Knit Red". Now what exactly does that mean? I always joke around about China being Communist, so I could not resist getting these needles. Are they implying that I should be knitting Communist? If I use these needles am I a Communist knitter? Will my knitted projects be considered Communist if I use these needles? I love it! I can't wait to show them to my very uptight, conservative, Commie-phobic father! Good times!

The lady in the shop was a little weird. This is an extremely small yarn shop and I cannot imagine how it stays in business. I noticed this time that everything now has price tags on it whereas when I was in the shop previously nothing had a price tag. When I was ready to purchase the needles, I had to wait at the counter for a good five minutes for the shop owner to come over and help me. She seemed astonished that I was buying something. Now, granted, I'm in shorts and a t-shirt that says Talk nerdy to me, but hey, I'm also carrying my knitted bag. I must not look like the typical knitter she sees in her store so I guess it's probably good I didn't ask her if she had any needles with skulls on them. (seriously I want some of those! They're awesome!) Then, when I whipped out my ATM card to pay, she gave me a hard time. She asked me if I was sure I didn't have cash and I saw her look at my purse when I was pulling my wallet out. Dang! Really? I would think she would be happy just to sell something! I understand she has fees to pay, too, but when she told me, "I'll let it slide this time," I felt like saying, "Look, lady, I'm 36-years-old. I don't even need these needles! I'm buying them as a joke! So shut your wrinkled face!" But what did I do instead? I just looked at her and didn't smile. Ooh! That showed her! Yeah, right.

I headed to Target after that and hit the jackpot, Shiner Bock beer! Shiner Bock is a beer that is brewed in Texas and not easy to find here. It's my favorite beer. I like the flavor and I really enjoy drinking it even though it is a rare event. I bought what I needed to make nachos also and headed back to the pad. Since then, I have just been relaxing and watching episodes of Fringe. Good times.

All in all, this has been a relaxing day of putting everything out of my mind and focusing on being in the moment. Being a very social person, I do miss conversing and joking around with someone. So far I'm the only one laughing at my jokes. But I have a pot of coffee going, two more dvds of Fringe, and all night ahead of me. Maybe I'll start a Communist knitting project.