Posts Tagged ‘life in general’

Been a long time…some thoughts and stuff.

Yeah I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been meaning to, just like I’ve been meaning to actually work on my book blog, but I can’t get to the fucking computer for more than 15 minutes without The Man bugging the hell out of me to get off.

The Job

I’m going to find another job soon. I’m being criminally underpaid. He decided (remember I’m off the books, as is everyone else I work with) that $50 every two weeks was ok. Now, I’ve taken on an extra day. Initially I was doing a 20 hour week. Now it’s 26. I should be getting $138 every two weeks. I’m being jacked for $88. Here’s the problem, if I go report him, everyone I work with gets in trouble because no one is paying income taxes at the moment. We never filled out a W2 so we don’t get W4s. I’d be happy to tell The Boss to go fuck himself and sic the IRS on him (and MiOSHA) on the sly, but that would put my coworkers (who really don’t need/deserve that sort of stress) in harms way. So I’m stuck. If I complain to a Labor Board, Cook, Mel, Mo and The Amazing Beulah (who I’ve found isn’t really so scary after all) all get caught up in it (S1 and S2 have both quit, S2 didn’t last her first week).

So I decided (and I told Cook today) that I’m only going to stay there a little while longer, then I’m going to try to find another job. Whether it’s waiting tables or something else, I don’t care (well…I won’t work fast food, that’s just something that’s not going to happen), I need to get out of that place. I don’t need the drama.

Have I mentioned that we haven’t had Coke there since the 6th of this month? And that our CO2 tanks are now empty as well, and have been for over a week? We’re a restaurant that serves pop but has no pop to serve. How in the hell does that make sense?

So I’m restarting my job search. Now that I’m in the work force it should be a little bit easier.

Revelation

Since getting back to work I’ve realised something: Being a stay at home mom made me disgustingly dependant to the point where I lost sight of myself.

Let me state right now that I don’t regret being a SAHM. Not in the least. I loved watching my daughter grow up and discover something new every day. That look she gets when she gets something makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. No, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

I’ve always been a really independant person. It’s just part of my nature. I started working as soon as I could so I could get what I wanted when I wanted it without having to wait for someone to be nice enough to give it (or the money for it) to me. I hate feeling like a charity case and I hate it when I have to depend on others to take care of my needs. That is what happened when I became a stay at home mom. I became dependant. I couldn’t buy groceries because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t get things for the house because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t…I couldn’t…I couldn’t… I can go on forever like that.

This isn’t to say my husband didn’t take care of us. He did. And he did an amazing job doing so. He has no college education, works (mostly) part time at a job that pays under $12 and has no health benefits for anyone not full time (and then you’re paying so much that you may as well get private insurance on your own). And he’s been working his ass off on his music career and has made some big moves of late. Yet and still we’ve never gone hungry, we’ve never been without the necessities. The Kid has always had clothes and shoes that fit. She’s never needed for toys, or books, or crayons, or some sort of entertainment. We’ve always made a way no matter what happened. My problem is just that I hate asking people for what I need. I feel like a child asking if I can have some money to get a new shirt, or a new pair of shoes or jeans. I get eaten by guilt spending that money on myself. I look and see a bill that needs paying, or something The Kid or The Man may need/want and that becomes priority. Spending on me can’t happen without spending spending on them first to assuage my guilt, and my feelings of being greedy for not being happy with what I have.

Since starting at The Job I have rediscovered my independance. Even if just a bit. It’s an important bit. I feel like an adult. I feel like I actually bring something to the table in this relationship. I feel like less of an undue burden. I can feel myself regain some self confidence that I lost when my Demon decided that my being unemployed (even if it was by choice to raise my daughter) meant that I was less than, that I was a disappointment to everyone around me and that I was nothing more than a bother and burden.

Of course, intellectually, I knew I was something something very important by being there for my daughter and raising her. I knew, intellectually, that there was no job in this world that can pay me better than seeing those beautiful brown eyes look at me and watching her as she sat up on her own, took her first steps, said her first words, coming home from her first day of school, watching her write her name for the first time. All these big things and all the little things in between. No office or cubicle or promotion or paycheck could ever replace that. But intellectual knowledge, and all the love I have for my daughter, can’t stand up to the steady, repetitive drum beat of my Demon slowly erroding the wall intellect and love build up.

Not being able to actually get a job for almost a year didn’t help matters any. In fact it seemed to confirm everything my Demon told me. I was worthless, useless. No one would hire me because I wasn’t good enough to be hired. It’s hard to fight that and not put in applications thinking “I’m not going to get it but why not.”

Slowly, slowly, I am beating back my Demon. I am regaining confidence lost over the years. It is taking time, but I am finding who I am again. I’m rediscovering my personal light and path.

Slowly, slowly.

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I’m bout ready to scream

So last night me and The Man got into over the phone. Partially it was my fault. I should have been more clear on where I was going and what I was doing (I was going to a local restaurant for a get together for a local group I’m sort of involved with). I had also forgotten to talk to him about it last week, mostly because I was dealing with the start of The Kid’s school year (and needing to get clothes for her), and burying my aunt and all that would come along with that. Add to that the fact that me and Mo got into it at work because the drawer was short $15 (it was short $11 when I came in that day) and I wasn’t sure that I was going to still have a job by the end of the week; yeah I was a little stressed.

Not only that, but I’ve been neglecting things that I really want to do. Me and my bestfriend decided to start up our own book review blog. Well, it was sort of my idea and I talked her into doing it with me. I was going to come up with the basic review format and do the ratings, but now that The Man is home and using the comp more, I rarely actually get ON the bloody thing except late at night. By then I’m too damn tired to do much of anything, certainly not to sit in front of photoshop and piece together images.

Then there’s Second Life where I’m an assistant manager at a shop (yeah crazy right, I’ve been employed more on Second Life since last October than I have in the year and some months that I was actively looking for real life work). I’m basically the main person she counts on to do their job and I’m barely on for more than a few minutes to delete and answer messages. And as weird as it may sound, being that I’m talking about a virtual world, I feel bad that I just don’t have the time to do the simple work she needs me to do.

Speaking of The Job. I’m getting paid off the books. I don’t really get this, but apparently ALL the staff is getting paid off the books. How in the hell do you run a restaurant, with all its expenditures, and not have staff on the books? Dish washers? Ok, I can see that. Maybe even a cook or two. But we’re open 7 days a week for pretty much 12 hours a day. You gotta have at least one cook and one waitress on file. That place is a massive IRS audit waiting to happen. And The Boss is insanely cheap. I got yelled at yesterday because a table ordered a large Greek salad, but the two people there ran out of time, so I gave them two boxes. They were splitting the salad (which was obvious if you saw the fact that the salad was in the middle of the table between the two people). The Boss waits for them to leave and goes off.

“Why did you give them two boxes?”

“Because they are splitting the salad.”

“No. It’s one salad, one box.”

“No. It’s two people, who were both eating the salad, they had to go so they get two boxes to split the salad.”

“One salad, one box. She called here, order to go, but eats here (note: she called ahead because she was going to be between classes and didn’t have a lot of time, I put her order in as to go but told Cook, in front of Boss, that it was to eat in).”

“You were standing right there when she called the order in. She’s at school right now (there’s a university right down the street) and had a break between classes so she and her friend came in to eat. They ran out of time and wanted to take the salad with them. They were splitting the salad to begin with, so of course I’m going to give them two boxes. She paid for her food, and tipped me ($5 on a $14 bill…36% tip, I’ll ride and die for that chick). What’s the problem?”

Boss just huffed after that. He really couldn’t justify being cheap about two people splitting a large salad (our large salads can easily feed two people, or be a full meal for one). We’ve also gotten into it about bread (only with hummus, but not with baba ganouj [WTF?] and only two packages for a medium order, no matter how many people are eating it; if they want more, charge them), and refills on drinks (anything besides water, wait until they ask, don’t refill it automatically). I ignore most of these rules. Because of the way waitstaff wages are caculated (restaurants are only obligated to pay at least $2.65 an hour because we get tips that are supposed to make up the difference and add up to minimum wage; legally we’re supposed to declare our tips and log them and if our tips that day don’t make up for the loss then we get paid extra by the owner…but then again this isn’t exactly a totally legit operation) I can make more in tips than I would from my check.

Just FYI: Waitstaff don’t make living wages. They have to bust their hump extra special hard to make ends meet. Don’t be an asshat and not tip at least 20% (unless your waiter/tress was just THAT bad). We don’t live in Europe where being waitstaff isn’t looked at as badly as it is here and they get paid decently. And if you’re one of those fuckers who go “Well you knew what you got paid when you took the job, should have found one that paid better.” remember that shit when your boss passes your ass up for a promotion or denies your request for a raise.

Some folks honestly do enjoy working waitstaff. It’s hard (especially on the back, legs and feet), but you meet new people everyday, no two days are ever exactly the same. You can’t say that for cubicle life. Me, personally, I love being waitstaff, but I can’t work big restaurants. I learned that at the last place I worked. It’s too much stress for me to handle (well I wasn’t on anti-deps then so who knows). I’ve been working food service in one way or another since I was 15. I love food and all that it represents. I once considered going into culinary arts, but, again, the stress…I don’t think I could hack it.

The problem with me is that I take too much on. I have no clue how to leave well enough alone and become invested in things. Then life takes its course and I find that I’m over my head and struggling to stay afloat.

I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB!

I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB!

Can you tell I’m happy? Give me a week, I’ll be bitching.  I’m slinging shawarma at a local pita joint. I had worked there for a week once but, on the same day, my babysitter dropped out on me and my car stopped working.  What’s funny is that the cafe is sort of famous (fame being relative here).

They’ve remodeled the inside recently, a little less seating than before. And it seems they letting people smoke hookahs at the table (O.o) which I’m sure violates the Michigan ban against smoking in restaurants, but this could be on their outdoor patio so who knows. I guess I could start carrying a lighter just in case.

I won’t start until the 19th, that way I know everything is set and in place (babysitter, The Man, etc etc). Because the man doesn’t always work days (and I’ll be working days) babysitter won’t always be necessary, but it’s helpful to have.

The Noggin Channel Scares Me A Bit

There. I’ve said it. And if you watched Nickelodian’s Noggin channel (it’s repository for Nick’s Nick Jr. content), you’d feel the same way.

While I do like Noggin much more than Sprout (PBS’s cable/satellite channel for children’s programming), the only show I like on Discovery Kids is Peep and The Big Wide World (I think I like the theme song, performed by Taj Mahal, most) and Toon Disney never finds its way onto my tv screen (Disney = Devil), there are a few shows that either scare me…or make me scratch my head.

I like a lot of Noggin’s programming. Backyardigans is my favorite (mostly because The Kid gets up and dances along with it), and I loooove Little Bill. Maggie and the Ferocious Beast; top marks. Oswald gets a vote from me too.

Then you have shows like Max and Ruby, which features two bunnies of the approximate ages of 3 and 7 (respectively) and their day to day adventures. What’s wrong with this? Max and Ruby have no parents. All their friends have parents, and there are adults who occasionally drop by, but Max and Ruby’s parents are never, ever, around. This leaves Ruby in charge of her little brother Max. They run errands together by catching the bus (I don’t even want to know how Ruby gets bus fare). They do have a grandmother, but she lives on the other side of town, which means taking the bus there too. Now and then Ruby mentions their mother, usually in reference to something else  to explain a situation (i.e. “Mother said we have to spend the day and Grandmother’s house.”). Beyond that, Max and Ruby are on their own. Don’t they have laws against that in their little bunny world?

Then you have shows like Franklin and Little Bear. For the most part, there’s nothing wrong with these shows. Maurice Sendak (Where The Wild Things Are) illustrated Little Bear so, really, you can’t put too much of a knock on it. And I actually do like these shows. The head scratching comes in when they start talking about pets. See, Franklin and Little Bear are largely centered around anthropomorphic animals, though Little Bear does feature two human characters.  I’ve never understood how animal cartoon characters can have pets. Isn’t that sort of akin to slavery? Franklin’s best friend is a snail, yet Franklin has been known to own a fish. Little Bear has a friend named Cat (who is a cat, duh), yet Emily, the human friend, owns a dog for a pet (the dog, unlike Little Bear and Cat, cannot talk).

Then there’s Yo Gabba Gabba. This show…it scares me. I can not express how much it scares me, but it does. If you have seen it, you’d be scared too. It’s like HR Pufnstuf toned down and without the (obvious) drug references.

It featurers five Pufnstuf-esque creatures that are meant to be like puppets manipulated by a “puppet master” named DJ Lance Rock, who is a skinny black guy in a bright orange, and very tight, jumpsuit, with an equally bright orange fuzzy hat and 80’s Run DMC style glasses. Part of me wanted to scream racism when I first saw the show. But I also knew that would be totally false. There’s nothing even minutely racist about the show. It’s just the fact that a skinny black guy clad, head to toe, in bright orange scares me for some inexplicable reason. The show features music, “dancing” (there are people in those suits, you really can’t call hopping from foot to foot while waving your arms wildly dancing…unless you’re white….KIDDING!), the occasional “guest” (Elijah Wood [HOBBITSES!] and Biz Markee have made appearances) and life lessons for the 3-5 year old set (like sharing, and not biting others).

One of their more disturbing skits deals with eating. One or all of the creatures gather around for meal time and start singing “There’s a party in my tummy!” and, out of nowhere, the food on the plate grow faces and respond “SO YUMMY! SO YUMMY!” They then call out the name of each food (or drink) before “eating” it. Once eaten you get an inside view of the creature’s stomach so you can see the food “partying”. I should mention that the food is completely intact, which means it was swallowed whole with no chewing involved. This includes items like chicken legs. The other day, while watching this show (actually I was walking by the tv while The Kid was watching it and was forced to stop and stare…there’s something about that show that makes you do that) I disovered one of the creatures actuall has THREE stomachs.

Inevitably, the creatures leave some bit of their food on the plate, and as they walk away the food begins to cry. The creatures walk back and ask the food why it’s crying only to get the reply “We want to go to the party! The party in your tummy!” (suicidal food?), and they are rewarded by being gulped down in the same fashion as all the other food was.

Don’t believe me? Watch this:

See what I mean? SCARY STUFF! Honestly, who the hell thought this was a good idea?

So, yeah…Noggin programming is scary stuff man.

Birthday and forced labor

Last monday was my birthday. I am now the disturbingly close to 30 age of 27. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those people who over analyzes everything on their birthday, but the older I get the harder that becomes.

Tuesday I dropped H off at the airport for a trip to…erm…somewhere. Who the hell knows. Then headed out to Detroit. The week before I got a call from my mom, “What are you doing from the 1st to the 7th?” Um…nothing I think. Why? “Good, you’re coming down here to help me clean up the house.” *pause* O…k…

This is my mom. What am I going to say? “No clean your own damn house”? That whole giving birth and raising me thing sort of makes it hard to say that.

So I spent the last week cleaning my mom’s house, hanging out with a childhood friend, and shuttling between my sister’s house and my parent’s (which sucked up a LOT of gas). It took us the better part of two days to clean my mom’s kitchen. This included cleaning out the cabinets, removing their handles and shelves, washing EVERYTHING (including walls and ceiling), sorting though dishes, glasses, mugs, sliverware, and cooking utensils, hauling bag after bag after bag after bag of garbage to the big dumpster they rented when they had the siding on their house redone. Not to mention cleaning out their refigerator (which REALLY needed it), washing the floor, soaking and scrubbing the cabinet handles in a mix of LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner (the ONLY cleaner I absolutely SWEAR by…even though I’m certain the fumes have erased a few much needed braincells) and water; which removed not only years of grease and oil and dirt, but also the finish from the handles.

Thursday we took care of most of the dining and living rooms, Friday we finished so my parents could bbq and have company over. I also cleaned their bathroom, moving all unnecessary items from the back of the toilet to a shelf in their linen closet. Saturday a few of those items were back on the back of the toilet and I gave up. Sunday I went over to my sister’s house to help her prepare for a bbq. This mostly entailed running errands. More gas guzzling.

Today I’m supposed to get H from the airport…though I don’t know what time. I’m exhausted but I still have things to do before I can lay down and rest.

I need a vacation.

Yeah yeah…I know

It’s been forever since I blogged. Sue me. Life has been going on as it always does.  MT and I are (once again) back on speaking terms, so it hasn’t been all bad.

Weird stuff has been happening to me lately. The other day, while leaving the grocery store, this woman who was coming in the door looked at me and said “Oh my gawd! You are sooooo beautiful!” This took me completely by surprise. She wasn’t hitting on me, so get that idea out your head now, she was giving me a genuine compliment. And my only response was a stunned, “Thank you.” as I hurried my way out the door. I didn’t mean to be rude. It just caught me off guard.

At first I thought she was going to get an attitude with me because her daughter walked right in front of my cart (the girl looked about 9) to get to one of those gumball/toy machines and I said, in my auntie voice, “excuse me hon, watch out”. Not everyone appreciates you talking to their kid like they have some sense. She called her daughter back over to her, looked at me, and told me I was beautiful. Now, I happened to be wearing an old, worn out long sleeve tshirt, that used to belong to H before I commandeered it for myself, and a pair of jeans. No make up, nothing remotely “beautiful”. Just something I threw on for a quick trip to the grocery store.

On Saturday I got an IM from that guy I graduated high school with that keeps hitting me with cheap innuendo even though we’re both married. Normally when he IMs me I’m no where near the computer so when I do get the message I don’t bother returning it. Not that I want to talk to him anyway. But this time around I decided to suck it up and respond since I was actually there when he sent the message. The conversation was innocuous enough. The regular “how have you been? what have you been up to?” type questions. Then, out of nowhere he said, “U know ur the first chick that ever came n my mouth I know that way off of subject just a good memorie that poped n my head  sorry if I upset u wit not my intent” (sic)

WTF?

I spent the next five minutes trying to convince him that we never did anything (at least I didn’t think we did..you know I’m sure I’d remember something like that…I didn’t smoke enough weed in college to block out that much memory). He was stunned that I couldn’t remember and I was starting to feel bad. What if I did let him god down on me all those years ago? I mean it was about 10 years ago so I couldn’t really be blamed if I didn’t remember…but he remembered. Or at least he said he did. I still wasn’t sure it happened. I apologised and told him I meant no offense but if it happened, I didn’t remember. After that I had to get off the comp because H needed to use it.

While washing dishes a hazy memory came back. Not completely, but enough that I knew I wasn’t making it up because I felt sorry for him. I think he really did go down on me all those years ago. But, more importantly, I’m certain that I was completely unimpressed by his skills, which would explain why I didn’t remember. He sucked. I suddenly felt even worse now that I remembered why I forgot. How do you tell someone, “You’re right, we did do something, however you weren’t good enough to warrant remembering so I pretty much forgot it as soon as it was over”? What an ego crusher that would be! And while his cheap innuendo is annoying and almost insulting in their insinuations that I’d want to do anything sexual with him while we’re both married with kids, I don’t want to destroy the poor fellows self confidence. I might be mean, but I’m not cruel.

The Kid, the end of the school year and the impending summer of terror

Thursday is The Kid’s last day of school. For whatever reason they start preschool a month late and end it a month early. It’s insane if you ask me.

For the last few weeks I’ve been looking for a day camp for The Kid. There are none. Oh there are day care centers, but I don’t want her to be at a day care center. I want her to be somewhere where she’ll learn something. If I wanted her to sit around indoors doing nothing, I’d keep her home. But camps for four year olds are few and far between.

A local university was doing a reading enrichment program for kids her age. But it was one hour a week and they wanted over $230

There’s a indoor rock climbing gym that has summer programs for kids her age, but it’s at the end of the summer and $165 for a week. Initially I was considering them because their website had up their spring program where it was $130 for 10 weeks of classes. If they had done something like that for their summer session, I’d so be there. But it’s a bust now.

So we have no idea what to do with The Kid, who has asked me to put her back in school once school was over because she didn’t want it to end. God I hope that holds all the way through high school. (please?)

Sometimes I just feel like throwing up my hands and saying,

“Fuck it.”

This isn’t in reference to just ONE thing. It’s in reference to a LOT of things.

Uphill battles that seem to go nowhere fast.

Long, depressing slogs through life’s issues.

Honestly, there are days, when I’m walking somewhere, and I just want to keep walking. No turning around. No going home. Just walking. Constant and dogged forward movement.

I don’t know where I’d go, or how I’d feed myself, or where I’d sleep. Those aren’t as important as just moving forward. Chances are I wouldn’t stop long enough to think about food or sleep. I’d just be walking until I dropped.

In those moments, that situation makes a lot of sense. It seems so plausible. So do-able.

Except…

The Kid.

Not H. Not my family. Not my friends. The Kid.

I couldn’t see just walking away from her. Not like that. Certainly not now.

So whenever I get that feeling. That urge to just throw up my hands, say “Fuck it.” and walk off into the sunset. I see her face. Peeking just above the living room windowsill. Watching. Waiting. And I know I have to come back.

Take from this what you will. I leave it open to interpretation. Bend it, mold it, shape it to fit whatever form you need it to fit.