Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'll be back

If you like to read my blog, bear with me. The last few days have been HEC-TIC!!!! :) I'm busier than a one-armed makeup artist at a wedding!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm running away...

The wedding stress that I swore would never touch me has now enveloped me in its dark smokey cloud of due dates, demands for money, and drama.

What's a girl to do?!

It's taken me 32 years to realize...I HAVE NO COPING MECHANISMS!!!!

I usually eat my feelings when I'm stressed but that is NOT an option for me right now. I'm actually shocked that I have had as much will power as I've had. (Visions of back cleavage pouring out of the back of my dress are scary enough for me to wave off temptations...)

The day after the wedding, I think I'm going to have my favorite childhood treat: My own invention: The most delicious sandwich EVER...I call it the's 2 pieces of Wonder white bread with a generous amount of smashed doritos in between...I know what you're thinking...mmmmm....and you are right. It. is. to. DIE. for!!

After will be on to NUTTY BARS! Then, I will wash all that down with a big fountain pop.

Is that a white trash dream or what??? White bread, doritos, nutty bars and pop...Just call me Erin Dirt.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Does Karaoke Exist in the Absence of Alcohol?

If I drink enough Bud Light, I think people actually want to hear me shout Bon Jovi lyrics obnoxiously into a microphone.

Ooh-ah; ooh-ah; ooh ah; ooh-ah...Tommy used to work on the dock, the union's been on strike. He's down on his's tough, oh so tough...EVERYONE! Ooooh! Living on a Prayer!

Tonight will NOT be one of those nights...I have agreed to be the designated driver which means I'm probably not going to be the designated train wreck like usual...

Who knows? Maybe I'll do the ultimate and sing one of my favorite tunes sans alcohol. I do it everyday at work...but that's only in front of one kid and one adult usually. (It IS a sacrifice on my part...BUT I do it for the kids.)

So I guess this is a fake blog because it's really just an extra long status update, but it counts...right?!?!

What is this....EIGHTEEN in a row!?!?! That is longer than I've committed to MOST things, my friends.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My cat is a beach ball with paws.

"Your cat is obese." The veterinarian had animal print glasses on the tip of her nose and a look of disapproval in her eyes. Aaron looked like he was about to say something, and I was relieved because I certainly didn't know how to explain Lucy's extra poundage.

(...well, I guess the fruit roll ups, cheese poofs and whip cream didn't help matters, but I really didn't feel like telling this lady the reason my roly poly cat was so chunky was because I'd been loading her up with high fructose corn syrup...she was already openly judging me and she didn't even know how bad I really was yet, and well, I was kind of hoping we wouldn't have to go down that road so...)

"Do you see how small her head is?" We stared at Lucy's melon and she stared back. After a minute, she meowed. I think she was saying, "So I need to lose a few pounds! Who doesn't!?"

Now the vet was grabbing Lucy's haunches. "Have you noticed how big she is back here?" I heard Aaron mumble, "How could you miss it?!" The vet didn't hear him and continued, "It's not very proportionate to her small cranium... now is it??"

I looked from Lucy's head down to her tail with exaggerated neck and head movements (I wanted the doc to know I was taking this seriously...).

"Ah...I see what you mean." I nodded my head and cupped my chin. "I guess I just thought she was 'pear shaped' know...bad genes??" The last of this came out as a squeak.

"When I took her in the back room, we wiped down her backside with a warm wet rag and that seemed to take care of the situation back there." The vet lowered her voice as she said this. I looked around and it was still just the three of us.

Aaron was picking wayward cat hairs off his jacket as he said, "Yeah, we were wondering about that. Is there anything we can do? She seems to get a lot of stuff stuck back there if you know what I mean..."

"You can take a warm washcloth and just wipe her down back there. That should do the trick. She's such a sweet girl. When we were cleaning her hiney, she was just licking away at her little paws, trying to do her part." She patted Lucy. "A lot of the bigger girls will try to groom where they can when we clean them up."

Aaron was mulling over what the vet had just shared about Lucy's hygiene. "You mean to tell me we gotta wipe her butt for her because she's too FAT to reach it herself??"

"Yep." The vet acted like everyone followed their pets around, waiting for them to defecate so they could wipe them. I was considering the logistics of this new responsibility myself. What kind of washcloth were we going to use?? How would we get it clean? Would we use a brand-new one each time? How often would we need to do it? I had MILLIONS of questions, but I felt like it made me seem uncaring to balk at the idea of cleaning up my own cat's back door.

"There's something else I wanted to ask you about." The vet was looking from me to Aaron. I leaned in, hoping she wasn't going to ask me what kind of treats we gave Lucy (Aaron would rat me out for sure!). "There are two scars on her back. What are they from?" Aaron looked uneasy as he shifted his weight from foot to foot and scratched Lucy under the chin.

I was hoping this wouldn't come up. The vet at the emergency animal hospital had made me feel like a criminal when we had taken Lucy in a couple of months prior.

"Oh...those. Well,, what happened was..." Aaron saw me floundering and stepped in.

"She cut Lucy on accident. She was trying to give her a haircut and didn't realize part of her skin was mixed in with all the hair. We had to take her to the ER. She needed 8 staples!"

I interupted him, exclaiming, "I didn't know! Her hair was so long, and I couldn't get her into the groomer and I was working a lot of hours and it's been so hot and I didn't even know I was hurting her! Honest! She PURRED through the entire thing!!! What kind of animals purrs while you chop up her back?! I felt terrible...I still do! Lesson learned! No at-home haircuts for cats!" I was talking a mile a minute and I had started sweating.

The vet sighed. I was starting to feel a little nervous. How had I become a dead-beat pet owner?! When did this happen??

She was treating me the way I'd seen burned-out teachers treat clueless parents in meetings about their failing kid that was bringing firecrackers and nunchucks to school. I could tell she was very close to her breaking point, and I started to wonder if there was an animal cps.

"Look, I'm going to say this nicely." She paused and took a long, slow drink from her "Dogs are wooftastic!" mug. I swallowed, on the edge of tears. This was not me! I didn't have my pets taken away! I was responsible! "You might want to buy a book and learn a little about your cat. Cats purr when they are happy, but they also purr in times of distress as a means to calm themselves down."

"Oh." I said this with a rising and falling intonation to indicate to the doctor that I had received her message. I wanted her to know that I was having an 'a-ha" moment.

She didn't seem to notice as she scribbled something in Lucy's chart before shutting it abrubtly and hugging to her chest.

"Rhonda has some diet cat food for you in the reception area. Please make sure she has 8 small meals a day and try to get her to be more active." Immediately, I thought, Who the hell is going to feed Lucy all these times per day?? How do other people do it? Are they stay-at-home cat people?? That can't be!

As if reading my mind, the vet said, "You can get an automatic feeder. It will dispense just a small amount of food every few hours. We're going to give you some low-carb food. She'll be on a kitty version of the Atkins diet."

Ok, I thought, but how am I supposed to get her to move? It wasn't like I hadn't tried. I had! I got her a harness and made an attempt to take her on walks, but she just rolled over on her back trying to attack the leash. Even when I'd tugged, assuming she'd pop up like my childhood dog would, she didn't. I dragged her for a few feet before I gave up.

Other people must have the same difficulties, I thought. After all, she had told us about the automatic feeder. Maybe she knew how to make Lucy get fit. I cleared my throat and said, "Do you have any suggestions on how we can get her to move more? I tried to take her on a walk, but she wasn't being very agreeable."

The vet looked at me for a full minute which I'm sure, probably seems like a short amount of time to you, but when someone is staring you down, it feels like forever! She sounded aggrevated as she shook her head saying, "Cats don't go on walks. Dogs do. You can try dangling yarn or feathers. You can get a laser pointer. Go to pet smart. Take a look around."

I nodded, feeling like an idiot.

We picked up our little sausage and headed to the check out area. She nuzzled into my armpit, hiding her beetlejuice head. (If Lucy can't see you, she assumes you can't see her either...)

We paid the bill and headed home with our fatty patty pet.

For the record, we bought not one, not two, but all of the toys the vet had mentioned. We were hopeful when Lucy seemed excited to explore her new exercise equipment. She worked on eating each item for a full three minutes until she discovered they weren't actually food. Then she went and took a nap for the rest of the afternoon...

...and I got busy eating the rest of the cheesy poofs and fruit rollups that were left in the house to get rid of the anxiety I was having about facing our vet at the next appointment (Lucy and I are both emotional eaters).

I'm not sure how we're going to get Lucy to do some cardio. I wish there was a Biggest Loser Fat Camp for cats...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Helping people that don't actually want your help...

Scent of a Woman is one of my favorite movies. I find a way to quote it or reference it at least once a quarter. Sometimes it's appropriate, most times it's not.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, you're crazy! I will try to catch you up to speed as quickly as I can: it's about a disgruntled blind man and a younger guy who can see.

In one scene, Al Pacino, the blind man, is in a taxi with Chris O'Donnell, the younger guy who can see. When they get out of the cab, Chris O'Donnell grabs Al Pacino's arm at the elbow, and the following conversation goes down:

A.P.: Are you blind?
C.O.: Wh-wh-what?
C.O.: No...
A.P.: Then why do you keep grabbing my Goddamn arm?! (pause) I TAKE YOUR ARM!!!!
C.O.: Oh...sorry.
A.P.: You don't know any've been watching MTV all your life...

This scene is amusing because Al Pacino's character, Frank, is just SO blunt, but at the same time, concise and witty. I also enjoy the look on Chris O'Donnell's face when his offer to help is declined. It is one of pure shock, he can't comprehend why this handicapped person would refuse his help and would even go as far as to yell at him.

It makes me wonder if there are a lot of people out there like Frank in Scent of a Woman....people with disabilities (or without) who are tired of ignorant people around them grabbing their "goddamn arm"???

I would venture to say that there are quite a few...

Although I have always had the best intentions, I have mistakenly "helped" people in ways that really was no help at the time in college when I ran up to help a woman who had slipped on the ice about 10 feet in front of me. It was the middle of Januray in Indiana and the sidewalk was slippery and uneven due to snow melting, then re-freezing into ice. I was trying my best to be careful as I hussled over to save the day, but when I finally made it to her, I too lost my balance...instead of helping her up, I landed on her. (I'm just glad she wasn't able to reach her mase before I was able to explain that I wasn't actually attacking her.)

There are just too many examples to list!

Offering to push the cart at the grocery store, only to hit the heels of the person I'm shopping with; volunteering to carry items into my friend's new home and breaking or chipping half of them; making dinner...and messing up the recipe with resulting food poisoning for all.

Yes, the list is long and shameful, but what's an accident-prone good samaritan to do?!

The best idea I could come up with was to get into a helping profession that didn't require a whole lot of gross motor coordination....and yet, somehow, I still manage to wreak havoc.

One such incident involved "saving" an eight year old from a life with no friends. I'm just hoping that the assistance I provided doesn't permanently give her an unflattering nickname on top of having no friends.

The girl that was lucky enough to have me helping her was upset because she didn't have anyone to sit with at lunch. My heart broke for her. I racked my brain for a solution and it seemed easy to me.

"Hey! I know some really nice girls that would love to sit with you at lunch!"

This was how my elaborate plan began. Somehow, it evolved into me joining these third grade students for lunch in the cafeteria at a school where I worked (this was my genius plan to help her make friends....SMOOTH).

I had arranged a friend-blind-date with some other third graders I knew. I followed Lucky into the line for food. As I stood there, towering over my fellow patrons, I got several wary, confused stares from the other kids in line. A little boy with tangled-looking hair and a smudge of dirt on his face asked me, "Are you somebody's mom?"

I watched Lucky get her food on a small styrafoam tray and directed her to a table where I could see the other kids I knew.

"Hi girls! Mind if we sit here?" The girls on the other side of the table stared at me and Lucky, but said nothing. I took their silence as consent and motioned for Lucky to grab a seat next to me as I tried to squeeze myself into the small seating area designed for much smaller bodies than mine...bodies with much shorter legs.

As I lifted my knee to clear the bench, it caught the bottom of Lucky's tray, sending it flying into the air. I watched it in horror, unable to stop what was happening. Lucky looked up just in time to get hit in the face with the raining mac 'n' cheese and peas the school cafeteria considered a healthy lunch....

So...again I say, what's a good samaritan to do if she is hopelessly clumsy??? Maybe I should only try to be of assistance to those that are at remote locations from now on...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mini Blog...sounds like a European car with small tires

Today has been pretty busy, and it isn't showing any signs of letting up. Therefore, my blog will be very brief today. I know what you're thinking...why bother blogging at all? (By the way, 'why bother blogging' is fun to say outloud...try it)

Why bother blogging you say. Well, I guess it is for selfish reasons...mostly because I don't want to break my streak. They say it takes 14 days to form a new habit. Today is Day 15 of my blogging and I'm ready to slack. Where are the habit helpers in MY brain? Maybe they need more time with an activity to get that attached. (I've tried to form OTHER new habits besides writing everyday including running daily or even just exercising in general on a daily basis. To the casual onlooker, it would appear this one has taken effect, but you would be fooled! The exercise I do daily is no habit! It is an obligation, a committment to fit into the most expensive dress I have ever worn and/or probably ever will wear.

So that's it for today. Sorry to disappoint...(I feel like I'm talking to myself...kind of like when I was a kid and I used to tell my diary that I would "write again soon"...Who did I think I was talking to? Did I think there was some troll living in the binding of the book dying to read about my latest dilema which usually involved things like: 'Recess: What's a kid to do? The Merits of playing Four Square vs. Socializing w/older, cooler kids' or 'How can I convince Mom to put less jelly on my PB&J's???')

Signing off for now. Over and out. 10-4 little buddy...or was it big buddy? What is that from anyway?! Is it something only me and my siblings would say, but now that I'm old, I think it's actually from a legitimate source like some movie or tv show??

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Don't underestimate kids with crayons...and an extensive knowledge of dirty words.

"Just call me Leo, alright?!"

I knew who was in my office before I even turned around. It was my favorite decidedly disgruntled kindergartener. His name was Kevin Williamson and even though he looked like an average five year old, inside, he was really an 80 year old man that was royally pissed off...but, somehow, he passed for a little kid day in and day out.

One of his favorite things to do was to "officially" change his name. He'd announce to his classmates and teachers that he would like to be called "Troy" or "Bob" and it would take a few weeks, but eventually everyone would switch over to the new name. Ar first adults balked at the idea of calling a child by an incorrect name, but after a while his persistance paid off. No one even bothered to argue with him anymore. When people would try to call him Kevin, he would ignore them or belittle them as if they were the ones that were mistaken, not him.

One day when Kevin was in my room, it was pretty hectic. The room was comparable in size to a one-seater bathroom at a Circle K and there were six five year old boys squeezed around a narrow table that was a little bigger than an ironing board.

The session was a whirlwind. After everyone was gone, I gathered their papers and as I picked up the last one, I noticed that there were black crayon marks on what had once been a clean table. I angled my head until I was able to read what it said.

The first thing I saw was: LEO Then, underneath it in smaller letters was: FUK




A small chuckle escaped me, and I realized I wasn't even mad. I was impressed! You had to hand it to the kid, he didn't just dabble in graffiti, he was a PRO. From what I could tell, he had written down every curse word he knew...and he did it while sitting less than two feet away from a teacher?!

Now THAT took some balls. (No wonder he wrote that word was true. He DID have balls...)

The best part was when I called him back in to ask him about it, he didn't even look concerned that he was getting in trouble. He just looked incredibly annoyed that I had interupted his recess. (I almost felt like I should be apologizing to him for pulling him away from the meeting he'd been having with what appeared to be a small group of protege`s from the first grade).

"Kevin..." He threw a hand up and in an exasperated tone said, "It's LEO."

"Right. See that's the thing, LEO." I emphasized the last word pointedly. "I need you to come to my office with me. There's something I'm a little confused about, and I thought you might be able to provide me with some answers."

He shrugged and followed me back. When we were both standing in front of the defaced table, I pointed down at the words between us. (Leo, fuck, shit, bitch, balls) He, too, directed his attention to the scribbled profanity.

Neither of us spoke. I was waiting for him to break down; admit guilt. I had, after all, caught him red-handed. Several minutes ticked by and still we stood, silently studying Kevin's handiwork. I was sticking to my original plan: I would play dumb and wait until he confessed. I felt it meant more if the kid was able to recognize his own wrongdoings rather than have me point it out to him (I was watching a lot of Dr. Phil at the time).

"Leo, do you see this table?"

He nodded.

"I have to tell you...I'm pretty upset."

He looked at me for a moment, then back down at the table. He was getting close. I almost had him. What a life lesson this one would be!

I decided to give him one more nudge. "I just don't understand this." I gestured toward the words. "Can you help me?"

Kevin sighed and looked up at the ceiling as he raked his fingers through his hair.

He didn't seem very happy.

I figured he was feeling stressed because he knew it was OVER. The jig was UP. He probably figured he was in for it now. I almost felt a little sorry for him. I took in his wrinkled forehead and wringing hands. Aw...poor guy. He must be anxious about possibly losing privleges or candy and prizes.

I horribly misjudged him.

When he finally opened his mouth, he used the same tone my mother had reserved for the moments she could not bear to be pestered any longer, like when she'd been trying to finish dinner or organize bills.

"Miss Orth." He paused, pushing the palms of his hands down on either side of the evidence as if he were a district attorney making his opening remarks to a grand jury.

I sat quietly, anticipating my apology. I was planning to make him clean the table himself, but first he'd have to tell his teacher why he was going to be in my office when...

"Look, I was in the middle of something out there." Kevin throws his right arm in the direction of the playground. "I can explain what these words mean, but it will have to be later. I'm just too busy right now..."