Crappy Things

22 02 2011

I’ve been trying to focus on the Happy and ignore the Crappy, but the fact is that my brain does not work that way. My brain requires the Crappy to be acknowledged and pitied before it will let go. So here is the crappy.

1. I have limited music-listening abilities right now. My car is 12 years old and so is the stereo. In the last two weeks the CD player seems to skip all the time now so CD’s are out. The tape deck is on its last legs which doesn’t sound like much since it’s, well, a tape deck, but it had been the only way I was able to listen to my iPod through one of these guys. And then, on my birthday I was getting out of the car to check the mail when I tripped on the cord and it ripped in half. I am extremely grateful that my iPhone didn’t go flying out of the car with the force of my un-grace – if I had to pick which to lose, I totally lost the right one – but I can’t help being bitter that I’m stuck with the radio now. I don’t know what’s happened in the last 10 years but the commercials on the radio seem to be entirely for weight loss products, products to enhance your penis, or for strip clubs/phone services. WTF? This isn’t really great listening for kids in the car, you know? And weekend NPR is great, but weekday NPR is iffy since it’s more news and therefore more bombings and good stuff like that. I think buying a new iPod-tape-deck thingie isn’t so much money but the tape deck itself is already dying and I feel like it would be a better use of money to save up for a new stereo. With money as tight as it’s been and about to get tighter, I don’t know when that will happen. I’m not sure which to do.

1.a. In the house all my computer drives seem to be dying in their own creative ways. Well, except the one we bought about a year ago which turned out to be a CD/DVD burner only. WTF? Who would even make that? I’m angry at the husband for not taking it back when we figured that out. Maybe I shouldn’t blame him – I suppose I could have learned how to uninstall it myself, but I didn’t. Even that only registers when it feels like it. *sigh* In other words, I don’t have a lot of options when it comes to listening to music right now. And that sucks.

2. My coffee maker broke. It’s not unusable. It really still works fine, it’s just slightly more awkward. The problem here is the simple fact that it broke. Why would it do that to me? I’m insulted.

3. My house is a big fat mess. I can’t find the energy to neaten up after this crew of messy people anymore. A mess sucks my energy. No energy means I can’t clean the mess. It’s a stupid spiral.

OK. That’s out. Acknowledged and pitied. Back to the Happy! I’ll post some pictures in a bit of our Day ‘o Snow!


Today is Stupid

24 06 2009

(And it’s not even Thursday.)

This afternoon:
~I ran a couple of quick errands with the kids (and here you will laugh and laugh because I just wrote “quick” and “errand” and “kids” all in the same sentence). My son has this selective hearing thing where I have to repeat myself about 400 times before he is even aware that I am speaking to him. And then he says, “Whatchoo say?” which was cute the first time, but once I realized it meant I’d have to repeat myself a 401st time, it got uncute. And I have to make sure I repeat myself quickly before he forgets he is listening to me. It makes errands /sarcasm.
~By the time my quick errands were over, we were 15 minutes away from the library where M was scheduled for a MoPA “workshop” in only 10 minutes. Luckily I have that delorean time machine. CRAP. No, that was just a movie. We arrived late.
~AND once we pulled into the parking lot we discovered it was FULL. Never in all my life have I seen that parking lot FULL. So I ended up parking on a residential street two blocks away. And not cursing as much as you would think. (Note to self: walk next time. It’s good for the heart, the environment, and the parking lot.)
~As soon as M was situated in her class, I ran to the bathroom and asked E if he wanted to join me. He said no and since he’d peed not too long before, I figured it was OK. You can see where this is going right? Yeah. But since there wasn’t a puddle, I let him sit in it because the car was parked two blocks away. Not that I am bitter or anything.
~Should I add here that none of the books I wanted were available? No? OK.
~On the way home I didn’t win Killers tickets for the second time in two days. If this keeps up, I’m going to have to PAY. And Brandon Flowers, lyrical genuis though he is, is twitchy and wears feathers and I’m not sure that’s worth $50. Maybe if I close my eyes.
~Speaking of music in the car, I can no longer listen to my iPod in the car because the connection is bad between the adapter and the phone. I’m not sure which part is bad, but it keeps coming loose and sounds awful. The adapter only (that’s a sarcastic “only”) cost me $100. Maybe I could sell it on Craigslist for Killers tickets. I would throw in some feathers.
~Remember how my son peed his pants at the library? Well, he pooed them when we got home. Yay. He didn’t want to see or smell it. Neither did I, man.

That’s all so far (isn’t it enough?). But I promise to update you in realtime if anything else goes entertainingly bad.

UPDATE: And by “realtime” I mean, “as soon as the crisis is dealt with.” Because not 2 minutes (I swear to God) after this post was published, I discovered my sweet son who I promise not to flog had actually pooped on the motherfucking COUCH and then trailed little crumbly (but easy to clean up so long as they had not been squished into the carpet – and they had not been) poo-bits around the house. FUCK. I know you are not supposed to lose your tempter with potty-trainers, but I get a free pass after this afternoon, right?

ETA: Also, I noticed as I was cleaning up the poo, that I kept thinking of trips to Chuck E Cheese when I was a kid. I am thinking I have some fucked-up repressed memories, no?

ETA 2: When I told The Son I had to clean the couch, he told me, “Have fun!” Stinker.

California, I am Afraid

23 05 2009

Last week, the voters overwhelmingly turned down four propositions which were written in attempt to help the state budget crisis. They voted yes even more overwhelmingly on the final one which had to do with the salaries of the one who write the budgets – and that, of course, made me literally LOL. But for the rest, I am quite sad.

I heard a quote today on NPR that the democrats are unwilling to budge on services and programs, and the republicans are unwilling to budge on taxes. Which is so true. And which lumps me solidly in with the dems (no surprise there).

Because these props failed they are now threatening to cut Medi-Cal eligibility and entirely ditch the Healthy Families program which covers my kids and more than a million others in the state. Can someone please explain to me how ANYONE can think the world will be a better place if we so many people wind up uninsured? Because I just can’t see it myself.

On the Mess

30 04 2009

I honestly don’t know how much more I can take. My husband is a s-l-o-b. From simple things like starting the dishwasher but leaving the Cascade on the counter to downright gag-inducing things like leaving crusts of bread to get soggy in the sink. I don’t understand why he cannot finish a job. But the thing that just really, really makes me burn inside? Is that I am not allowed to point these things out to him. Sometimes he gets annoyed with me which is hard for my ever-trying-to-please personality to take, but the worst is when he acts like I am just a nagging wife who is best ignored or humored, but never to be taken seriously. That makes me consider packing my bags.

As I sit here in my nearly-better state and survey the damage that has resulted from my nearly two weeks on the couch, I feel so frustrated. I very nearly despair at all the work that has piled up for me. And it’s the worst kind of work, too – the kind that results when he tries to clean up. His version of picking up the house is quite literally to pick things up off the floor and stack them neatly in ever-higher towering piles which are probably earthquake hazards. Last night I caught him picking up trash and neatly stacking it. His mind cannot comprehend actually putting these things where they are supposed to go and I am at a loss for what to do. On the one hand, I can nag him because he kind of deserves it. But he doesn’t listen. So I typically attempt to make a joke out of it – but he does not necessarily take those any more seriously.

I realize this is somehow the way his brain is hard-wired, but I cannot live with it and I, apparently, cannot comment on it, either. I just don’t know where to go from here.

We have been through a lot in the 11 years we have been together, and in recent months, he has really changed and grown and made some big efforts. I see this and cherish it and I fell in love with him all over again because of it. But the smaller day to day stuff has GOT to be fixed, too, or I will lose my mind.

Either that, or I need a maid.

Where I whine and spew and complain.

16 03 2009

I’m busy! Busy! Dreadfully busy! You’ve no idea what I have to do! Busy! Busy! Shockingly busy! Much much too busy for you.

(Thanks to the VeggieTales for lyrics)

~For the past week, I have buried myself in learning about math and trying to figure out what to order with M’s school supplies (currently looks like around $350 worth of books. Not helping the over-stuffed bookshelf problem. *sigh*).
~I’ve been bonding with my family and keeping up with social obligations over the weekend at the cost of stressing all the other stuff I have to do.
~Ostara is this Friday and I have no idea what my family will be doing to celebrate or when we will be doing it, nor do I have any gifts ready for the kids. What’s more is that I really don’t have any interest in planning anything. I think busy-ness has taken the joy out of this holiday for me. Also brown widows have taken the joy out of backyard egg hunts.
~Why am I the only one who cares about putting the house back in order after a busy weekend? Hell, why am I the only one who cares about putting the house back in order any time?
~On top of everything else, I have to do all M’s paperwork for the month today since tomorrow will be far too busy.
~My next few weekends are already booked up and I can see no end to it which makes me very tired.


Surfing the Ocean of Anxiety and Body Image

5 01 2009

I am riding high on anxiety this week. Only it’s not my usual insane puke-related anxiety, it’s actually valid stress for once.

See, on Wednesday, I have to strip down to my bathing suit (did I mention it’s January?) and BE FILMED BY AN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY CREW. I am just the tiniest bit completely terrified.

I made a promise to myself a few years ago – a promise I have kept faithfully – to never apologize for my body. To do so is buying into the idea that my weight is not OK. From a health perspective it’s not, of course, what I mean is that I won’t hate myself just because I weigh too much. It’s not an issue of morals, it’s simply a fact: I am overweight. It doesn’t make me bad or slobby or ugly or worthless, yet that is what society teaches – fat people are worthless.

And it takes a lot to get past that. I am not there by any means, but the least I can do is never apologize for it again. I’m fat, so what? I’m a good person. I’m creative, I’m loving, I’m trying to change the world. What difference does my weight make?

And yet? I weigh the most I ever have and now I’ve got to go be on TV in a swimsuit.

I asked my friends to join me and some of them did and others told me out right that they just don’t want to do it. And I don’t blame them one bit! If I could get out of it, you bet I would, but it’s not like I’m going to say, “No, sorry, please don’t spread the word to other women and moms that our bodies can be loved no matter their size or shape!” I have no choice but to carry this on.

And so, perhaps, you can see how completely freaking terrified I am? I sort of want to puke over the thought (Oh, I guess it’s puke-related after all, heh). Instead I will do my best to hold my head high, pull my shoulders back, and act like I am damn proud of who I am – I owe it to the women who will watch it. I owe it to myself.

But, still, if you could go ahead and send some serious rainy-day vibes this way? So I can at least get out of the swimsuit part? That would be great.

As if I don’t have enough stress right now…

11 10 2008

Monday as I was driving the kids to give E a nap in the car, I lost my brakes. Thank God it wasn’t scary and we pulled onto a side street right away and called for a tow.

There’s a mechanic here in town that we trust a lot. His son (also works there) happens to be The Husband’s best friend’s brother’s best friend (follow that? Did I mention we live in a small town?). And the shop is highly respected by others as well.

However, in this case, they felt my minivan was better transferred to a Toyota Dealership because I guess the ABS system is unusually complex or something. So they drove it to the nearest one and didn’t charge me a cent.

And here starts my Week ‘O Hell (as if brake problems are not hell enough).

I knew that it was more than just the brake pads, because those had been checked recently and looked great. So I knew I was in for a hefty bill, and I was just feeling glad that I had the money for it.

Let me try and remember this all in ordered bullets. If this is boring you can feel free to ignore it. But I want to keep it recorded somewhere in case I need to refer to it all.

~Car towed to Ted’s Garage around 1pm Monday.
~Car referred to Toyota CV on Tuesday. Ted drove it over for me around 12.
~Greg T called me around 4:15 PM to tell me that he’d looked it over and found no problems with it and that it was drivable and I could come get it. Um….. I had a HUGE problem with the fact that MY BRAKES FAILED and they were totally OK with sending me home w/o FIXING anything. He did, however, have a problem with the brake fluid – he said it was “too clear” and he asked me in an accusatory tone if Ted’s had done anything to it. God only knows why clear brake fluid would be a bad thing, but he sure was disturbed.
~I kept him on the phone by explaining that for months I had been feeling like it’s been harder to stay stopped at red lights, but I didn’t trust myself – it was so subtle that I thought I was imagining it. Once I told him this, he changed tones and said, “Oh, OK, I know what that is, I’l do some tests and call you in 15 minutes” Only he never did call back. Two hours later I called to check on it and they had closed.
~I called right away the next morning and he told me, “It’s my day off, but I came in just to work on your car! I’ll call you in an hour.” Four hours later he was gone and no work had been done on my van.
~By this point I’m getting nervous and wondering if I should pull the van out and take it somewhere else, wondering if I can even trust them to do my brakes properly. I can’t risk losing brakes with my babies in the car, you know? I’m a little picky about my car’s brakes working properly.
~I tried asking the mechanic who took over why they would send me home without fixing brakes that had failed, but he dodged my questions like a politican (really they should think about replacing Sarah Pailin with this guy).
~Finally the Service manager called me and explained it in a way that I could maybe accept. He said Greg had done some adjustments and thought that fixed the problem. They kept explaining to me that since master cylinders “hardly ever fail” they didn’t, you know, CHECK it at first.
~At this point I am told it is DEFINITELY the master cylinder, but maybe also the booster. But they are going to do the master cylinder first because they are 80% sure that’s the problem. So I am expecting to pay anywhere from $500-$1500 at this point. *sigh*
~I did, however, flip out on them and got us a rental car for free. I honestly cannot believe that they didn’t WANT to give it to me. They give them out with major services that cost less and take only one day, but it took me flipping out on them to give us one. Pft.
~After talking to some people I know who happen to be mechanics of varying degrees, I decided to call them and see if they could just do both together. But when I called in the morning I got no answer for three hours. Finally, around 11am, I called again and there was a message that they were closed for “the holiday”. I dunno, but I think it’s a teensy bit inappropriate to not tell someone when you are going to be closed, no? But just add that to the list of awesome communication.
~Friday I called and it turns out the master cylinder hadn’t arrived (I think what they meant to say was “hadn’t been ordered”) so it would be another day. Fun times.
~Saturday when *I* called them – please note how they never call ME – Greg informed me that suddenly the brake fluid was black. And here’s where I lost control. Because it was not black before. And since it wasn’t black when I brought it in, that is OBVIOUSLY not the reason my brakes failed. And sicne it was only SITTING THERE IN THEIR GARAGE I cannot see how it possibly turned black unless Voldemort himself broke in and magicked it black. I told him as much and he heartily agreed, “Yes! It is a Great Mystery! It’ll cost you $100 for a full system flush!” Fucker. He spent the phone call asking me accusatory questions like, “Have you taken your car to a Jiffy Lube recently?” (No.) or blaming Ted’s again. Diverting attention?
~So, at the advice of a friend’s husband who is a mechanic, I told him to do the damn cylinder, flush the damn system and then I’d get it.
~This afternoon he calls me and GUESS WHAT? Right. Brakes are still failing. Booster is needed. But guess what else? The cost of the booster suddenly went up by $300 bringing it to a total of $1300 for the booster and $1800+ total.
~I think they are trying to sell me a new car.

It’s not going to work, of course, because I cannot afford a new car. But at this rate I cannot afford a new house, either. Or, you know, groceries or electricity.

Come Monday the plan is to call Ted’s and see what they say and see if they will fix the booster. If not, we’ll be calling around to find a place that does it cheaper – or at the very least, more honestly.

Wish us luck?

Pumpkin patch pictures to come.