Monday, February 28, 2011

Not a MommyBlogger, But a Blogger Who Is a Mom

When I first began writing I set rigid mental parameters for myself.  I didn't want to pigeon-hole myself into the MommyBlogger corner, where I wrote about nothing more than my child, his antics, and the latest reviews on trendy children's toys. 

I feared that if I wrote about my son that this would become a bore, something that would interest no one.  I was determined to draw an audience that would enjoy my snark on daily occurrences,  I made it a point to NOT write about him in the beginning because I wanted to be thought of as a writer, not a mother who happens to write.  I wanted to capture a large audience to satisfy the ego and convince myself that I had some writing chops.  I wanted to be validated for no other reason that I didn't believe that I had any real talent unless someone were to tell me.  Basically, I was trying to do what I've done most of my adult life: do what I believe others will enjoy/want, while I know that I am not being 100% myself.

But I've come to realize that my son is THE reason I write and I would be remiss if I didn't write about him every now and then.  So I am mentally sweeping away those ridiculous parameters and will write what I want to write about, when I want to write about.  And audience interest be damned.  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Like a Twitch Upon a Thread

It's a quarter til 11 and I should be in bed by know now.  Correction.  I should have been in bed at 9.  Especially after I screwed up my Mass plans by being so tired to begin with.  And I'm quite pissed off at myself.  I failed the ora part of my alma mater's motto "Ora et labora."

With all my labora this past week at the Fair, trying to squeeze in visits with the Kiddo, and barely closing my eyes before the alarm blares at me for the third time, I took a half-assed attempt at a short-cut and cut my neck instead.

It's not a good excuse to miss my Sunday obligation.  Yes, I was/am/still will be tired tomorrow, but I should have forced myself out of bed in time for the 9AM Mass and not tell myself that I could catch the 7PM Mass at the local "Catholic" university, (which surprise, surprise, I missed because I got caught at the Fair).  I know far many mothers that operate on less sleep and still manage to keep going to daily Mass.  Yet for me to drag my lazy ass out of bed this morning, it would have taken a team of caffeinated oxen.

And I'm pissed at myself.  I hate making excuses for myself.  I wish I had the fortitude today to make Mass.  It's not like I'm being a crappy Catholic.  I went to Confession on Saturday, so it's not like I planned, "hey save the get out of hell card for Tuesday, cuz you're gonna skip Mass on Sunday."  Ugh.  I feel like such a jerk!

So why am I not in bed?  Well, I have too much on my mind now and I need to write it out, rather than try to fall asleep full of angst.

One pressing thing is my job situation.  Kumquating, for the most part, is over.  The owner will need me around sporadically during the week so between the tax refund that will cover rent for the next 4 months, and the (megar) amount of child-support and whatever I make weekly, my expenses should not be an issue, I hope.  (Fingers crossed).

What do I do know?  Do I go back to trying to find full time employment, possibly as a teacher for developmentally retarded teenagers?  Like a cork stopping a leaky bucket, do I just dive into a job (ha, if any are available in this still crappy market) that offers a decent salary, health insurance, and a 401K?  Do I try to continue to pursue my dreams of making writing a livable pursuit?

What happens if I take that plunge and write the book(s) that have been cooking in my heart and head for almost 10 years?  What if I write and I can't find a way to get published?  What if I do actually find a publisher, but no one wants to read my book?  What if I don't even generate enough to cover printing costs?

Yea, I know I'm totally putting the cart before the horse.  I mean come on dummy, you haven't even WRITTEN anything yet.  How come you are letting your fears scare you this badly?  You can't be afraid of failing if you fail to try.

Just For Laughs

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My X Factor- Part Duex

This week has been very trying on me.  Not that work has been exceedingly difficult or tiresome; on the contrary it's been amusing to be a Kumquat Pimp (sans the diamond topped cane) during this Fair.  I've met some really interesting people: a man who makes candles that smell like beer (For the Man Cave! as he proclaims from his booth), a man who gets to let baby kangaroos play in his apartment, and a living statue.  So being there isn't a problem.

What's been the hardest thing for me is that I've hardly seen my son at all this week.  He's been staying at my mom's house all week while I work.  I get out of the fair around 10, so by the time I were to pick him up, thus disturbing his sleep, and driving back I would have added 1 hr.  Since I can't afford the extra gas (thank you gas stations!  I almost puked when I filled up tonight and saw that the cheapest menu item was 3.32!!!) and don't want to screw up the Kiddo's sleep, I'm left trying to squeeze in a visit with him before I go back to work. 

I know I shouldn't complain, seeing as  I am fortunate to have family that can watch him for me.  I just miss him a lot.  And I can't wait for the Fair to be over. 

And to think that six years ago I was planning on hiring  a nanny to raise him while I was traveling for my hoity-toity contractor job. 

I hate not seeing you Kiddo, but it's for the both of us that I'm doing this. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Is How We Met

I believe that we all have an interesting story to tell but many don't know how to tell it.  So when I come across a good storyteller, I try to absorb all the minute details.  The story I heard tonight is too good not to share.

I've been working the Kumqaut booth at the county fair since Monday, situated alongside a seller of a novelty toy.  It's equally annoying and endearing to hear the owner's mother-in-law shout out in fractured English, "Splat toys!  Check it out!"

During a lull in the crowds, I asked the owner how he (a tall, solid, white boy from the South) met up with his wife (a tiny, darling, Dominican American from New Jersey).  "It was one of those mail order bride type things.  She found me on"

After I died laughing, he went on.  "Actually, we met at Wal-Mart."  I knew this had to be good.

"See I was out visiting my sister and she sent me to Wal-Mart to pick up some feminine supplies.  I was really confused about all the different options like wings, overnights, swimming, long and scented.  All I know is that my sister is a big 'ole gal and I wasn't sure what to get.  So at this point Judy (his wife) walks by and I ask her if she can help me out choosing tampons."

More loud laughter ensued on my part.  Several surrounding vendors stared at me while I struggled to regain my composure.  The owner excused himself and walked down to his other booth on the opposite side of the hall as his wife arrived laden with fried goodies from the midway.

She shared some of her delicious strawberry pizza with me (major YUM!  Have to get some tomorrow!) and we chatted a bit.  When I told her that she and her husband had the best how-we-met story I'd ever heard.

"It's really awesome that you met over tampons!  That's such a hilarious story.  I love it!" I told her.

Judy rolled her eyes, "I swear I'm gonna kill him one of these days.  He loves to tell people that story.  Truth is, we met at a trade show when he bought me a lemonade.  My husband loves to tell stories."

I fell for that well told story hook, line, and sinker because I live in a world where the unreal is quite possibly going to happen.  Seeing that I burned down a brand-new dorm room with a leaky cigarette lighter, broke the tiniest bone in my ankle while jumping INTO a window while trying to assist three car accident victims, and went on a midnight donut run with 18 people jammed in the back of a retired ambulance, incidents that may sound out of the ordinary to the average person are commonplace to me.

If something weird or unusual is going to take place, then I'll probably be involved.

I just hope my 'this-is-how-we-met story' is just as colorful. 

Come On, Get Happy!

The Diatribest Enjoying the Spring-like Air
So I know I've been Little Miss Cranky Pants these past few posts, but I think it was a necessary evil for me.  Just as babies grow clingy and regress prior to learning something new, I too have felt the need to pull  back into my shell and work myself up into a lather.  I have not been good at speaking up for myself in the past but I think I've found the strength and extra push that I've needed.   

Once this fair if over, I'll have to make some more sense of it all. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

My X Factor

Most of my adult life, I have allowed myself to be stepped on like a mud-caked doormat.  I am my own worst critic, quite quick to condemn myself yet reassure and soothe others in similar situations without a seconds hesitation or condescension.

I am tired of living my life as a self-imposed second class citizen.  I'm tired of thinking that I don't deserve anything better than the scraps left for the dogs.  I'm over making lousy decisions because I don't believe that I am really worthwhile.  Quite frankly, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!

You know how I discovered my X factor?  It was watching two miserable people fuss at my child today, right in front of my face.  That's. Just. Wrong.

If I don't want my son to grow up battling the same demons I wrestle with, he's going to have a see a better, strong example of his mother.  If I want him to strive for the best, than I need to be a woman that doesn't settle for second or third best any more. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If You Are Looking For A Good Time, You Won't Find It Here Tonight

I am in no mood to write tonight.  I am full of piss and vinegar, surrounded by negative thoughts.  I'm only here tonight b/c of that damn bet which I refuse to lose.

How the hell are things supposed to be getting better?  Unemployment numbers are still crazy high, cost of living is skyrocketing, and each time I visit the gas station I wince.  At this point, I think a pony and carriage would be a better deal. 

I am tired of being screwed over.  I'm irritated that well laid plans are shot to hell in two minutes flat.

I'm angry that I can't stay home with my child.  I want to whine and complain about all that sucks about singlemotherhood. 

Right now I hate the sounds of baby's in Church, not because I don't like babies, but because right now their babbling and squeals of joy serve as a bitter pill that I won't be having a baby anytime soon. 

I have nothing good or nice to say right now.  I know that these frustrations are fleeting and usually boil up when I am over-tired, but damn it all, I'm pissed off.

And I swear if anyone says to me that me "getting some" will help my attitude, then I'll probably be asking you, my dear readers to help pony up for bail money b/c I am going to physically assault that person.  I figure if I'm not having sex, then at least I can kick someone's ass to help relive my stress. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Tonight's post is a photo essay because I don't think my words would do justice to the beauty of this day.
Indian Rocks Beach

Favorite Uncle digging a trench
Notice that the sand around the Kiddo is barely touched. 
I saw a picture of desert sands like this once.
My sole contribution: a pretty shell

I took a nap on the sand while listening to the crash of the waves
You can't see that I desperately need to paint my toenails.
Yes the water was cold, but frozen fingers be damned!  The boys had a blast. . .and purple lips.

The Kiddo and his Favorite Uncle waiting for their food at Steak-n-Shake.

Seton Hall Spartans Take the Field

Big East/Big Ten Challenge. . .Big Day

Today I'm off for a day jam packed with fun with my boys, the Kiddo and his Favorite Uncle.

First donuts at a local mom-and-pop shop.  Best. Donuts. Ever.  Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme can't hold a candle to them.  (But I'm still happy to eat their wares.)

Off to watch Seton Hall take on Michigan State at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge.  Total bonus points for me.  I found out children 17 and under are free, plus my mentor rounded up a free pass for me!

The beach will be the next stop to fly kites and play in the sand.  The water is way too cold for a swim.  And no I don't care that 70 y.o. men take the polar bear plunge each year, so I should toughen up.  I live in FL for a reason.

Play ball!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Not Sure Wherein Lies the Root of the Problem

I've had it tonight.  My computer keeps freezing up while I try to type.  I don't know if it's my browser (Firefox), my crappy dial-up Internet service, or the hosting site of this blog ("An error occurred while saving"--If I see this again, I'm calling it quits).

Oh look, I got the same friggin error message again. 

That's it computer, you win for the night. 

Welcome to My World Kuwait

I'm amazed and quite stunned to log in everyday to find that people from all over the world are checking in on me.  Hello Kuwait, glad to see you've made it on the map.

I've hit ever continent, save Antarctica.  Tell you what, $50 and a prominent picture of your face if you can convince some researcher in the South Pole to look me up. 

I'm kinda punchy right now because I'm writing way too late and my brain turned off about 2 hours ago.  See, stupid me bought the stupid GPS and was/still are struggling to download the most recently downloaded maps.  I'm not so sure that the fact that I have a basic dial-up Net service through my wireless provider isn't helping the situation at all.  Oh well.

Taxes have been filed with a return good enough to cover my rent for the next 4 months, which comes at a great time seeing as the Plant is shutting down on Monday.  I knew this day was coming soon, but I'm still stressing.  But on the subject of stress and taxes, I have to rant for a bit on child support.

I got screwed over in child support back 5 years ago.  I petitioned the State of Florida of child support, but my ex counter-sued and as a result the State Commonwealth of Virginia took jurisdiction of the case.  Not having the mean of hiring an out of state lawyer, still being emotionally numb from being abandoned at 20 wks pregnant and coping with a newborn, I didn't have much strength to fight.  When the lawyers presented the agreement, which I felt I had no choice but to sign as I wasn't getting any advice at all,  I got stuck to agreeing that every other year the biological father gets to claim MY Kiddo as a tax dependent.

How fucked up is that?

He's never seen MY Kiddo, never asked for pictures, hell, he didn't even want to know the sex of the baby after he had skipped out on the ultrasound.

That part?  I'm over.  In fact, the Kiddo came across a few pictures of me and the biological tucked in between the child support order and last years tax returns.  I've held on to a few of the pictures over the years as I figured some day he might ask questions.  He's been hinting for a while that he understands that you need to have "a man and a woman to get married to have a baby,"as he explained.  But he gives me a questioning look like, "Okay?  Where's the other part?"

So when the Kiddo turned his attention to the photos, he asked about the man in the photos with me.  I told the Kiddo his name, but not the relationship because I didn't want to jump the gun on any questions.  When he saw the two of us dressed up for a formal dance, the Kiddo got so excited.  "YOU LOOK SO PRETTY!!!  OH MY GOSH, YOU ARE THE PRETTIEST MOM IN THE WORLD!!"  (Don't think for a moment that I didn't just eat that up.)

Then he said, "I didn't know you got married."

"I didn't."

"Was I in you tummy?"

"Not at that time."

"Did that man love you?" . . . . . . That question blew me away. 

How was I supposed to answer that?  Before I had time to fumble around for the right answer, I think one of God's Messengers placed the reply on my lips.

"Yes.  He did love me; some but not enough."

The Kiddo stared at the picture again, grinned at me and said, "Well that's too bad, cuz I love you a TON!"

And that's when I was reminded, I might get screwed over every other tax year monetarily, but 'that man' has been screwed over since the day he walked out on the best thing that ever happened to me.  


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Think the Term I Am Looking for is Operator Error

I love technology.

What did we do before the advent of the mobile phone, when you couldn't tell mom to pick up some more milk while she's at the store because your baby brother (who you were supposed to be keeping an eye on and not dancing to Amy Grant's Baby, Baby) pulled the gallon out of the fridge and onto the floor?

I have two different remotes that allow me to switch functions on my TV/DVD without having to leave my chair.  (I can just image the conversation with the Kiddo. . ."when I was your age, you had to walk across the room to change the channel, and cartoons were only on Saturdays."  I'm sure that will go over as well when I tried to explain to my little brother that 'the giant CDs out in the garbage can' were actually LPs.  Much confusion ensued.)

I can order books off of the Internet, request prayers or encouragement through various social networking sites, find delicious recipes without having to paw through a stack of unorganized, stained, chicken-scratched papers, and discover just how little I have in my bank account. 

But this love of technology is a bipolar love, for there are times (tonight most notably) that I HATE technology. 

See, I'm going to a college baseball game on Saturday with the Kiddo and his 'favorite' uncle/the youngest of my younger brothers which will be located in St. Pete.  You would think that a city built on a grid would be easy to navigate.  That's not what I've found out on most of my adventures to the other side of the Bay.  Last time I tried to drive from a bookstore to my therapist's office which Google Maps assured me was only 15 minutes away, I got lost for an hour!  In rush hour traffic!  On a Friday! 

Which was not fun, to put it mildly.  Profanity, crying, and running a STOP sign (accidentally!) may have been involved.

So I broke down the other night and purchased a GPS.  It came well-enough recommended, got some good on-line reviews and my research showed that for the price Wal-Mart was offering, I couldn't get it any cheaper unless I stole it.  (Which I totally didn't). 

Tonight after watching the download timer tick from 97 minutes on and not wanting to run any other programs, an error message occured in the remaining 4 seconds of downloads. 

Reason being: I forgot to disable to the firewall before downloading began. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 5 of 21

Today's post about my post isn't a post of any importance, but I put it here to keep myself on track.  I did write tonight, but it is a rather personal issue that I'm not ready to discuss quite yet.  I know that at some point when I get some further clarification I'll be more than happy to write about it (in my usual sarcastic manner).

But so you aren't too disappointed that I haven't imparted my wisdom to you (yes, I am rolling my eyes), you have to watch this video first, then scroll down to find out what the Kiddo deadpanned:

"Mom, her song stinks worse than my poop." 

Not the most eloquent child on the block, but may have a future in comedy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hard Times + Drugs=Death....Not a Very Good Equation

Reading the Sunday paper this past weekend, I happened upon an article about an American facing the death penalty for participating in a drug smuggling ring.  Frank Amado lives in Jakarta, Indonesia where he decided to turn to drug trafficking when his business went belly up and his girlfriend left him. I admit, it is a sad story especially when I read about the Frank's mother using up most of her savings to try and hire a lawyer to defend her son. 

But, and I know this sounds harsh, I don't have any pity for Frank.  His mother, yes, for she will have to live the remainder of her life knowing that her son was executed millions of miles away from her and that she couldn't do anything to change that.  A parent's worse fear is that their child will die before them.  In this case, Frank could have spared his mother an future filled with sorrow and anger, but instead, he acted like a selfish prick.  I know, I sound like a heartless jackass.

Hear me out. 

First of all, Frank chose to live in a country, beautiful though it is, has very harsh laws against drug use/selling/trafficking.  For Indonesia to take such a hard stance against drugs, they do have lower crime rates than many of their Western counterpoints.   (Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan don't plan on visiting Jakarta anytime soon.  I can guarantee you won't see the light of day again, no matter how good of a publicist you have.)

When Frank fell on 'hard times,' rather than dust himself off, work one or more jobs to cover his living expenses, or even call mom and ask for air fare back home, he decided to take a short cut.  The saying when you play with fire you'll get burned isn't a joke. 

This is why I have no pity for Frank.  I, along with millions of others in the US today, have fallen on 'hard times.'  When I lost my job back in June, I was devastated, but I began scrounging around to find any work I could.  I cleaned a few houses, babysat, moved furniture, and sold some of my meager possessions.  In addition to my own personal expenses, I am raising a child which adds a whole other layer of complexities.

But did I decide that it would be a better choice to run drugs or turn tricks at the local strip bars to support me and my child?


Granted, my ego has taken a huge bruising at times, having to ask the landlord if I can split up my rent payments throughout the month, relying on the generosity of others to help make ends meet when the crops froze up for three weeks, and asking to eat at my parent's house a few too many times because I didn't even have milk in the house. 

The point that I am making here is that I didn't wimp out.  And I've still survived.  Certainly more humbled than before and more understanding to the plight of others who are in far worse condition than me.  Frank Amado, sorry as he may be for his crime, screwed up in the first place by trying to take the easy way out and secondly choosing to live in a society knowing fully well of the consequences he might face. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm Not Down on Love, But I Abhore Valentine's Day

I make no bones about being unlucky in love making piss poor choices in men.  I've had my heart stomped on a good three times, but yet I still believe in love.  Despite listening to more than enough angry, depressing, had-my-life-shattered-by-you songs (yes, thank you Breaking Benjamin for being the soundtrack to my last relationship.  I can't hear the opening chords of any of your depressing-ass songs without becoming physically repulsed) I am still optimistic.

I'll admit it took me a good 2 years of Disturbed, Eminem, Framing Hanley, Ludacris,and Linkin Park (except their latest album which all I can say is ewww.  The edge is gone since they've all sobered/dried up.  But that's a good thing for them, just not their music) to get over my hurt.  Recently my mellowed music selections include plenty of Mozart, Beethoven, Jack Johnson's Brushfire Fairytales, Louis Armstrong, Weezer and these two bands:

When I hear either of these songs, I'm encouraged to believe that there is someone out there who is looking for someone like me.  I tell myself that I am a good person, full of life, love, and energy, but the right one to share that with hasn't come along yet, but he will some day.  While it might be 20 years from now, somewhere a complimentary awaits me.  I'll still hold on to hope.

So when I say emphatically that I. HATE. VALENTINE'S. DAY. it's not because I am a warped, twisted hag.  What I hate is that right after Christmas, Hallmark and De Beers become street level drug love pushers.  One day has been singled out of the entire years to make a grand romantic gesture to prove that you really love the person you are with.  And heaven help you if you don't come through.  Some people view Valentine's Day as the make-or-break test of their relationship.     

I say to hell with it.  If you are with someone who can't or doesn't chose to express their love for you in any manner outside of the holidays, than maybe you're with the wrong person.  I'd rather receive a hand full of midday-heat wilting wildflowers in the middle of July or a pine cone in early November, than overpriced roses on Valentine's Day.  I want to know everyday that I am loved, not just on February 14th.

But I'll still eat the chocolate.      

PS--This is post 3 in my 21 days bet, so I'm still winning.  I've been at this for more than 30 minutes like the bet originally was set at but that's my fault.  When you get on YouTube, it sucks you in like a black star.

PSsquared--I'm suggesting if you'd like a better understand my true feelings for Valentine's Day, go to YouTube and search for Non-Holiday Special: Foamy the Squirrel.  I warn however, that if your sense of humor/propriety maybe far different than mine, you don't want to go there.  Foamy is a foul-mouthed critic.  The V-Day rant begins at 1:12 of 2:30.   

Things You Don't Say To Me

Fact: I am single.

Fact: Some days I will have more stress in my life.  I may be cranky at moments, but I will be able to function just fine. 

Fact: I will think you are a rude, insensitive, crude, and lowbrow troll if you dare to make nasty remarks about me needing a sex life.

Do not ask if I was up all night with B.O.B. when I yawn.  (I was so embarrassed when I realized it meant battery operated boyfriend.)

Do not tell the 19 y.o. who works in the afternoon that I will be a happier person if he "slings some my way."

My lack of marital/dating status does not give you a carte blanche to openly mock me.  I have standards, I have feelings, and I am more than a impulse driven being.  Impulse control separates man from the beasts.

I'm so pissed.   

(This is day 2 of 21, but I don't feel like this is a victory on my part.  I may have written for 30 mins but I don't have any real direction.  Tomorrow, I write when I am less cranky, more rested.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 1 of 21

I'm supposed to be writing for 30 minutes each day.  It's a bet I made with my shrink.   But I've got nothing so far.  I have no idea what to write about.  In fact, I've already trashed a piece that I worked on for about 20 minutes b/c I felt that it rambled.  Much like this. 

Probably watching Arrested Development in conjunction with attempting to make sense of my drek-like ramblings tonight is not going to help.  So I'm off to bed.  Day one, points go to the shrink.  Maybe I'll have more in me tomorrow.   

I wish AD was still on the air. Stupid Fox.