Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Fight

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to conflict. I will typically let just about anything slide because I don't want to deal with the fallout brought on by confrontation. I'm a lover not a fighter.

I went to a huge high school. There were 1000 kids in my graduating class... about 3000 in the entire school. I wasn't a popular kid or a nerd (at least I think so...) or in any group really. I was just one fish in a sea of many, doing nothing extraordinary to stand out. One of those people that if you mentioned by name to someone in my graduating class they'd be like "Who?"

But, I was smart and generally got good grades. I went to class and I did my homework and everything else that was required of me to graduate and get the heck out. So, it wasn't surprising when I became a target for one of the popular girls to take advantage of.

Her name was Wendy Bell*. A petite little thing with long dark hair and the looks that all the guys go for. She and her friend were in my Biology class during my Junior year and sat near me and my group of friends. I was always amazed at how confident she was when it came time to leach off her fellow classmates.

Wendy: Hey move your arm, I can't see your paper.

Me: {Ignoring her}


Wendy: Hey get the same version of the test so I can copy off you.

Me: Um, no.

There was something about her air of superiority that really got to me. It was like she believed that all of us "unimportant" people should be groveling at her feet to do her homework. I didn't care how popular she was. She wasn't going to ride on my coattails. She could flunk out of Biology for all I cared.

All of these little interactions with Wendy slowly built up in my trigger bank over the course of the semester until one day I finally let her have it. I'd spent hours doing a homework assignment the night before and she came in that day with her usual tone of entitlement and wanted to copy the entire thing.

Wendy: Give me your paper so I can copy your answers.

Me: You know what? If you're going to be a slacker and not do your work, I'm not going to let you copy off my stuff. Do it yourself.

Oh man, that was it. I was now on her shit list. How dare I speak to her like that? Didn't I know who she was? Apparently not. I was not going along with her well-made plan and little scrubs like me don't get to do that to HER. And so the retaliation began.

I would hear her and her friend giggling and talking about me or they'd throw stuff or just do other little annoying things to be jerks. I generally just ignored them and went about my business. Then one day I couldn't take it anymore. Wendy and her friend were sitting behind me and threw something in my hair. My trigger bank exploded and I whipped around:

"If you don't knock it off, I'm going to beat the crap out of you."

They stopped. I was clearly not messing around here. Immediately I began to panic. What the heck was I doing? I didn't want to fight this girl! What if she took me up on my offer? I tried to maintain my calm exterior whilst giving myself a pep talk.

You're way bigger than her. If she does want to fight you could totally win. She's probably scared of you. But she's one of those mean girls. She probably fights dirty. But you're bigger! What if it doesn't matter?! I'm going to be in so much trouble.

If she hated me before, Wendy really hated me now. Whenever I'd pass by her locker where she sat with her friends she'd yell, "There goes that girl. I HATE HER!" Lucky for me her bark was bigger than her bite. To me she was just another nuisance in the world of high school. I was glad the day I graduated that I'd never have to see her again.

I don't know whatever happened to ol' Wendy. I like to pretend she put on a couple hundred pounds, lives alone with her 5 cats, and works the night shift at McDonald's. Because we all know cheaters never prosper. Amiright?

*Not her real name. But close.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Bullfrog Song

When I was a kid my Grandpa Holley would occasionally play a song about a bullfrog on the piano. I always thought it was so funny. I don't know if it was a real song or something he made up, but I loved to hear him sing and play. These days it's the only song I can play by memory on the piano besides "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Chopsticks."

Whenever I put Sylvie in her Jumperoo I like to play next to her on the piano and she always loves it when I play the bullfrog song. She jumps along to the beat with a huge smile on her face.

Today after she was jumping for a little while I tried setting up my phone to capture her on video and to my surprise it worked! She doesn't jump quite as much as usual just because she always gets distracted by my phone, but I think you get the gist. And as a bonus, today you get to hear my angelic singing voice!

The Bullfrog Song

One day I went to Sylvie's* house and Sylvie wasn't home.
I met a bullfrog on the way a playin' his old trombone.
Said I to the bullfrog "How are you?" but not a word he said,
But when I stepped upon his ears I almost killed him dead.

*Original lyrics used the name "Sally"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Things That Must Go

I haven't done one of these posts for a while, but I finally collected enough things to piss me off to make a formal post and plea to the public. Here it is, my list of "Things that Must Go:"


If I hear one more reference to the "Zombie Apocalypse" I'm going to lose it. There's zombie movies and zombie books, zombie paintings and races. Zombie this and that. During their emergency preparedness meetings the leaders of our cities, states, and countries are discussing their plans of attack in case of a zombie invasion. Really? Now there's a good use of my hard earned money. Thanks for wasting it on nonsense. I'll tell you one thing, it's not the zombies they need to worry about. They should be making plans on how to stop my fist from apocalypsing their faces.

Shifty Toilet Seats

There you are, minding your own business. Either you're just sitting down or finishing up... the slightest bit of movement and WHAM. The toilet seat shifts ever so slightly and for one split second your life flashes before your eyes. Your arms fly up in a flailing spasm all whilst your brain goes through the events that will surely precede your imminent death or humiliation: you're going to fly off the toilet and hit your head on the tile and get knocked out and then someone will find you unconscious with your pants around your ankles with your bare butt in the air.

And then as quick as it started, you resume your balance and try to recover from the mild heart attack brought on by a loose $.25 plastic nut.

Reinventing the Pizza

Back in the day all the pizza joints made regular pizzas with regular toppings and everybody was happy. But then for some reason all the pizza execs decided this wasn't good enough. The people need pizza in crazy shapes and forms. They need cheese in all the places! They need an endless variety of other foods BESIDES pizza. So now not only do we have regular pizza, we have a whole bucket full of mediocre overpriced options to choose from: cheese stuffed pizza crust, pasta, pizza with sugar on it, buffalo wings, chicken strips, thin crust, thick crust, no crust, giant pizza, tiny pizza, breadsticks filled with pizza, breadsticks filled with sugar, twisty breadsticks, mini breadsticks, diet pizza, triple crazy pizza!

Here's a tip: If you want to be a commercial pizza chain, just make good pizza. That's all you have to do. And just stop with all that other crap. Nobody wants it.

Office Speaker Phone Users

I get it. You're on a conference call and you'd like to have your hands free to do other things while you're listening. If you're lucky enough to have a door on your office, go ahead and close it and push that speaker phone button. For all other scenarios, suck it up buttercup. No, you may not leave your door open and make everyone else listen to the conference call you're having with your foreign cohorts:

"Hallo? Oh yesh hwe are bery eenteresteed een yor products. Hwe deecideed to haf dees meeting in zee bahthroom ver eet ees very echoey, no?"
I'm not joking. This is pretty much the conversation I overheard the other day at work. Ok no, they weren't in a bathroom, but it sounded like it. That or a dryer. 20 foreigners jabbering loudly for a half hour while I sit and seethe at my desk. So please, for the love of all that is good and holy, stop with the speaker phone.
So, just as before, if you are contributing in any way to any of these things, STOP IT!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Letters to Sylvie: 7 Months

Dear Sylvie,

This last month has been pretty eventful for you. There's been so many new things for you to experience and you've embraced them whole-heartedly. I continue to be amazed at how easy-going and happy you are no matter what the situation.

We were stuck inside for more days than usual this month because it's been so cold and snowy. It's tough to take you out when it's 15 degrees during the day and there's so much ice and snow on the ground. But, we found a way around it, namely we've made use of the chest pack carrier. I put you in a little snowsuit one day and loaded you into the carrier. When I looked in the mirror to see how you were doing, you were all smiles and looked more than ready to head outside. Then I decided to try out your new sunglasses. I slipped them over your head and into place and then died from the cuteness. You seemed to think you looked pretty cool and had a huge smile on your face. After I got done looking at your adorable face, we went out for a walk around the neighborhood. You were completely content the whole time and didn't so much as whimper, even when the breeze was a little chilly. You love to get outside and do new things. You're always up for adventure.

Lately you've become a little rolling machine. You're getting very good at maneuvering yourself over to a toy you want. We'll set you on the floor on a blanket and you'll roll all over the place. Usually you'll end up getting stuck against a piece of furniture and get upset so we'll have to "reset" you back in the middle of the blanket. You're like a little Roomba without the dirt removal capabilities. You've also found out that hitting two objects together makes a fun noise. You like to bang two toys together, especially when one of them is your rattle.

These days you are completely obsessed with your feet. You always have to be grabbing at least one of them and bonus if you can put one in your mouth. I'm pretty sure all your socks and pajamas are going to end up with huge clown feet from you pulling on them all the time.

Eating is also one of your new favorite pastimes. So far you've tried carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, and peas. You've loved everything but peas, but will still eat them. I love to feed you because you look so darn cute doing it. You'll open and close your mouth on the spoon several times and make "mmm" noises. Sometimes I get a happy squeal or two. Then you'll laugh as I dab your messy face with a cloth. I just laugh and laugh. (forgive the crappy video quality)

I think you're also starting to become more accustomed to other people. Over the last couple months when anyone would try to talk to you or hold you you'd start crying. But, over the last month we've had several visitors to our house and you now seem to enjoy being around lots of people and interacting with new faces. It makes me happy to see you with your grandparents and other relatives. Everyone loves to be around you.

I mentioned before about how happy you are. The laughs seem to come easier and easier by the day and I never tire of hearing that sweet sound. I got the hiccups the other day just as I began to change your diaper and you thought it was the most hilarious thing ever:

 (This is just a sound clip...this is the only way I could figure out how to play it)

Sylvie I love being your mommy. You bring so much light and joy into my life. I love you huggy buggy.
Love, Mama

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Worst Thing

Nobody ever asks what the worst part of you is. I don't mean physically. I mean, the worst part of your personality. Your worst trait. Sure people might ask about your faults or weaknesses, but is that the same thing? I mean if you really take a good look at yourself, what's the very worst part of your character?

What is the very worst thing about me? When I asked myself this question I didn't really have an answer. I mean the question sounds kind of harsh. Is there really something about me that's so horrible it's the "worst"? If I don't come up with something legitimate does that mean I'm an egomaniac? I mean it's not like you can give yourself some b.s. answer like "sometimes I care TOO much."

So I'm going to try and dig deep and be totally honest with myself: I think the worst thing about me is I'm self-centered. Part of this stems from the introverted base of my personality of which it would be very hard for me to deviate substantially. It's tough for me to dig in and actively ask people about themselves if a conversation hasn't already been started. It requires a lot of inner pep talk and reassurance that I won't, in fact, make myself look like an idiot by asking someone a question about themselves. But, aside from this part of my introversion, I think I actively avoid contact with other people, especially people I'm not inherently comfortable around.

I'm very selfish with my time. I don't have a whole lot of friends and the reason is because it takes up too much time. What do I do with my time that's so important? Well, not a whole lot, actually. But that's what I like to do. Having conversations and hanging out with people takes effort and usually I'm just too lazy for that. It's easier to stay inside myself and not share.

About 90% of the time when someone tells me a very important detail about their life, I forget about it completely. Oh you're pregnant? Must have slipped my mind. What is it you're studying at school? Do tell me for the 100th time. And the thing is, I have this expectation that other people should remember these things about me. You haven't been keeping track of how old my darling daughter is? Shame. You haven't read every last blog post I've ever written and remembered everything I said? Hmmm.... I don't know if we can be friends. The thing is, I should remember all these things. When somebody tells me important details about their life, it's like there's this switch in my brain that makes the lights go out and the idiot takes over. I notice this especially when there are 3 or more people involved in the conversation and the other person will ask a very obvious question and I think, "Why didn't I ask that? Duh. Now I look like a jerk." And it's hard to tell if I just have a really bad memory or if I'm just too self-centered to make the effort to remember.

Then there's the avoidance issues. If someone calls me and I don't recognize the number, I NEVER answer. If someone knocks on my door and I'm just not in the mood to talk to them, I don't answer. To be fair this doesn't apply to close family or friends, but I've been known to avoid neighbors. If my mood doesn't coincide with their needs, too bad. Better luck next time. Sometimes I feel bad about it, but probably not as much as I should.

So there you go. The worst thing. It's kind of nice to now what it is actually. Helps keep me grounded. Plus for a while there I was beginning to think I was devoid of flaws. Nice to know I can fit in with the common folk.