Thursday, March 28, 2019

If the Shoe Fits (Take it Off Before it Breaks!)

Upon the forcing urging of my boss, I applied to take part in this ELA (Emerging Leaders Program) with my school district. Several people from the pool of applicants who currently hold classified positions within the district were accepted into the program, and I was one of them. The program consists of monthly training from live seminars as well as webinars. On Tuesday, I attended the second seminar, this one on Dealing with Difficult People. It was actually useful training that I believe I can apply to my work life, home life, and in dealing with the entitled jerks who drive up and cut in front of those of us who have been waiting in line to exit for 2 miles. Every. Stinkin'. Morning. I truly do not understand why these individuals think they're so much better than everyone else that they don't have to wait in the same line as all the other commuters. If anyone can explain this to me, I'd love to hear it. And in related news, if anyone has a missile launcher that could be fitted onto a minivan, I'd love get the details on that also.

Anyway, I digress. So, this training was useful, the speaker was knowledgeable, effective, and had a sense of humor, the training was dynamic with hands-on components, and the hotel in which it was held, served coffee. All good.

 

When I attend these trainings, I like to dress professionally. You know, as a departure from the way I dress for work every other day. I think my usual style can be described as trendy classy sophisticated playful 'It's nearly April and Dawn has clearly given up.'

To that end, I tried on a few things, and by “a few things”, of course I mean, I tried on every piece of fabric in my closet. Twice. I decided on a filmy skirt paired with a shirt and denim jacket (because the AC was on full-blast at the last seminar and it was freezing!) I accessorized with a gold scarf and gold sandals. Reading this, it occurs to me that perhaps I should have someone else pick out my clothes. I’m thinking a trained monkey might do a better job. An untrained, sight-impaired monkey probably would too. Basically any monkey could do a better job dressing me than I do. But remember that I was wearing gold sandals. And a denim jacket.

During our first break, I jumped out of my seat because despite the ample padding on my derriere, I was sore from just sitting there for so long. They really ought to equip these training sessions with La-Z-Boys. I think I’m onto something here. So I jumped up and quickly headed toward the coffee shop so I could get to the front of the line in order to get some coffee and make it back to my seat before the break was over. As I walked, I felt something kind of flapping around my foot. Looking down, I noticed that the braiding on my sandal had come loose and was sticking out a couple inches, flapping around with every step I took. Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now considering I don’t have a hot glue gun with me. I contemplated running out to my car to grab the duct tape I keep in my glove compartment for shoe-related and other sundry emergencies, but opted to walk slowly back to my seat, hoping that if I didn’t jar it too much, my shoe wouldn’t unravel any further.

Apparently the exercise of walking a few yards in combination with the coffee brought on a hot flash. I grabbed my workbook and furiously fanned myself. I started to take off my jacket which was fusing to my arms with sweat, but remembered I was wearing a shirt with a big keyhole cut-out in back. I was sitting in the front of the room. That meant if I took off my jacket, rows upon rows of people would be subject to a clear view of my back fat. I kept the jacket on. Sweat dripped down my face. I hoped for a freak earthquake to swallow me.

When we broke for lunch, again I jumped up and headed toward the little snack shop in the lobby of the hotel. About halfway there, I felt something dangling around my foot. I looked down and saw that my shoe had unraveled so much that it was trailing a good 2 feet behind me. This was an example of karma, my friend because I had been inwardly grumbling at the people walking slowly in front of me. And you know that old saying – when you complain about slow walkers, your shoe unravels. Anyway, I had to stop and figure out some way to fix my shoe or I surely would’ve tripped. Not to mention that fact that I looked like an utter idiot. So I took the braid and wound it around my foot a couple times, tucking the end under the buckle. Voila! Fixed. Sort of. Although I was regretting my shoe choice, I was very happy that my skirt was long enough to mostly cover my stupid shoe. 

As I straightened up, I saw this cute guy walk by. I tried to act all nonchalant like I’d simply been bending over to pick up something I’d dropped. No big deal. I wasn’t just wrapping a couple feet of cord around my ankle, no siree. He smiled a little. I’m not sure if it was just a friendly smile, or an “I feel sorry for the uh, special girl playing with her shoe in the middle of the hotel lobby’ kind of smile.


exhibit A

exhibit B
How can one person have so many shoe problems? How is it possible??? Remember my shoe that broke at school 5 years ago?


exhibit C

I tried to fix it with staples. Surprisingly enough, it didn't work.


exhibit D

And then there was the shoe that broke at my friend's wedding. 
exhibit E


I walked barefoot into a Dollar General to buy a roll of duct tape to fix it on the way to the reception. (Thus the duct tape in my car for shoe emergencies.)

exhibit F

It didn't work either. 

exhibit G


So I gave up, took my shoes off, and danced barefoot all night.

Oh and let's not forget about the unfortunate shoe incident from my last date a couple years ago - Why I Can't Date

Anyway . . .

I grabbed lunch, invited myself to join a couple people at their table because apparently that’s the kind of person I am - one who encroaches on others because why wouldn't they simply delight in my company. I refrained from jumping in the hotel pool or joining the tourists drinking piƱa coladas at the bar (and let me tell ya, that took quite a feat of willpower,) and went back to the seminar. 

We broke into small groups based on the results of our DISC personality assessments. I scoped out the room, searching for the cute guy from earlier and lo and behold, he was sitting with the "I"s. I'm an "I"! Obviously it's kismet. 



I walked toward the back of the room where the other "I"s were gathering. Wait, let me rephrase that. I started walking toward the back of the room. After a couple steps however, my ambulation turned to aviation as I tripped over my shoe's tail and took flight. Let's just say, I got the cute guy to notice me.

Oh but it gets better.

After the training (you know, the training to help us better deal with different types of people), we were shuffling like cattle toward the exit of the conference room. People were filing out a single door for some reason when there were two doors there. I, apparently having learned nothing from the day's seminar, let loose a snarky comment, "There are two doors there. We could actually use both of them." I picked up my certificate and once again saw everyone exiting via a single door to the parking lot. I gave an exasperated sigh because clearly "these people" will never learn to use both doors. I then walked right into the window. Yes, the window that was not actually a door. Karma wins again.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Misty Water Colored Memories

Recently on my Timehop (If you're unfamiliar, Timehop is an app that curates all the photos and posts you've put on social media over the years.) there was a post about Lexi breaking her arm. Two days later, there was a post that said I was on my way to the hospital with Lexi, followed by a post saying that she was out of surgery and everything had gone well. This happened ten years ago. I could not, for the life of me, remember her having surgery on her broken arm. Then again, I can't remember what I had for lunch today so that's not really saying much.

How could I have forgotten something like my kid having surgery? I asked the group chat that my family has if any of them remembered. The only response I got was something about the government implanting false memories to brainwash us. That was from Jackson's girlfriend, Summer. (Clearly, it didn't take her long fall in with my crew.) But I couldn't let it go. It was bugging me to no end until I realized that I had likely blogged about it. I quickly searched my blog for the date in question and lo and behold, I found it! Lexi broke two bones in her arm and the orthopedist put her under general anesthesia in order to set it properly. After reading the post about her broken arm, I continued reading, laughing at post after post of my kids' antics. Like Lexi's surgery, I hadn't remembered a lot of the things I'd written about. (I warn my kids often that they'll be taking care of me when I completely lose my mind.) Although it's disconcerting when I can't recall something I ought to remember, I'm so appreciative of my blog now! I mean, back in the day, this blog generated an income, a book deal, and more trips, freebies, and perks than I can count. It gave laughs and comfort to other moms in the trenches. And it provided an outlet for me to vent when my kids did stuff like make a "skating rink" from water and bubble soap on my kitchen floor, color the walls with yogurt, the TV with Sharpie, and each other with paint, or when one shoved a Tic-Tac up his nose, or gouged her name into the side of my van with a nail, . But now, it's this amazing scrap book of memories. I have 1570 posts written over the past 11 years that I can reread whenever I want!

You know how people always tell you to slow down and enjoy your time with your kids when they're little because it goes by so fast? That isn't entirely accurate. Really, you should slow down and enjoy your time with your kids when they're little because when they're grown, you won't remember a darn thing from their younger days! 

I tell my daughter a story and she gives me an exasperated sigh accompanied by, "Mom, you already told me this yesterday."
My son will ask me, "Remember the time we dismantled the playground and propped the slide against the house, then jumped out our bedroom window and slid to the ground?" and I gaze at him vacantly, as I try desperately to recall the incident in question. It seems vaguely familiar but I can't recall if it really happened, if I saw it on some sitcom, or if it was just a bad dream. I'm sure my kids look at me and think - there's a tree stump in a Louisiana swamp with a higher IQ than you.

I can't even tell you how many times I've uttered the phrase, "I"m going to pick Savannah up from water polo" this month. And every time, one of my kids will respond with, "Savannah? Really, Mom? Savannah hasn't played water polo for 5 years. She doesn't live with us." Then they'll throw in a, "Remember?" for good measure because I'm pretty sure they truly believe I don't remember that Savannah moved out years ago.


So, my advice to you is - enjoy those crazy days when your kids are young. Appreciate every sticky, messy, crazy, embarrassing moment. Because those days go by so fast one day, you won't remember your kids' names or the fact they tried to leave their brother at the store, or that they painted the dog blue, or that they accidentally knocked an egg out of a robin's nest and replaced it with a chicken egg and a marshmallow peep.



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

50 By 50

I turned 49 on Sunday. For the first time. Honestly. 

It came and went with all the pomp and circumstance a single mom would expect - errands, laundry, cooking, cleaning . . . 

Anyway, I figure since I'll be 50 Forty-Nine Part 2: Electric Boogaloo next year, I should probably have an idea of what I want to do when I grow up. I mean, I've always been a procrastinator, but even I have to admit that it's a bit ridiculous to be nearly 50 years old and unhappy with yourself. To that end, I came up with a bucket list of sorts. Or well, notsomuch a bucket per se. It's really more of a small measuring cup. Still . . .

I will lose 50 pounds by the time I'm 50. That's a pound a week. Completely achievable, if not challenging. Note I wrote that "I will lose 50 pounds", not "I want to lose 50 pounds." Because I have wanted to for pretty much all of my adult life. Clearly, wanting and doing are two entirely different things.

I'm extraordinarily unhappy with my appearance. I would go so far as to say I hate the way I look. I saw a picture of myself taken at the Support Person of the Year banquet and I cried. I legitimately cried. I mean, I know I'm fat, but seeing it right there on paper absolutely disgusted me. I have lost the same 10 pounds a hundred times in my life. I'm done.

I will write 50 blog posts by the time I'm 50. It's a far cry from the 324 posts I wrote in 2008, but it's more than the 5 I wrote in 2016.

I like the school and the kids where I work. I like my job. I'm not passionate about it though. And I detest the commute. Like many of us, I don't get up and think - I can't wait to get to work! I miss writing. Nothing makes me happier than getting comments from people saying that something I wrote made them think, or made them laugh, or let them know they aren't alone. I want to write. So, I'll start with a few blog posts.

I will do 12 random acts of kindness. Because - why not?

I will go on 12 dates. Unless the first one turns out to be with a psycho who tries to make a suit of my skin. Or he chews with his mouth open. Or he doesn't laugh. Hmmm, maybe I need to rethink this one. Maybe I should adopt 12 cats instead . . .






Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sicking, Vampires, And Auspicious Write-Ups


I recently attended a mind-numbing training. The whole time I was sitting there listening to the presenter drone on, the only thought that filled my head was - What am I doing with my life? Why am I not at home writing? I should be writing, not sitting here critiquing this presenter's inability to speak and use any semblance of proper grammar in her power point.

When I got home, I picked up my laptop and pulled up my blog. The blog that used to have 100,000 readers daily. The blog that I used to update almost daily. The blog that sits there, mostly untouched these days. That blog. And I remembered how fulfilling it was to receive comments from my readers saying that my writing had made them think, or had helped them to realize they aren't alone, or had simply made them laugh. So I read through some recent comments. Here, because I want to share the pure unadulterated pleasure and joy with you, are those comments.



Are you tired of being human, having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten minutes, Do you want to have power and influence over others, To be charming and desirable, To have wealth, health, without delaying in a good human posture and becoming an immortal? If yes, these your chance. Its a world of vampire where life get easier,We have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich, You will assured long life and prosperity, You shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness, Stronger and also very fast, You will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, This is an opportunity to have the human vampire virus to perform in a good posture. If you are interested contact us

Oh boy, do I ever! I want to have power and influence over others and be made to walk in broad daylight! Where do I sign up? (Shhh, don't tell Sam and Dean Winchester.)


WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Robert Mary I’m a citizen of United Kingdom, My younger sister was Sicking of breast cancer and her name is Robert Jane, I and my family have taking her to all kind of hospital in UK still yet no good result. I decided to go to the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I find a lady called Sarah peter she was testifies to the world about the goodness of a herbal man who has the root and half to cure all kind of disease and the herbal email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man for my younger sister help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how can I receive the cure that I am in UK, he told me That I will pay for the delivery service. 


Yes, yes, I just read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine how a random Internet herbal man had discovered the cure to help people who are sicking of cancer.


This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! This paragraph is really a nice one it helps new net people, who are wishing for blogging. 

Your comment is . . . how do I say it? Inane!


Its not my first time to pay a visit this web site, i am visiting this site dailly and take nice data from here all the time. 

Well that is my goal after all - giving nice data to all the people!


you are truly a just right webmaster. The website loading pace is incredible. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you've done a excellent task on this subject! 

Do you hear that, world? I'm a just right webmaster. I don't think there's anywhere to go from there. My dreams are fulfilled.



What i do not understood is if truth be told how you are now not really much more well-preferred than you may be now. You're so intelligent. You understand therefore considerably relating to this topic, produced me in my view consider it from so many various angles. Its like men and women aren't fascinated unless it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. All the time take care of it up! 

What I do not understand, if truth be told, is pretty much anything you just wrote. Not a stinkin' word.


Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?  

I'm sorry, but I don't think we actually can communicate. You know, seeing as how I don't speak whatever language that is.


At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming yet again to read more news. 

At this moment I am going to rethink my entire life. Afterward, I will pour a large glass of wine and watch some Netflix.







Friday, March 1, 2019

Hell is a Group Chat

Image by JESHOOTS-com on Pixabay
Remember back in the 70s when you had cheer practice? No? That's right! Because there was none of this putting your kids in sports and other activities that take all your time and money! We were thrown out of the house after school and we ran around the neighborhood playing until mom rang the dinner bell, signaling us to come running home. 

Then in the 90s and early 2000s when my oldest kids were young, we put them in some sports. You know how I knew what time their practices were? The coach told us at the beginning of the season. Practices are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00 - 7:30. I didn't get reminders every day. I knew when practice was and I brought my kids at the appointed time. Like magic.

Then came the smart phone and people turned into idiots.


Case in point -  I, along with about 25 other parents, was added to a group text for Brooklyn's cheer team. Now this could be a handy tool for communicating. It could be if the other people involved employed any sort of texting etiquette, or you know, common sense. It could go like this:

COACH:  Remember practice tonight 630 to 8

The end. That's it. Everyone in the text group would receive ONE text reminder just in case one went stupid and forgot that practice is Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 - 8:00 just like it has been for the past 2 months.

But that's not how it works. That is literally never how it works. Instead, our phones (namely MY phone!) get a dozen pings with very, very important messages that everyone needs to know like this:


COACH:  Remember practice tonight 630 to 8

CRIP (Clueless Rude Inconsiderate Parent):  Jada will not be able to make it she pulled her groin muscle and can barely walk straight. See you Tuesday

CRIP:  Ok we'll be there

CRIP:  Kayla won't be there she has strep throat

CRIP:  Thanks

CRIP:  Kayla won't be there tonight.

CRIP: I'll have to try and get Kay a ride cause Kayla was Kayleigh's ride today. Husband is working nights now and I have 3 of the 4 needing to be placed

CRIP:  places

CRIP: Ok

CRIP:  Hailee won't be there tonight

CRIP:  Hailee will be back next week

CRIP:  Bella will be there at 6:30

[sic]


And here's me . . .


via GIPHY


There is NO NEED to respond to a text that simply provides information, especially when there are 25 other people whose phones will ping with that text. If a coach reminds you there's practice, you don't not need to replay "Okay" or "Thanks" or anything else. Just show up to practice.

There is also NO NEED to tell everyone in the group chat that your husband is working, or your kid can't make it to practice, or that your kid has a groin injury. Tell the coach. She's the ONLY one who needs to know this.

Technology has just made people stupid. Twenty years ago, you would not have picked up the phone and gone down the roster to call 25 people and tell them, "Hi Anne, my daughter pulled her groin. She won't be at practice. I just thought you'd like to know." "Hi Meg, my daughter pulled her groin. She won't be at practice. I just thought you'd like to know." "Hi Mary, my daughter pulled her groin. She won't be at practice. I just thought you'd like to know." And on and on and on . . . So why do people do it now with texts? Why? Truly, I'm asking because I really don't understand this phenomenon. I cannot possibly be the only one who doesn't like her phone going off every few seconds with everyone's nonsense while she's at work.


I'm convinced that hell is a group chat. A group chat that you. can. NEVER. EVER. leave.



  


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