Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Ten

I don't have a theme this week. In fact, I forgot that a Sunday post was sorta required of me until about five minutes ago. And if my second job hadn't called and said they didn't have any work for me to do today, after all? I wouldn't have even been here to post. So there's that.

That's right, y'all, I'm working two jobs. One that I love, and one that I don't really love but gives me just enough extra money that I can stay at the one that I love. Being a grown-up is way lame. But I guess I don't have to tell you guys.

Here are all the ways that I am trying to make extra money and the various reasons that they are never going to work:

1. Swagbucks

If you sign up at Swagbucks and use their search engine instead of, you know, that other one? You earn Swagbucks. And when you get enough of them, you can go to the Swag Store and exchange them for things like gift cards, deposits to your PayPal account, and various other items.

Pro: I'm earning Swagbucks for searching for things like "giant Twister board."
Con: It's going to take me a loootta searches to earn me some PayPal money. Sigh.
Irony: I just earned 10 Swagbucks for searching "swagbucks."


If you can pass a short test to demonstrate your knowledge proficiency? You can tutor people online and make money at Really. That's it.

Pro: I am uber-proficient at English and Essay Writing, byotch.
Con: I'm being wait-listed because what really needs right now is Chemistry, Biology, and high-level maths tutors. Sigh.
Irony: My sister, who is a teacher? Paid more out of her check in taxes than I make at my job-that-I-love in a whole month. Probably if we let teachers keep their money? They would get off of and leave the money-making to me.

3. Kids Consignment Sale

If you have clothes and toys your kids have outgrown but are still in good condition, you can trot them on down to a consignment store and earn a little dough while you make extra room in your house.

Pro: What I just said. You earn money and get rid of your junk. Duh.
Con: Getting your things ready to sell? Is a lot of friggin' tedious work. Card stock to make tags, safety pins, wire hangers, tape, Ziploc bags... Jesus.
Irony: I'd rather let the junk sit there than do the work required to sell it. I don't think that's actual irony, but I have a thing going here, and I have to keep it up.

Sometimes, when I am reading Suze Orman's column in O magazine and people are complaining about how they're "drowning in debt" but then go on to say that they make over $6,000 a month? I start feeling a little stabby.

That is all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Can't Handle the Truth!

Baby Sosie is sick.

She has been fussy and snotty-nosed in the way that sick babies are. This morning she woke up about three hours earlier than normal because she just couldn't breathe, and she was all pathetic and snorty. So I had to break out the saline drops and the bulb sucker. It helped immensely, and Sosie went back into a peaceful, easy-breathing sleep. (And so did I. Score!)

Tonight? She again needed some bulb sucker assistance. So I took her back to our room and laid her on our bed. Babies are wiggly and roll-ey, so I had to hold her head still with my knees.

Scarlett, who stalks my every move, appeared in the room and noticed her sister's predicament. It is one Scarlett has suffered herself, many times over. Except now she's a big girl, and I don't have to hold her head with my knees.

"Baby sister!" Scarlett cried. "Just tell Mommy the truth!"

Wait... what?

I am gasping with laughter. Like I am an enforcer now? Saline and a bulb sucker are my instruments of parental torture? Like I am Sayid from LOST? Where does she get this stuff???

"What is baby sister supposed to tell me?" I am asking. "The truth about what?"

"Umm.... guess!"

"I can't guess," I say. "I don't know."


"Baby sister can't tell me," I try again. "She can't talk. I need you to tell me."

"Um, I don't know!"

Damn. The sister secrets are already too strong.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blackmail, Yogi Bear-Style

Although I try to refrain from mentioning my job on this blog, sometimes? They force my hand. Especially when they decide to blackmail me for fun. No, seriously. I, along with my fellow coworkers, received the following email yesterday:

"Dear Staff:

The 2nd annual company picnic has been tentatively moved to Sunday, October 24, 2010 from 3:00 to 7:00. As you are aware ___ is the only location open on Sundays. In order for _____ to ask the board for permission to close ___ on a Sunday, which is the busiest day of the week, __ needs to have a guaranteed 50% staff participation attending the picnic.

If we don't receive a minimum of 50% participation from staff, the picnic will go on as planned while ___ remains open on October 24, 2010 and operated by staff who have chosen to work in lieu of attending the picnic. Basically, you have a choice; work at ___ as scheduled on 10/24 or close ___ with 50+% of staff attending and enjoying the picnic.

Select the "click here to vote" link at the top of this email and vote to "attend the picnic" or "work at ___" and SEND THE RESPONSE NOW option.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing your responses."

Can y'all imagine how fun this party is going to be? I won't know. Because I voted for the second option. I'm rebellious that way.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And Then Blogger Said, "Who the hell are you again???"

So.... yeah. Haven't been here in a while. I logged in last night with the intention of posting, but then Blogger started mocking me. He was all, "Oh, I'll let you in, but you're not gonna post. I'll just keep looooaaading and looooaaading the page and let you watch the circle spin around and around, but I won't. Let. You. Post."

I imagine Blogger as a bitchy queen a la Mario Cantone. Actually, if Blogger was Mario Cantone there would have been a lot more swearing in that sentence. And probably some finger-wagging.

There are lots of little reasons why I haven't been posting. But what all those reasons boil down to? Is insecurity.

There are soooo many great blogs out there. Great writers. Many of them posting every single day. Some even multiple times a day. Bananas! It's very intimidating to read a constant stream of funny, witty, thought-provoking, poignant, soul-stirring stuff, and then think about your own blog and come up with a whole lotta blank page. Blank screen. Blank brain.

I don't want to just give up. I've done that way too many times before. So I'm going to take a deep breath, lower my expectations of my own brilliance (snort!) and try not to let it get to me.

But not before I change my blog slogan.

Momlarky: "Letting insecurity win since the 1980s." Bazinga!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scarlett Words, or, The Swearing Loophole

Scarlett is fascinated by Mommy and Daddy's awesome grown-up right to swear. No matter how many times we explain to her that she will not be allowed to swear until she is a grown-up? She is always looking for a loophole.

In the car, as I am pulling into our parking space:

Scarlett: "Super WHY! said 'F' today. They said Daddy words."

Me: "Honey, lots of words have 'F' sounds without being Daddy words. You can say the letter 'F' or words with 'F' in them. You just can't say Daddy words."

Scarlett: "What are Daddy words?"

Me: "You know the difference between words that have the 'F' sound and Daddy words."

The conversation continues as we walk into the house and I fix Scarlett a sippy cup of juice and Sosie a bottle. Despite cranking the a/c on full blast, we are all damp and sweaty and in need of hydration.

Scarlett: "Can I have Scarlett words?"

Me, frowning: "What do you mean?"

Scarlett: "Words that only I can say."

Me: "I don't think you need your own words, honey."

Scarlett: "Why not?"

Me: "Because... you don't. You don't really get that mad."

Scarlett: "Yes I do." Really? She does. She gets very frustrated.

Me. Sigh: "Like what? What words would be Scarlett words?"

Scarlett, thoughtfully: "Can I say, 'Oh, cuttery'?"

Me: "Oh cuttery? That's what you want to say when you're mad?"

Scarlett nods enthusiastically. Oh my god this is priceless. I decide to get Michael in on this. "Do you hear what she's saying to me?"

Michael, Xboxily: "No, I can't hear her."

Me: "She's trying to negotiate Scarlett words with me. She wants her own swear words."

Michael: "Like what?"

Scarlett: "Oh, cuttery!"

Michael: "Hahahahahaha! You mean only Scarlett can say, 'Oh, cuttery'? Mommy and Daddy can't say that word?"

Scarlett, way proud: "Yes."

And so it is. Scarlett has her own swear word. Michael tested her on it several times. If she heard him utter the unspeakable oath? She came flying from wherever she was, "Daddy don't say that! Daddy you can't say that, Daddy!"

Scarlett has found the swearing loophole. It only took her three years to outsmart me. I am in big trouble.

Oh, cuttery, y'all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Need To Get Out More.

My bestie and I have had vague plans to see Sex and the City 2 together since like, May. When it first hit theaters. We'd seen the first movie together, and we wanted to reprise our Girls' Night Out for the second film. Last night? We finally got around to it.

It was in the cheap seats, so I didn't much care about the bad reviews I had read. As far as I was concerned? Even if something went terribly wrong with the screen and they canceled the movie entirely and all we did was sit there in the theater for a little while? It would be the best. Night. Ever!

I love my girls. So much. And I'm only working part-time. And really, I do manage to find time to laze around doing nothing (I keep up this blog, don't I?) But lately? I have been "one of those" moms. The ones that want Just Five Minutes to Myself to Read or Eat or Go To The Bathroom or Even Just Complete A Thought Without Someone Interrupting or Whining or Needing Something or Thinking They Need Something Super-Important But Really It Could Have Waited Or They Could Have Managed It Themselves But They Asked Mom to Do It Because What Else Is Mom Doing Anyway? In other words, every mother that has ever lived.

So when I realized that I was actually going to get to go to the theater, straight after work, and have about three hours of time where nothing was expected of me? And I would get to drink Coke and eat popcorn? I was disproportionately exuberant. I cranked up the radio and danced in the car on the way there to music that would normally irritate me. When I got there, and I found my seat next to my bestie's mother, who was also joining us, and she asked me how I was? I said, "I could not be more excited than if we were going out dancing!"

And I really meant it. I was so desperate to get out of the house that I would actually have been excited to go out dancing. People? The idea of going out dancing generally gives me the kind of nerves that normal people get about speaking in front of large groups of people (which is something that literally terrifies me, since I am a little outside normal.) But I digress.

We did get to see the movie. And it was not as bad as I had been expecting, but nowhere near as good as it should have been. There were, however. moments. Like when Charlotte and Miranda are having a drink at the bar in their Abu Dahbi hotel suite while Carrie and Samantha are off in the company of men. And they are confessing their Mom Sins. Like, "All I ever wanted for years was to have children. And now I have two beautiful girls. And they are driving me crazy."

And then they lament that they feel this way even though they have nannies, and they toast to all the mothers who do it "without help." Why, thank you. But buying me a drink would have been even nicer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Nine: The Thievery Edition

In high school, my favorite teacher taught AP English. He was way smart and had a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor. He also taught an elective - Comparative Religions. For that class, he had enough copies of the Bible to pass out to everyone, about twenty-five students.

He told us that to obtain so many copies, he may or may not have suggested to a prior class of students that whenever they found themselves staying in a hotel - say, during Spring Break - they might help themselves to a Gideons Bible and pass it along. For the good of future students, of course. So whenever it was time to pass out some Bibles? We got to read inscriptions like, "Ruthlessly boosted from the Holiday Inn by Amber and Tasha on such-and-such a date..." Apparently, thinking up euphemisms for stealing is way fun. In honor of my former teacher? I'm bringing it back! Plus, I stole stuff from other people to make up my Kitchen Sink. Duh.

I mercilessly ganked this from The Bloggess. Enjoy. It's so poignant that it almost made me burst into tears. What? I am not crazy! (Okay, maybe I am.)

The Bloggess gave me a five-finger discount on this next one, too (Score!): I have got to start doing more when I'm slacking off.

The following scenario was Bogarted from a Windows Live Messenger conversation:

Me: I don't think I could move to Australia. I'm not too jazzed about those Huntsman spiders.

Her: Meh, they're not so bad. Actually, I just killed a ginormous one.

Me: See, you must not really want me to move there if you are saying these things to me. I had a big spider in the house the other day, but it was probably a midget spider compared to y'alls' spiders.

Her: You should have taken a picture of it and posted it on Facebook.

Me: Not. You would have giggled at my silly little "big" spider.

Her: Don't try to suck one up with the vacuum. It doesn't work.

Me: What, does it just flail around in there? Or does it try to crawl back out? Ewwww.

Her: It does both. It flails and tries to crawl back out.

Me: By the time I went to get the vacuum the thing would get away and then I would spend the rest of the night all crazed waiting for it to appear again.

Her: That's why you keep an eye on it while you back away slowly.

Me: Snort! "Look spider, I'm leaving. Nothing bad is going to happen."

Her: Hahaha!

Me: "It's allll goooood, spider. No one's going to hurt you."

Me: **crosses fingers behind back**

Her: Hahahaha!

Me: whack! whack! whack! whack! whack!

Aaaand scene. That is exactly how it would go if I were trying to best a spider, y'all. And yes, she really does spend most of our MSN conversations giggling at me. I am that funny.

And now, a word from our sponsor: If you comment here at Momlarky? I love you. Really. You complete me. And stuff. Kinda. But I need another favor. Those little "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" icons next to commenters' names? Use them (but pretty much only the thumbs-up ones. Unless someone's being really douchey.) If you thumbs-up people, their comments don't have to go to moderation. No comments going to moderation = everyone wins! Also, because I promised, vote for BINDY.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Scarlett of the Day

Scarlett is sick. Fever, cough, snotty nose - all the fun stuff. The snotty nose? Is killing me. The kid doesn't know how to blow her nose. Still. She can only suck all the snot in. She can't blow it out. I've tried explaining it to her a bajillion times, but she just doesn't get it. She'll blow her breath out through her mouth, but not. Her. Nose. Aaargh!

Me: "Please can I do your nose?"

"Doing your nose" is using that bulb sucker thing that every new parent is armed with before they even leave the hospital. It means I am going to have her lay flat, with her chin tilted up, put a few drops of saline down her nose, and then suck out as much snot as I can get. With the sucker thingie. At first? Scarlett hated this. She screamed and fought me. Then, inexplicably, one day she decided she was on board. She participated like a champ. Lately, though? She has gone back to hating it. Which is rather annoying, since she can't blow her freaking nose yet. Back to the story:

Scarlett: "No."

Me: "Please? It will make you feel so much better."

Scarlett: "NO!"

**A few hours later**

Me: "Come on, just let me do your nose."

Scarlett: "No!"

Me: "How about this? If you let me do your nose? I will let you have some more chocolate cookies."

Scarlett: "Perfect!"

Her mama didn't raise no fool.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dear Youthful Indiscretions: I Want My Money Back

Have you ever suddenly realized, with forceful clarity, exactly how much money you have wasted on something? Have you made the calculations in your head and then really, really wanted to slap yourself for being so retarded? I have.

It happened about 3 years and 9 months ago, when I was staring at the two lines on the pregnancy test on my bathroom counter. It is a strange feeling to be staring at two lines when for years all you have ever seen was one. In that moment, I was all at once shocked, dazed, excited, and certain.

Even though I had never been pregnant before? I had known I was pregnant before I took the test. I was certain of it. I knew it, even without any symptoms. I didn't quite let myself believe it until I saw the test, but when I did see it? I felt... consigned. I gave myself up to the fate I had seen looming before me for days, my destiny with motherhood.

And then? I thought about all those other tests I had taken. Before, when I was younger. And I laughed at how stupid I had been. It was so obvious to me now... of course I hadn't been pregnant those other times. How could I have thought that I was?

Pregnancy tests are not cheap, y'all. I couldn't believe I had wasted even one dollar on them before. Most of the time? I would take one because I thought I should probably have my ellipse, but it wasn't there yet, and why wasn't it there? Hadn't I already waited long enough? Shouldn't it be here? Why didn't I ever remember to keep track of it in my calendar or something? So I would take a test, just to see, and inevitably? My ellipse would show up the very next day.

Recently? I went through this same thing again. But this time I showed some restraint. Because I knew what it felt like to be pregnant. So, really, I was 99% sure that I was not. But still, my ellipse had not shown up. I waited an entire week. Nothing.

So I went and bought a test.

And sure enough? My ellipse showed up the next morning. Phew! Thank goodness I hadn't even bothered to open the test box! But then, y'all? I had a dilemma of a different kind.

I took the test back to the store for a refund. And I grabbed some lady products. And I went to pay for them with my pregnancy test-refund money. I stood there in line for a minute, clutching the boxes in my hands. No cart. No basket.

Then, I realized... I knew the people standing in front of me. Not well, really, but I knew that if they turned around? They would know that they knew me from somewhere. Somewhere that they would almost certainly see me again. A mom and her teenage son. I so did not want them to turn around and see what I was buying.

I quickly sidled over to the candy, clutching my lady products against the side of me that was facing away from them, and pretended to be very engrossed in choosing a candy and pondering the gossip mags in the event that those people I knew happened to look over and notice me. They were taking forever.

There was another store employee at a register by the candy section. The register was clearly closed, but she was there, doing something on the screen. She noticed me loitering and politely asked if I had a question. I explained, "I'm just pretending to look at this because I know those people in line and I don't want them to see what I'm buying."

She snorted. "Been there, done that," she said.

Finally, finally, those people left. And I bought my lady products with my pregnancy test-refund money (with the same cashier who had rung up my test the day before, mind you) and left.

Lesson learned: I am so never wasting money on pregnancy tests again. If I am pregnant? I will know. And if I am not pregnant? I will know that, too.

And also? I am so glad that that other cashier did not think I was a weirdo. Yay, embarrassing drugstore-purchase solidarity!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Be Careful Which Random Guy You Offer Water To...

About, say, six years ago? I was working at a little nightmare of a place called Ruby Tuesday. And one day, y'all? I was at the hostess stand, you know, hostessing and shit. I think I decided to help one of the servers clear off their empty tables. I took some dishes to the back, and when I came back to the hostess stand? There was this guy sitting at a table.

A cute guy. In a blue dress shirt and (probably?) khaki pants. He didn't have a menu or anything. I thought maybe he had walked in while I was gone and, seeing no hostess, decided to seat himself. So I grabbed a menu and went to greet him. And he was all, "Oh, no. I'm here for a job interview." Devastating smile.

Reeeaaaalllllly. "Would you like a glass of water while you wait?" I blurted. I felt retarded for offering him a menu when he didn't need one and it was the first thing I could think of to say. Sometimes we offered applicants a free drink. Awesome, right? He declined, but he flashed me another smile, and I went back to my stand.

I'm sure I kept a vague watch on him, in the periphery, while I pretended to work. He talked with one of the managers. Things seemed to go well. I watched Cute Guy get up and walk over toward the bar where -


Wait, what? That was my coworkers' daughter, and my coworker, and they seemed to know Cute Guy, and... oh. Uhn-unh.

Cute Guy? He was my coworkers' ex-husband. She had been telling us he was moving back to be closer to their daughter, among various other things about him, most of which were... unflattering in the way that stories about one's ex-husband generally are.

Well, there goes that, I thought. I had a few dating rules, and Cute Guy violated all of them. No friends (or acquaintances') exes. No divorced guys. No dads. No coworkers. It was just as well, really, since I was dating someone anyway. (Oh, did I not mention that? Bygones.)

Then the very next day? My coworker, she mentioned to me that her ex told her about me, and that I was "cute." Wait, what? "But I told him you had a boyfriend," she added.

Oh, right. Him. (Bygones.) "Thanks," I said.

So Cute Guy and I were just two more people in the myriad of crazies that served people food at RT. (Really, we were all the craziest bunch of people you could gather under one roof. All of us.) So for a year? I continued to notice that Cute Guy was cute, in an off-limits, never-going-to-happen-in-a-million-years kind of way.

Even though he continually told me how "hot" I was. "I'm chilly," Cute Guy would say. "I think I need to stand next to Megan." Snort. Even though the managers kept putting us together when they assigned sections. Even though other people started to notice that he was getting rather funny and charming. "What's with Cute Guy?" they would say (except no one called him Cute Guy and everyone actually referred to him by his last name.) "He's so funny now." Indeed.

Even though he stayed an hour after his shift was over just to help me clean my part of our section when my shift was finally over. Wait, what?

Even though other people observed this behavior and made comments like, "Megan, he is like, in love with you." Wait... what?

So, finally, one day, I asked Cute Guy to the movies. (Oh - I had broken up with the boyfriend by then. Bygones.) I tried to keep the whole thing mum just in case, you know, things went badly. Because he still completely broke all of my dating rules.

Things, however, did not go badly. And two years ago, y'all? We finally got married.

I blame water.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Eight: The Bad Behavior Edition

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't post a "Kitchen Sink" last week. Would you believe that I was in another coma? These comas, they sure have a doozy of a relapse rate. Heh heh.... heh... aheh.... Okay, moving on now.

So, since I was bad last week, this week? Will be dedicated to bad behavior. From other people. Some of whom were dumb enough to also be caught on video camera. Score!

This first one is from an episode of TLC's Cake Boss, and it is by far one of the rudest things I have ever seen. Seriously. If I were this girl's mother? Not only would I immediately cut the funding for her wedding? She would be disowned.

I refuse to post this next one on my blog. Instead, I will link to the article which has the offending videos. Now, if I were this girl's mother? I think I would be calling Child Protective Services on myself. Because, seriously? An eleven-year-old girl is talking this way? Out loud? To other people? On the Internet, no less? Seriously??? Somebody needs to enable the Parental Controls and not just on the computer.

Apparently the pornographers have decided to spoof classic TV shows. I guess I'll leave it up to you guys to decide whether pornography counts as "bad" behavior.

So I picked up this biography from the library completely on a whim - the title caught my eye, then the cover, then the jacket summary. I took it home. And people? I cannot put it down. It is fascinatingly weird. And the photographs? Stunning.

Why does this qualify for the "bad behavior" edition? I'll tell you: because it is the biography of model/photographer/author Dare Wright, who published a series of childrens' books about a "lonely doll" and her teddy bear friends, and apparently, in every single book there is some reason that the lonely doll deserves a spanking. From the "daddy" teddy bear. Nice.

Some of the books have recently been reissued. If you did not read them as a child? You should so check them out. And the biography? Weirdly fascinating. Weirdly. Oh, and Madame Alexander once recreated the doll that "stars" in the books. Can you tell I'm a little obsessed? Sorry.

Have you ever become so invested in a television show that you catch yourself thinking of the characters as real people long after the show has ended? I do this. With Joey and Chandler from Friends. When I heard about Live Free or Die Hard, my first thought was, "Ohmigod! Joey and Chandler are going to be so excited!" I'm not even kidding, y'all. And just now, when I was rereading the paragraph I wrote that explains why I was including a biography in my "bad behavior" post and I noticed how long the sentence that starts with "I'll tell you" is? I thought about how Chandler would say, "Could that sentence be any more run-on?"

I think I might need to go to sleep. Could I be any more tired? Heh heh... heh... aheh... yeah.