Well, I've ridden that handbasket straight to the depths of hell.
I'm alive. There is that.
With that, I give you a few odd conversations had over the last few days. I am subtitling...
"Did I Say that Out Loud?"
One of my co-workers was visited by an auditor today. She was good enough to take one for the team... again. She knows all the answers so I'm always thankful when they stop in her cube.
As their audit was wrapping up, I heard the auditor ask to name something she could not bring into work from home.
There was a pause.
And he continued with, something maybe you couldn't load on your computer.
Now the answer is any drivers from home. We can't load any software, data sticks, peripherals etc from home.
My coworker paused and then said, "OH! I know! Porn!"
To which the room got painfully quiet for a prolonged time, and I wish I could have seen the auditor's face, as finally laughing came out of the individual cubicles.
Oh she was right, of course, but just not QUITE the right answer he was looking for. We asked her later if she had a tough time keeping her porn at home, and not bringing it to work.
We got some serious mileage out of that one as I'm sure the auditor did too.
"You Might Be a Math Geek if..."
I was in a meeting last week with a group of Moms, helping to plan the upcoming Band Banquet. We need tables and so we're renting 30 rounders that seat 10 a piece, plus the school has some we can borrow. And the following conversation occurred to the best of my recollection:
Maggie (our chair): So when are these tables slated for delivery? The night before or during school?
Linda: Oh they aren't being delivered. I'm picking them up.
Me: 30 tables.
Maggie: In your car?
Linda: Oh yes. I have an Expedition.
Maggie: They will fit flat?
Linda: I can always put them at a an angle too.
Me *big pause*: Linda, if you were to cut your truck on the diagonal, have you calculated the hypotenuse to see if the diameter of these tables are smaller than the hypotenuse?
*silence* *everyone staring at me*
Me: I take it they will probably lay flat. Just as long as the diameter is smaller than the width of your truck, it's all good.
*silence* *everyone staring at me*
Linda: Really. It will be fine.
Lastly, our tooth fairy sucks and it's time for Bones to know the truth because this whole tooth for cash thing is stressing me out.
That's the hard part about my job, as crappy as things are at work, as chest tightening sucky as they are, I will not bring it home. If it's important to my kids, it MUST be important to me and I refuse to allow what is going on at work to alter that.
And so the tooth was lost 3 weeks ago and this was the conversation we had in the car yesterday. I'd just come off a seriously crappy telecon, I was still spooled up on bad adrenaline, and I was a jittery mess.
Bones hit me up immediately; he was irritated and wanted to make sure I knew it. Lovely. He got in the car and this truly was the first out of his mouth:
Bones, loudly: Mom, the tooth stinks. Do you know, it has been FIVE MONTHS that I've had a tooth under my pillow!
Me, deep breath: No, it's been 3 weeks.
Bones: Fine. Three weeks. What's the deal with that? Am I like her only kid?
Me: I think she works in zones or something...
Mr. T, laughing.
Bones: Well, what's her problem. I mean, really.
Me: Maybe she has two jobs. Maybe that's her night job. Maybe she's just completely overwhelmed.
Bones: Are you KIDDING ME? She's the TOOTH FAIRY. How overwhelming can that job be? She totally stinks at it. Really. I wonder if any other kids get treated like this.
At this point, I'm taking extra deep breaths because I've gone from a crappy day at work to a kid b*tching at me about the tooth fairy. I wanted to scream, "There isn't a f*cking tooth fairy! Move on!", but instead I took an extraordinarily deep breath, smiled sweetly and said, "Well, Bones, I have hope. I have hope she will come tonight."
Bones, with GREAT aggravation in his voice: Oh yeah?! Well, the tooth fairy PUNCHED me in the face and all the hope spilled out. I have NO hope left. None.
Mr. T it this point is laughing so hard, he's about to cry.
I'm trying hard not to laugh over the absolute ridiculous drama of it all. Finally I said, "Dude. Chill. I'm sure she's coming..."
And she did. Three more teeth to go and I don't have to worry about this tooth fairy crap anymore.
Good Grief. Seriously, there can't be anything quite like getting punched in the face by the tooth fairy...
When I was growing up, TGOO always had a garden. I think the two things I really remember with great vividness and laughter from my childhood regarding TGOO were his perpetual battles with the squirrels and his gardens.
Mom used to call him the Frustrated Farmer.
When we moved to Pensacola, their land had about a quarter acre that was fenced in with no real purpose. Every year, TGOO would rent a tiller, and he'd go out there and till the land. I will tell you now, it looked like hard dang work. Back and forth he'd go, moving that dirt with that big contraption.
And then he'd plant.
There are some funny stories about things he'd plant. For instance, I know if you plant potatoes, you'll get potatoes for the rest of your life.
It was through his gardening that I came to realize that the grocery stores only pick the vegetables that look 'just right'. They had to meet some spec code. Carrots had to be a certain size. But what I want to know is how they ever got carrots that met code, because I swear, not one of TGOO's carrots ever met it.
I don't think I EVER... EVER!... saw a 6 inch long straight carrot come out of his garden.
I think the garden had been radiated or something.
His carrots always had multiple pieces coming off, looking like legs or tripods.
And nothing tastes like a homegrown tomato.
Which brings me to my boys. This Frustrated Farmer thing must skip a generation. I don't have the urge to grow anything, but that could be because I'm growing three boys and they flat wear me out.
But my boys? Mr. T had some science project where he had to grow tomatoes, a vegetable that he loathes, but so taken was he, that he's become a tomato farmer. That is all he talks about... his tomato plants.
Yesterday I was in Home Depot buying flowers for my garden. The older boys need a family project for a badge they have to earn for Eagle Scout and my garden was the perfect opportunity.
As Ringo and I wove our way through the plant section he found these green stakes that help keep tomato plants upright. "Mom! Mr. T NEEDS these for his plants! They're falling over, they're so heavy with tomatoes."
And so we bought this fencing contraption that he and his brother promptly set about to putting together, the minute I pulled in. Mr. T's tomato plants have been saved.
But as we bought MY flowers, I was coerced into buying... blueberry plants for Ringo.
And at dinner last night, the big topic was what else could be planted that would be eaten. Mr. T and Ringo were on a mission.
Rutabagas were ruled out. I don't know what to do with them and I don't have the time to learn. They didn't want a one crop wonder, so broccoli and carrots were ruled out, as was lettuce.
I came home today to find my side yard has turned into a garden. I now have blueberry bushes, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, zuchini squash, yellow squash, canteloupe, and yellow watermelon.
And they are all planted amongst each other, so I'm wondering about this whole cross pollination thing. I strongly suspect that the cucumbers are not going to be cucumbers, but something morphed.
We shall see.
They are excited. I'm in it for the ride. If we get anything edible out of it, I consider it a bonus.
Stay tuned. I feel wars with bugs, rabbits, and birds coming on. We don't exactly live in a bubble...
I'm sure pictures will follow...
It's been the binge weekend.
We did binge yardwork. We live on a fully sodded and landscaped acre and got rid of our lawn service in January. (I posted how Ringo has run into our back screened porch. We got found out before it was fixed... so my husband hired someone KNOWING that Ringo and I would not get it right and knowing he didn't have the time to do it. Sheesh. No faith... anyway, the doors were all broken and the kid that fixed it needed work and in the end, he knew what he was doing and I didn't, and the whole thing got fixed including doors for less than we paid a month for lawn service... so it was worth it.)
So Ringo cut the lawn, my husband edged, the boys and I replanted my garden (Ringo insisted on being point man for replanting my garden "MOM. Listen to me. YOU will KILL it." Nice.), I transplanted my Hydrangea assuring that it will now die, we raked, and moved stuff to the front for pick up. It was a full day's lawn work and it looks wonderful.
There was binge laundry where I washed 10 loads and the boys folded them.
There was binge bathroom cleaning, where I cleaned the bathrooms while they were all outside doing yardwork.
And binge organizing as we try to prepare for this week.
I had a girlfriend once that told me that she and her husband had binge $ex. I'm still trying to figure out how in the world they did that. She said they'd go weeks and weeks without it due to lack of time, and then one weekend, that is ALL they would do.
How in the heck do you do that with kids? Really? Obviously you have to ship the kids off somewhere because what do you do, hide in closets, lock bathroom doors, and continually throw them outside? How stressful would that be?
Anyway, today you get binge blogging, as I try to get in as much as possible as I'm not sure what this week has in store, but considering I'm now full time (or thereabouts) and my husband is out of town this week, it's going to be a tight week for blogging.
Hopefully things will seem funny... with that much stress it's a toss up. Either everything is REALLY funny... or there is NOTHING that is funny...
'Twill be interesting.
I have one more post to put up... binge blogging. Three posts in a day. Sheesh.
I found out last week that my eldest has been selling his lunch at school, when he doesn't want it, for three bucks.
That's a full on sub sandwich.
Actually, the conversation went like this, and it was between Ringo, his buddy Paul, and me. I was taking them somewhere...
Paul: So did you figure out who stole your sandwich?
Ringo: No... I'll never figure it out.
Me: What? Someone STOLE your sandwich?
Paul *said in a tone as if he is reminiscing something wonderful in his past, a yearning*: Well, yeah, I mean, Ringo has the best sandwiches of everyone. He has a full white hoagie roll, lettuce, mayo, sliced turkey and sometimes even bacon.
Me: *I* KNOW what's on them... I make them every morning.
Paul: Dang, they're the best.
Me: Someone STOLE your sandwich?
Ringo: Yeah, well, I didn't completely lock my lock. I didn't want to have to spin my combination, so I just put the lock together. When it came time to go to lunch, I went to my locker and someone had opened it, took out my lunchbox, stole my sandwich, and left my lunchbox on a side table.
Me: Are you KIDDING? Well, that'll teach you not to lock your lock.
Ringo, shaking his head: You can't trust anyone anymore when they lift your sandwich.
Paul: Not just any sandwich. That one was YOURS. So, do you think it could've been Nick?
Ringo: Nah, Nick doesn't have my homeroom teacher for Math so he couldn't have gotten near my locker.
Me: WHY would NICK steal your sandwich.
Ringo: Oh, because when I don't like it, I sell it to him for three bucks.
Me: WHAT? Why wouldn't you like your sandwich?
Ringo: Well, if I think the bread is probably just one day too old, or the lettuce is the end of the week, I sell it to Nick for three bucks and then I go get something in the lunch line.
(Sidenote: My kids don't buy lunch. It's too expensive.)
Me: Ringo, that's terrible.
Ringo: He doesn't think so. He loves my sandwiches. He doesn't have to buy and he hates the cafeteria food.
Me: Yeah, but he thinks I make you stale sandwiches with old lettuce!
Ringo: Mom, please, it's never THAT stale and the lettuce is never THAT old. Besides, he doesn't know any different. He thinks that's what I always get...
Nice. I think I've started some sort of side business for sub sandwiches. Old subsandwiches at that...
It is all good here, blogging is just going to be sporadic. I'm back in the office until 9:30 at night some nights and when I get home, I crash. Last night I slept for 11 hours. I'm just THAT exhausted.
I go in again tomorrow. If I'm to work 40 hours, I need a head start which means Sundays will be a must.
It's only for four weeks.
My eldest had his Confirmation last night. He chose my sister in law, my husband's brother's wife, as his sponsor. He chose the name... James.
And this is what is so odd about the choosing of his name. I have an uncle who died prematurely in life, my Dad's youngest brother, a real tragedy.
My son knows the story, but did not know my Uncle's name as it's never been really discussed. He died when my son was small. It's a story he's probably heard once and it was told as "Big Daddy's brother...", no name involved.
It came time to pick a Confirmation name and the conversation went something like this on our drive home from Confirmation class:
Me: Did you pick a name?
Ringo: I hadn't given it thought.
Me: Hmm... instead of picking a name, maybe you should pick it by what they're the Patron Saint of! Like you could pick... the Patron Saint of Musicians!
Ringo: I don't think so...
And so it went. By the next class he was to have a name and when he got in the car for me to take him I said, "So? Who'd you choose?"
He replied, "James..."
I didn't know what to say. I was speechless for a few moments. Finally I said, "James. *deep breath* And how did you choose James?"
He looked out the window and then looked back at me thoughtfully and said, "I don't know, Mom. I was just suddenly drawn to it. I can't explain. It sounded like a cool name... and it felt right."
And so although it could be construed as a coincidence, I don't believe it for a moment.
He was drawn to St. James for a reason. And it makes me feel good.
And as we sat there during his Confirmation, Bones looked at me and said, looking out amongst all those being Confirmed with their Sponsors, "Mom, when I'm Confirmed, I'm choosing Ringo as my Sponsor."
As chaotic as my life is, on some days... all just feels... right.
I was essentially bathed in fire today. It has started. And if you had any idea exactly what I am working on... you'd know how true it is, this being bathed in fire.
It's not that the work is difficult or that anyone is being rude or nasty. It's that... there is so much of it.
I left work last night at 9:30 after an hour telecon with an air base. I ended the telecon with my forehead on my desk, listening to what they needed, trying to figure out how to fix it, and feeling completely brain drained. My brain actually felt... empty.
I came home, showered, and crashed.
Today was different. The last hour of work, I'd had calls from two air bases, a call from Company X, and my to-do list had gone from one task to five, with each task being so ginormous, I'm struggling to wrap my mind around how few hours there are in a day.
It's all good.
I can only do what I can do.
But I have come to a solid conclusion today: I have to rejoin a gym so I can get a full hour of run on an elliptical and start lifting again.
Whereas last night I left with brain drain, today I left with anxiety, and not anxiety over fear of failing... because I won't... fail... but because of how much there is out there that needs to be done.
And the anxiety is not quelled. I've been unable to turn my brain off since I left work. I'm jumping from task to task mentally, strategizing, composing email, making mental phone calls.
If I work out, that will go away. I need something to work off the anxious energy that can't normally be worked through until I get to work the next day and make progress.
It's good. I think I'm in the first five circles of Hell. The key is to keep me from slipping any further...
I was 10 years old when I first heard of the Holocaust. I remember exactly where I was, whose class I was in, and where I sat. (My grandfather fought in the Pacific Theater during WWII, so I was more readily aware of that half of the war at an early age.)
I was in Mrs. Beebe's 5th grade class at Orange Park Elementary school and I sat on the far right hand side of the class, facing the board, 2nd chair from the front. My girlfriend, Holly, sat right next to me, on my left.
We studied her and we studied the most horrific times in modern history and... I was aghast and somewhat obsessed. I remember going to the encyclopedias during library and looking up everything I could find upon it. I read everything, looked at the pictures, trying to assimilate what I was being told as it was so ghastly, I couldn't wrap my mind around it.
I think I felt if I read it, someone would unlock the key of how it happened. Someone would put in writing somewhere, some sort of explanation that would make it all clear; that would some how explain to me how things got so out of control, how a madman could take charge and that so many would follow.
Because... no matter what I read... no legends were provided to the horror of it all. Nobody had any answers to my questions.
Because sometimes... there just aren't answers.
Evil has no answers.
This is the third time I've heard Mr. Rubinstein. I can never hear him enough, for every time I listen to his remarkable stories of escape and survival with the horrific stories of death, I always come away with something different.
My 2nd son's class was fortunate enough to hear him speak today. Mr. T has been waiting for two years to hear Mr. Rubinstein speak, since his brother heard him two years ago. And like me, Mr. T has been somewhat obsessed, trying to understand, but unlike me as a child, he has the internet.
Countless hours have been spent with he and I scouring the internet and reading of atrocities. He has had thousands of questions, ranging from the camps to the allies stumbling upon them. I've been able to answer some questions, but I've had to look up just as many, which is what has had us on the 'net so much... trying to find answers to things for him... some of which truly have no answers.
Last night he took ill. He was absolutely devastated. For two years he has waited... and now he was too sick to attend school. And so I quietly took him into school today, after his stomach was settled enough to travel, had him sit in the back with me, away from everyone, and he listened.
He wanted to hear the story personally, hear the voice, see the pictures, hear it from a true survivor.
When I heard Mr. Rubinstein speak the first time, I cried the entire time. I cried for his father, for his cousins, for the millions who died with them. I cried for the fact that I am his mother's age then, just a couple years short.
We got in the car today and I mulled the numbers over again, but this time it was not the number of children lost, the number of parents murdered, the number of lives. This time it was the number of years.
In 1975 as I sat in Mrs. Beebe's classroom, I remember thinking this atrocity against humanity occurred so long before me. It was another lifetime, literally, to me. It was not in my existence.
But today I sat down and no longer heard, "1942" or "1944", but I heard instead, "30 years ago". It had only occurred 30 years prior when I heard of it first. I've lived well over 30 years now.
I can never live long enough for the Civil War or Revolutionary War to have happened in my lifetime. The Civil War ended 100 years before my birth. I will not live 100 years.
The Holocaust happened 20 years before my birth, 30 years from when I first became cognizant, and I have lived that time span... one of them two times over.
It suddenly seemed like it just happened. It doesn't seem so far away... and I realized, I really sat down and thought... it truly happened to my father's generation. Children born the year my father was born, may not remember the exact Holocaust, but the children of Europe of my father's year, lived the aftermath. The adults were of my grandparent's generation. I have good friends in my grandparents' generation now.
And it all feels closer.
As we rode home, I said to T, "You realize that Mr. Rubinstein was your cousin Sean's age. He was 19. His mother was my age, just a couple years older. It would be like Sean thinking of things to save my life and his..."
T looked at me, as the wheels started to turn. I continued, "Mr. Rubinstein's father was two years younger than your own father when he was murdered..."
It put a different spin on all of it for both of us.
But it matters not how much I read, how much I listen, how much I think about it, how much I try to put it into measurements I can relate to... the horror does not make sense.
And worse yet, I fear often we did not learn... and that it will be repeated.
Mr. Rubinstein's book should be a movie. Perhaps one day it will be... until then, go HERE to see his book, Escape to Freedom, and think about reading his story. You will not regret it.
It's been a busy weekend. I pulled an 18 hour shift with Boy Scouts this weekend with my boys' Troops big fundraiser. It was fantastic, but I'm still not recovered.
I didn't post my Friday Random Thoughts and decided they'd be Random Sunday instead.
I wore regular shorts and a T-shirt to assist in the set up for our Fundraiser (a clambake and BBQ), but realized as I am one of the few women who man the check out, I needed to be in the Troop Class B's.
Which is fine... except one of my boys swiped my Class B tshirt. I suspect my 2nd son confiscated it when he grew into my size. That left me wondering where I was going to find a CLEAN Class B.
I found one, but realized I need to buy my own... again... and write in black sharpie 'MOM' on the tag.
I refuse to buy a Class A uniform. Men look fine in it, but women have no waist and their butts look big. I don't need help in highlighting any negative attributes to my body.
I look like I have the measles. My face is a mess. This happens every time in the Spring, April timeframe, and I've taken to blaming it on Easter Candy.
My eldest thinks it looks like I had the chicken pox and scratched it. He keeps saying to me, "MOM! Quit touching it!", but it makes me insane.
I girlfriend was kind enough to send me a link to some facial products she thinks may help and with the extra hours I'm working, I'm taking some of the cash and investing it in a product that may help.
Honestly? I ATE ONE Lindt chocolate Sheep. ONE. A sheep! BAAH! ONE!
Tiny chocolate sheep and I get frickin' measle face.
That leads me to... I think men get the short end of the stick when it comes to before and after bed.
At least my man did.
He wakes up pretty much looking like he did when he went to bed, except for the pillow face and pokey hair.
Me? I can put on make up, do my hair, look all nice (even cover the measle face), but dang, when I wake up? I look like hell.
I'm surprised he doesn't run away screaming some mornings.
I saw a billboard on our interstate the other day for "The Aggressive Attorney".
What does that mean? Doesn't that sound like, "Call us? We're the a$$holes?"
Who would admit to being a limp fish attorney? No one. Don't we all assume they're ALL aggressive (true or not) so if someone has to highlight their aggressiveness as a bonus, I think that kind of puts them in the category of A$$holery.
For what it's worth...
I have to wonder what marketing department told them that was a good idea. "Hey, you're an ambulance chaser, make sure you tell them you're agressive too!"
I was at work the other day, Bones was home, and he called me to ask how to work our coffee maker.
Seems he was 'craving coffee'.
I don't let my kids drink coffee. He may occassionally finish mine, but I don't drink it that often either.
So what's up with that? "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, more than ANYTHING in the world... I need a cup of coffee!"
Made me want to ask, "Are you needing a cig with that too?"
Did y'all see the Parade magazine with all the salaries folks make? I always read that one. I find it fascinating.
Here's my mental rundown:
Front page, there listed is a marijuana provider. 1) That is a REAL Legit job? (In Oregon it is, evidently), 2) She only makes 17K a year in such a job. I don't know... but I think they make a lot more doing the same job illegally... and they don't pay taxes either. It must be the altruistic side of people doing it for 'medical' *cough* 'conditions' *cough* that make them stay on the right side of the law. 3) Who grows her stuff? And so many more questions...
Whereas I get the 26 year old modern dancer making 26K a year, it doesn't feel right that the food bank coordinator makes even less than that.
Who the hell is Snooki Polizzi and how in the hell does she live on $2200 a year? She still lives at home, right? Why did she get counted? I lived at home with Mom and Dad while in college, working in the Math Lab at the University or waiting tables and I don't think the piddly money I brought in would be worth it for Parade Magazine to report. What a joke. They need to leave people off like "Snooki". BTW, who goes by a name like that? Is she a stripper? She needs to get a better name if she wants to make better cash.
Did you know the CEO of Facebook is 25? Holy crap.
If you make humidors, you can make 28K a year.
There is a chick that makes 25 MILLION DOLLARS... SKIING!
They still have switchboard operators in Erie, PA. I suspect that job has changed from what I'm envisioning. I have the whole 'Hold Please...' as some woman moves long cords with plugs from one hole to another.
My son has his first sinus infection and it's due to allergies. I've never had a sinus infection in my life, so I've been living it through him.
He had his nose scoped, and he's on drugs, and he has to do this irrigation thing and then a nose mist. I kept my mouth shut.
My husband told me the routine my eldest would have to do every night and I said, "I heard this sinus irrigation thing is akin to waterboarding. Blech."
So my son came out after the first time and he said, 'Mom, seriously, who thinks of this stuff? I mean, it is nasty. First the nose scope, which, OK, I get that, although it would be nice if they could come up with a scope that is smaller, because it FEELS huge and you JUST KNOW it's going into your brain, although it's only going an inch, but then, this nose irrigation. Dang. Mom, it's NASTY. You read it and it says on the package that some of it may come out your mouth, but most will come out your other nostril, but it's not true. Like ALL of it came out my mouth..."
... and about that time... I wanted to vomit.
He continued, "And Mom, it tastes like SALT!"
Me: Dude, that's because it's a SALINE SOLUTION.
Ringo: Well, someone needs to invent something with a better taste because it's just nasty.
Blech. I'm thinking that would be even nastier, to taste something that was supposed to taste like chocolate, but ran through your sinuses?
I had to share that with y'all. I couldn't be the only one left with the visual tonight.
Me: My kids don't think what I do is cool.
Tech Lead: You're kidding...
Me: Nope. They said if I was really cool, I'd be working on the AC-130.
Me: True. This happened two weeks ago at dinner. They were ragging on me relentlessly.
TL: I'm lost...
Me: It has something to do with machine guns or something.
TL: We have nuclear strike capability. That trumps machine guns.
Me: Maybe it's a missile thing too?
TL: We're frickin' INVISIBLE! You can't beat that!
Me: I think it's because I'm Mom.
After Mr. T was born, in 1997, I thought I was finished having children. We had our two, life was busy, I was working part time, and I thought we were where we were.
But being back at work, I needed more of a challenge. I'd been doing my job for six years and could do it in my sleep, a perfect job for having to go in and out on maternity leave and to go part time. But now that the family thing was settled (or so I thought), I needed a job more challenging. I wanted a job more technically challenging. I was bored.
Sleepless... but bored.
So I went to our Director and asked for a more challenging position. There were jobs that were almost exclusively male and I wanted to be there. I would no longer be in a support position, but in a front line technical position, and after nine years with the company, I felt I was ready.
He told me that because my degree was in Applied Mathematics and not in Mechanical Engineering, I couldn't make the move. I found that puzzling as I'd been working supporting these guys for so long, I could not possibly see how I couldn't do the job... in particular as I was requesting a transfer into one of the easier groups. I wasn't asking to be a crash investigator.
I knew my limits.
And the guys all thought I could do it.
And so I said, "I don't get it. John Doe has a degree in Finance and Joe Blow has a degree in Physics. Why do they get to do the job, but I can't?"
And he said that that is what way it was. Period. And when he spoke, you pretty much didn't argue. He told me to go back to my desk and figure out what else I might want to do.
You know... don't worry your pretty little head.
So... I requested a transfer out of his department, out of the building, entirely, to which he made it happen, telling me however, that if I wanted to come back, to let him know. And off I went into the Land of the Engineering Building, where I was surrounded by some pretty sharp guys doing some pretty sharp things.
There were also shrines to Amtrak, but that's a whole other story.
I stayed there until the plant closed, never reaching my full potential. I had yet another maternity leave and then a job change within our department, and the long agonizing wait to get my dang clearance... and then the plant closed and I became a full time Mom.
I regret nothing.
But I was always aware, that I'd hit not a class ceiling, but one made of steel and cement. It was not the first time I'd had a problem being a female in what was mostly an all male company, but this time, my fight was gone and... so I didn't.
I just moved on.
Sometimes that's the best plan of action.
Flash forward from 1997 to 2010.
I was sitting at my desk today when an email flashed across my screen from my tech lead asking me if I could go full time, temporarily. (Side funny note: our cubes are nearly side by side, but we email each other.)
I took a deep breath and answered a single, "Yes" and hit send.
Then I realized, "How long?" and sent that as a second email, to which I was told four weeks.
I never questioned. I don't question anymore. I'm part time, I'm a Mom, I wonder sometimes what people think of me technically, what the men at Company X think; I'm a subcontractor, it is different now. The men I work with at Company X are always good to me, always respectful, and keep me busy with work... even when I have a million questions for them.
I will do anything for them, as well. If they have a deadline, I'll come in on Saturdays to make sure they have it. I try to be as efficient as possible with them, while trying to learn their hardware.
THEIR hardware. That is key. I own nothing... I am a jack of all trades, a master of none, I have whored out my brain... I own nothing.
So I don't ask. Give me my assignment, I'll dog it down, research it to the nth, work with the right lead engineers in the various departments, pull it together and get it done.
I thought nothing else of it. I start Monday, I need to figure out how to alter my life, and I'd get the job done.
My Tech Lead came into my cube and started explaining some of what I'd do.
"Are you sure I'm not getting in over my head on this?" I queried.
"Absolutely not," came the reply. "I'm your back up. You need to know you weren't my first choice."
Things like that don't bug me. I have no ego in this anymore. I told him, upon finding out who choice #1 was and that they turned it down flat straight away, "As he should have been your first choice. There would have been nobody better for the job...he has 35 years of experience."
And so the chick with 17 years experience came in 2nd and she's happy.
And then the flurry of emails started upon certain people at Company X learning I'd take the job... for one month. That's all they need someone for... one month.
I cannot list the project I'm working. I'm still working on the same aircraft I've worked for the last 5 years, but I had no idea what I'd taken on.
I'm the temporary lead engineer on a very large section for a very large study being done.
The first email came out from someone way up in the Food Chain at Company X and it explained to the team (I was a .cc) what I would be doing, something I was still clueless upon, what accesses I would need, who would need to be working with me, getting me on distribution for meetings... and I reread it... THREE TIMES.
I sent my Tech Lead a note and said, "I don't know whether to be giddy or to throw up."
Fifteen years ago, there was a glass ceiling of mammoth depth.
Today I've been given a job that so overshadows the small job I requested 15 years ago, I'm still in shock.
And I didn't ask for it.
And nobody is doubting I can do it.
And nobody cares I'm a woman.
And nobody is thinking twice about the choice.
And if I fail at this, it will be a crash and burn of the most spectacular proportions.
And if I succeed, nobody will think twice because... that's how it's supposed to be. Why would anyone doubt I'd succeed?
And that... my friends... is how it's supposed to be.
Blogging may be not so much starting on Monday. I'll be working nights and weekends to get my hours in and to make sure all deadlines are met...
When I'm not with my family, I'll be at work.
If you read in the comments of my previous post, Bones got into the school he needed to get into! Woot!
We're very very excited, although it is tempered by our sadness for our friends that did not... and who needed to be there as well. It sickens all of us...
Bones at first was scared to death. I may have been jumping, everyone else may have been Yahooing!, but he was subdued. He is afraid to leave his friends. It is what he knows.
Talking to a girlfriend of mine, I realized, he really only knows his current school. He was just a year old and on my hip when his eldest brother started Kindergarten there. He's known the kids in his class since he was 3 and 4 years old.
There is a comfort to him... it's been 10 years.
We've convinced him that he is collecting friends, not shedding them. He seems to be coming around and is more excited as I quietly let him know of other faces he will see that he will know.
Meanwhile, I'm overwhelmed, in a GOOD WAY!, with paperwork. Transferring from a private to a public school is not going to be easy. The placement of Bones in his classes is going to be easier than I suspected, not knowing a comparison of his current curriculum vs. public schools.
I can thank the ease of placement to last October.
There are four levels of classes at this school... children who need help, average classes, advanced classes, and Gifted classes. Bones for the most part is not advanced or gifted in areas that are measurable on paper. There are some areas such as science where an advanced class would be good, but reading and math, he's probably right on par.
I just hope they don't try to drop him because... they want to see his standardized test scores.
I don't think I blogged this.
Bones does not test well. If you recall, last October we took him off his meds. He'd had that whole heart thing in May when we switched meds and I flat quit coping. So I took him off and was hoping it would work. We gave it about 8 weeks.
It was disasterous. (I blogged that part.) He nearly failed out of 5th grade in just 8 short weeks, but even worse, he had his Iowa testing during that time.
Whereas I have spent years verbally jousting with our Principal that average on standardized tests is NOT 50 because NOBODY scores a 0%... I got proved wrong.
Or dang close.
Because, ever, in your life, have you EVER, heard of a child... that Christmas Tree'd an ENTIRE standardized test? People who doubt ADD exists, they need to come speak to me and his teachers in a group conference.
The kid, who was the poster child for the unfocused masses in October, literally picked answers randomly for nearly every section of the test. I believe Social Studies was the all time low of... 8. As in 8%.
I know the kid's IQ and I am here to tell you, it is not hamster level.
I got his test and said to my husband, "I truly believe in all my heart... that *I* could have guessed better than he did."
Fortunately, I'd had a heads up from his teacher who called me and said, "Bou, you need to be prepared for the Math section grade when he receives it. He took it in 2.5 minutes and it didn't matter what I said to him, he was NOT going back to redo ANYTHING."
And math wasn't the worst. He guessed better in math than social studies.
So from there they will see that he belongs in the average classes, of which I am totally cool, and I'm just hoping they don't try to take him down to special ed...
Our new path starts in August. Stay tuned... I suspect it will not be a smooth ride, but when has it ever been with a Boy Like Bones?
In reflection, it has been rather crazy here. I just have been... going with the flow.
My two eldest boys are going to away camp for Boy Scouts this summer and last week, set about choosing the merit badges that they will earn.
Ringo signed up for... shotgun shooting, muzzle loading and... medicine.
I'm trying to make the correlation and have been unable to connect the third of those three dots. At work, however, the guys have decided Ringo would like to know how to mend what he shoots... perhaps so he can shoot them again.
Meanwhile, Mr. T signed up for Reptile and Amphibian studies among other things, and said Merit Badge requires the looking after of a reptile or amphibian for 30 days.
I am in the process of trying to borrow a snake from someone. As a last resort, I think we have the prospects of sitting for a turtle, but I'm afraid the turtle owner will make us keep it whereas I feel certain the snake owner, if willing to part with the pet, will WANT us to return it.
This could be interesting...
Mr. T also made National Junior Honor Society, we found out today! It is more than grades, he had a packet of information to fill out regarding his community service, leadership skills, letters of recommendation etc. He spent HOURS putting it together, with my guidance. It's the first time he's ever applied for anything, so I directed him and gave suggestions on organization and then he took off and got it together.
I am really really proud of him. I've heard horror stories of good kids not getting in and was unsure of the process, but I've heard they've really worked on making it very concrete and not subjective and I was pleased.
He's a great and driven kid.
Meanwhile, we find out about Bones and whether he gets into the art school with all the other plain bellied sneetches tomorrow or the Wednesday. (I've taken to thinking of him as a sneetch as of late...)
From the wonderful Dr. Seuss:
When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And thatís how they treated them year after year.
And although the other kids are pretty nice to Bones, society in general has problems with plain bellied sneetches. Tomorrow is the day... I am a wreck.
He is oblivious.
If you were to come into my home, you'd see my eldest one eating or playing the drums, my 2nd son is eating or outside playing basketball (he's on a basketball jag) and Bones is zigzagging amongst them all while on in-line skates.
We no longer walk through the house... we skate everywhere. It's like being in one of those odd 50's diners where you're served by folks wearing skates.
He is still learning how to juggle... it's like living with a trained bear.
And the funny thing about Bones being Bones and my other two being older, is they completely get the absurdity of what occurs in our home and they openly laugh. Before, they didn't get it; they thought everyone was like we are, with our little boy of sunshine and daisies.
But they get it now.
And as Bones says something or does something that keeps me stoic thinking, "No. He did NOT", you can often look to my other two boys trying to look stoic as well, but if you look carefully, you'll see the corners of their mouths twitch. When Bones is out of earshot, it's not uncommon to see Mr. T put his face in his hands or Ringo look at me and say, 'Did that just happen?"
Case in point, on Thursday, I was taking the two older boys to Scouts. I backed the car up and pointed it down the driveway, to find Bones standing at the end getting the recycle bins.
He was dancing.
And I don't mean swaying back and forth, I mean full on, legs stomping, arms in the air waving, fingers snapping, head bobbing... dancing.
I kept my foot on the brake and stared.
As did the older boys.
I finally broke the silence and said, "Is he wearing an iPod?"
Mr. T: I'm not seeing one.
Me: What is he doing?
Ringo: He's dancing.
Me: Am I missing something?
Mr. T and Ringo: Uhhh... I don't think so.
Ringo: Sunshine and Daisies, Mom.
So slowly I crept my van down to the bottom where unbeknownst to him I stopped again, I rolled down my window and said, "Bones!"
And he was so into his head, singing and dancing to himself, he completely did not realize I was there. He jumped, looked at me and I continued, "Dude, are you hearing music I'm not hearing?"
He said, "You didn't hear me singing too?"
Evidently... I didn't. Sunshine and daisies, that kid can keep himself thoroughly entertained... all by... himself.
And below is the note he left today on my garage door leading to the house as he stayed home today sick as a dog. Or sick as a skating, dancing, singing dog... It still remains on the door. The older boys keep laughing.
Fingers crossed... he so needs to be with those other plain bellied sneetches.
(The ref to the eyes hurting is the fact he's having eye problems due to pollen.)
In case you were wondering where we were off to, Daytona would be the answer.
The Daytona International Speedway... to be exact.
It was time for my husband to redeem his 50th birthday gift. Guys at work had suggested I get him a ride in a Stearman, but like me, he's not much into flying. Unlike me, he likes speed. So I bought him 8 laps around the Daytona International Speedway via the Richard Petty Driving Experience. (None of us is into NASCAR, he's just a motorhead and likes speed.)
He was thrilled with the gift and we needed a weekend where the weather was cool and that all of us could attend.
This was the weekend... and we had a blast.
Rarely do we go away together as a family, even for a weekend. Usually one person is missing, typically my husband as he's working.
He hunted around and found us a cheap hotel as finances are tight, that would sleep the five of us comfortably, no small feat. We ended up staying in an Extended Stay, which I absolutely DO NOT recommend unless finances are an issue. Being that they were, we'd do it exactly the same way, but I will say it's the worst place we've ever stayed.
And we will forever laugh about it.
We did stay two nights as Daytona is 3 hours from here and he had a 9:30AM reservation. I thought since we never got away as a family, we should stay that one extra night and hit Daytona, a smart decision that was extraordinarily rewarding.
That first night in the crappy hotel, my husband dropped the a/c down to 75 degrees. I had said I wanted to sleep with it more on the chilly said and there were blankets so he said, "Fine". We just didn't know the a/c was broken; we think it got down to 58 degrees, I thought everyone was happy and snuggly, I was miserable and put my fleece on, and the cheap blankets were made out of some material that was like wearing paper, but with blanket texture, and wouldn't keep a menopausal woman warm.
We all awoke, thinking everyone else had been happy with it, only to find out all of us had in fact been miserable and didn't sleep. I was the only one who'd essentially woken up and put on a jacket to sleep in, which is funny in itself.
The next night, we kept the a/c off, and all roasted to near death.
Not a lot of sleep... BUT THAT is NOT why we were there!!!
I don't typically put pix of my husband up. It's not fair to drag him into this blogging gig as it's my thing and he didn't ask for it, so all pictures will be in the extended entry, with captions.
The day of, I bought him 3 laps with an instructor, where he would ride as the passenger so he'd get the feel of the track. He objected at first as it was more money (even with a huge 'day of' discount), but I thought it was important because 1) I knew he was nervous, 2) I wanted him to really have a GREAT time, and 3) I wasn't sure if he died doing this if it negated his life insurance and I wanted to make sure he REALLY was safe.
The laps with the instructor are at 170 mph. They're zippin' right along! It is cool as hell to watch, in particular when you know someone in the car.
I think what really made the weekend was that my best friend of 30 years happened to be in town with her husband and son, the infamous Mr. Smoochy Pants, who I have blogged upon before, and so they MADE A POINT of joining us, taking pictures, and hanging. It was PFB who had suggested this great gift as she'd done the same for her ever lovin' husband for his 40th.
After the ride, we ate lunch on the beach, it was wonderfully relaxing, went back and did the Daytona Experience which was wonderfully fun, took the tram tour of the Speedway which was wonderfully educating, and then went to dinner at a quaint little diner in Ormond Beach called Betty's A1A Cafe, which I HIGHLY recommend because it wasn't touristy, the food was wonderful, and I loved our waitress. (They have homemade pie!)
A good time was had by all and we'll go to Daytona again. We won't splurge on the driving experience (that set us back some cash), but we would go and hang in Daytona for a weekend as their beach is very upbeat with positive energy and I really think we'd have a good getaway weekend.
I have been asked if I would do this driving experience, if it is something I'd want. And the answer is a firm NO. I'm a pit crew girl. If I could have my dream, it would be to work in a pit crew. As I watched the 3D movie at the Daytona Experience, I was most enthralled with the pit crew and how they operated and repaired things during the race.
Unfortunately, I was beset with small stature, there is far worse to complain about, but I'm not exactly built to work in a pit crew, not even on a lark if someone told me there was an opportunity. It's not to say I wouldn't pull 1000x my weight to do what I could to measure up, but I'm not stupid. Those men are strong and agile. I'm agile... but that's about it.
Seriously, if they had a true pit crew experience, I'd be still be hard pressed to keep away. THAT would be cool as hell.
And so... to the Extended Entry for... the rest of the story.
Oh, and I informed my husband we must go to the Daytona 500. No, I'm not into NASCAR, but it would be a life experience and it being but 3 hours away, I need to be able to say I did it.
So... it's on my list and my husband is aware. Me who hates crowds... it's a must.
Waiting for his turn.
Strapped in and getting the final words.
When you take the class, they don't just turn you loose on the track. They have you follow a pace car that slowly builds up your speed. This is pace car in front and my husband following. It's early on, so he was more than the 3 car lengths they ask for. He got up to a lap of 147 mph, their target.
Gratuitous picture of Bones and Mr. Smoochy Pants, who I just always want to grab up and hug, but whose space I am careful not to invade because he's a big boy now.
I am insanely busy and trying to keep my head above water. I had inlaw types here until this evening. It was good they left as I was concerned I was going to flip out and make sure certain people didn't come back.
I'm amazed at how inconsiderate some people can be, and we shall leave it at that.
Quickly, two comments regarding that dork from Qatar.
1) My husband made a good point today. He said that guy is lucky that flight wasn't coming out of NY or he'd be dead. He'd have been pummeled by the passengers.
2) When I first heard that he may have been lighting something to hide a smell, I looked at my family and said, "Good Lord! What if this guy had some sort of gastro illness and he was trying to hide the gas?! Can you imagine? He is going to be forever known as the guy whose plane was escorted by F16s because he was trying to hide a fart!" My sister in law (the one I did not want to kill) thought that was hysterical.
I'm off. I could handle two or three days sleep...
Conversation with Ringo at the end of the dinner table:
Ringo: You know, Mom, I want to live on Bones' planet one day. Just one day. I want to live where it's all sunshine and daisies.
Ringo: And completely random things. I want to live there.
Me: It's not easy living on Planet Bones.
Ringo: I don't believe it. I want to try it... JUST.ONE.DAY.
Conversation with Pop, at the end of dinner, after the kitchen has been cleaned, it is just him and me.
Me: I heard Joe has a girlfriend.
Pop: Hey, it happens.
Me: I'm not doubting that...
Pop, with disgust: Girls are so aggressive nowadays.
Me, raised eyebrows: Uhh... yes. I have... uh... heard that.
Pop: They weren't like that back in my time.
Me: Pop... but these are the same girls.
Pop: Back in my day, girls weren't so aggressive...
Me: But Pop, these are the SAME girls from back in your day, just a different time!
Pop, shaking his head: Virginity meant something.
Me: *blink* Pop. They're 80. There's not a virgin in the bunch...
Pop, grinning: I know...
Sidenote: Pop looks like this, but in a wheelchair and lots heavier, the top of the head gives it away.
Conversation with my 57 year old sister in law, about my 53 year old sister in law, who I will call Lee. (Lee is the Conservative. The 57 year old is the communist.) Lee is an absolute scattershot, complete undiagnosed adult ADHD. You can pick her out in Church as she's always moving. People who meet her immediately say to me, "Whoa..." It's bad. She's a special ed teacher for middle school and is FANTASTIC. She's probably one of the most passionate and compassionate people I know.
Me: You know, I was trying to figure out where Bones got his ADHD from and Ringo informed me it needed to come from both sides. So I figure between my grandad and your sister, which means your bro probably carries the gene... one of my kids was going to get it.
SIL: My sister?
Me: You're kidding. Lee is the poster child for undiagnosed adult ADHD.
SIL: You're kidding?
I rambled through all the attributes, how she is also so dang good at her job because of it (the chaos never bugs her), and I was still met with a blank face.
I changed the subject.
Fifteen minutes later, we were getting ready to go for a walk. We were waiting for Lee, the two of us just standing there listening and watching.
Lee, pacing the hallway: Wait, I have to get my shoes, why am I in here, I need to braid my hair, I hate how these shorts feel, wait, I let me get this out of the kitchen, "JOSHUA!!! What are you doing?" "Steven, did you go to Publix?" Oh there are my shoes. Are you all waiting for me? I had to braid my hair. "JOSHUA, come on! You need to shoot some hoops."
Me: Lee. We're waiting.
Lee: Yeah, I'm coming (walks up and down the hall three times) wait, I can't go without chapstick. (walks up and down the hall two more times... literally just pacing)
SIL, wide eyed, like an epiphany was occurring.
Lee: I'm coming. I know there is more I have to do. STEVE! OK. I guess I'm ready. Wait. Let me get sunglasses...
SIL, looking at me: Dang. How did I miss this?
Me: No clue. She's the only person I know that its so dang obvious.
Easter with boys is most definitely different than it is with girls, as Peggy pointed out in the comments of my previous post.
Take for instance my Easter Hydrangeas. I ran the school band hydrangea fundraiser. They have come to bloom beautifully and I have them on the back porch where they get some sun and fresh air.
It truly had the potential for a very pretty Easter picture... until the boys took over the back porch.
Nothing quite says He Has Risen as Easter type flowers surrounded by airsoft guns... assorted kinds.
The coloring of eggs is different as well. Whereas girls may really get into the beautiful colors, we end up with eggs with 'simulated blood stains', or in a nice shade of black... or better yet, their favorite new color 'bludge'.
Every year we MUST have the bludge egg. Bludge is a combination of all the dyes, the egg dipped in each one for a prolonged time, giving it a nice brown color.
Essentially, bludge is the color of crap.
Bludge is the color egg that Iron Tail would give out.
I guess in essence, Iron Tail would be most happy in a boys' home for Easter.
Easter is upon us. Eggs are dyed. I always buy one small gift for each boy to keep from overdoing it on the candy. They still hide eggs.
I will miss when that little tradition stops.
I feel certain Bones knows there is not an Easter Bunny, but he's not about to tell me.
We were at dinner last night when he looked be straight in the eye and said, 'So, Mom, do you think the Easter Bunny knows how much I'd like the game Mag for the PS3?"
And then he stared me down. All straight faced and all.
I said, "Umm, no, probably not. Is this some blow 'em up game?"
He nodded enthusiastically, "It's not rated M. It's T for Teen."
Like that makes it OK.
Nothing says He has Risen like receiving a blow 'em away PS3 game in the Easter basket. Then again, the whole candy thing is a bunch of bunk too.
I have seen the movie The Blind Side four times.
This is what makes it an oddity. 1) I don't watch movies at home. I cannot. I have too much to do. 2) I absolutely NEVER watch movies more than once. It would make me insane. I don't read books twice and I don't watch movies more than once.
I love this movie.
It is... wholesome. There is no gratuitous sex, no gross profanity, no blow 'em up violence although there is one gang scene.
The movie makes me laugh and feel good.
And my favorite part is still Kathy Bates talking about the Body Farm and UT football. That cracks me up.
I guess my other favorite part is Tim McGraw. Wait, did I say that out loud? Heh.
I have a lot of guests in my home. The political views range from so far right, it is nearly Nazi, to so far left it is absolutely communist.
I have been dreading this week for so long, I tried to think of a way to send my kids back from Atlanta without me.
It has been actually a good week so far, no fighting or nastiness.
Only once did a potential fight break out when the discussion of Health care came up at the dinner table, during dessert. One person is adamantly against it at all costs and the other person thinks everyone should have the highest level of healthcare possible... for free if needed, supplied by the government.
And as it got heated, REALLY heated, I said quietly from one end of the table, not making eye contact with anyone, just focusing on the cake I was cutting, 'I think we're done with this now."
There was a pause, I looked up from the cake to find 13 sets of eyes staring at me, I smiled sweetly and said, "This discussion is over now. No more. Thank you."
And with that, there was a slight pause and the discussion moved on to something more civil.
I was glad I didn't have to pack up my stuff and leave because if it got too ugly and nobody stopped, that was my next move. I'd already made reservations at VW's house...
The family is in the process of getting my father in law permanently in a wheelchair. It is time. I think it will improve the quality of his life since he's not able to move so freely and he's missing out on family events as he can't move throughout the house.
The walker, at this point, is inhibiting his socialization.
The new iPad came out this past week. Seriously, they couldn't think of a better name than iPad? It sounds like a technologically advanced feminine hygiene product.
I'm working a lot of hours right now, pushing towards 30 hours per week, while still being a Mom first and foremost, which puts a strain on my equilibrium. I'm working a very cool project of which I'm proud.
The face of my group is changing and people from other companies have been seeking us out to do some work that we all used to do in a previous life.
It appears that some of THIS work could be coming. I've never done work on that type of craft and I think it could be interesting, something cool to put on the resume. I'm pushing away from it right now, however, as I'm so swamped with my current job, I can't see working anything else, but just the fact I could be working that project... is very cool to me. It makes me nervous, but it's cool.
It feels important.
I think Teresa is plotting to get me killed, but I'm game. I'm looking through the links she gave me and figuring out how to turn off my flash and sound on my cell so next time you get pictures of the trashy skanks in Aisle Four.
Why should I be the only one who suffers?!
Have you ever seen that website where they have the awful people dressed in Walmart?
How do the voyeurs get pictures of those attrocities without being found out? My cell phone makes a noise when it takes a picture. A big noise.
I was in Publix today and I came upon a woman who... was dressed so poorly, I was so aghast, it nearly took my breath away.
It is seered into my brain, the horror of it all.
And I wanted to break out my cell phone and take a picture of it, but there is no way of hiding that CLICK and then I was afraid I'd get punched in the face. So I refrained.
I walked down the aisle and there she stood, in clothes that were 2 sizes too small, body pouring out from her clothes.
A black spaghetti strap Go Daddy tshirt, sans bra, covered her top half. Form fitting low slung jeans attempted to cover the bottom.
There were four inches between the bottom of her Go Daddy strappy boob sagging tshirt and her too snug, muffin topped low slung jeans.
And if that was not bad enough, hiked up on her right hip, three inches above the top of her low slung jeans, was the black strap of her black bikini underwear.
Seriously, HIKED UP on top of her hip, leaving an inch from her Go Daddy top and 3 inches of flesh from her low slung too tight jeans.
There was nothing small about her.
I was seeing the butt of her panties up on her hip.
It was a train wreck.
My first thought was, "Am I in Walmart?"
My second thought was, "I need a picture of this train wreck to share with my readers."
My third thought was I'd get murdered... in the aisle, so you were spared.