Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I got my "new" car finally... I really wanted another Cherokee, but I settled for a Pathfinder. The kids think it's "cooler" because it has a sunroof and leather seats. I'm twitching because my car payment went up. I miss my Jeep! Stupid black ice...
After many years, Tap Dogs came to town!!! [http://www.tapdogs.co.uk] Awesome experience, well worth the $$ to go see. Ron and I got great seats-- first row balcony, left side, almost near the center. Way too cool.
We ate Thai food afterwards, which I haven't done for ages. I opened the menu, and immediately knew what I had to order. I mean, how on earth can you resist an entree choice named, "Evil Jungle Princess Chicken"? It was a zesty peanut-red curry with chicken, long beans, vegetables, mint and Thai basil. I ate it over brown rice, and enjoyed every minute my mouth was on exquisite fire. Yum!
It was fun to dress up... not often I get to wear a fancy black dress and high heels. I think I clean up pretty good. Ron looks very handsome in his black slacks (which show off his magnificently tight butt) and long leather trenchcoat. He was looking very Matrix-y that night. :)
I definitely need more Saturdays like this in my life.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Then the bargaining phase begins. "I'll do the dishes when I get home." "I'll wash the kitchen floor." "I'll clean the family room." "I'll clean the family room, the kitchen, and the front room." "Just tell me what you want me to do!"
"Shandy, what I want you to do is start walking to school."
"Mooooooooommmmm!!!! I can't be late!"
Ummmm... guess what, Shandy? I need to be on time for work, too. And I've been late to work over 10 times in the past 2 months because I've taken you to school due to you missing the bus. The last 5 times I agreed to the bargaining terms set out, and the last 3 of those times, you didn't fulfill your end of the bargain.
The lying starts. "Today is the orchestra tour. I'll miss the bus if I'm not on time!" I look at her and respond with, "Well, maybe you should have thought of that at 6am this morning when I woke you up." "But I didn't hear you wake me up this morning!" :::sigh::: "Shandy, we held a short conversation this morning after I woke you up."
Anger phase: "Fine! I'd rather stay home today than walk to school and deal with this!" as she yells and stomps down the hall. "So you're choosing to sluff school today, then?" I call after her.
Begging phase: "PLEASE!!! My knee hurts from paintballing this weekend, and I don't want to walk to school on it! I'll do *anything* if you'll just take me this morning!"
Guilt trip phase: "Why won't you do this? Why are you so horrible and mean? Why won't you at least let me pay for the gas like Mrs. Jones does for her boys when they miss the bus? Why won't you give me just one more chance? I promise it will NEVER happen again!" (The last two sentences are repeats of the past 5+ times she missed the bus.)
I sigh as I'm getting in the car to leave. "Shandy.... I am tired of having to be the one to bail you out because you choose to make poor time choices."
Parting shot: "But you're my MOM!" And the door slams.
Yes, Shandy... I *am* your mom. And as your mom, I want you to learn personal responsiblity for your actions. I want you to learn that every action (or inaction) has a consequence attached, either good or bad. I want you to learn how to be a good, functioning young adult who doesn't expect the world to cater to them and then be surprised when life doesn't work that way.
In other words, I love you. I want what is best for you. I hope someday you can see that.
Friday, February 24, 2006
(Note to anyone reading this blog entry: I highly recommend not contracting an aggressive Strep A infection, a.k.a. the "flesh eating bacteria". It is NOT a fun experience.)
So even though it's pretty plain that I caught it here at work, Workers Comp is (at this point) denying my claim because this is an infection that can be 'caught anywhere in the community'. :::grumble::: The ER doctors who saw me on the first day forgot to mention the fact that this was most likely a work-related injury in their dictation. Now I've got to go back and track one of them down to see if they will amend their medical report. What a pain...
I'll tell you one thing, though-- I'd much rather be dealing with this pain than being dead, which is what could have very easily happened to me. That was the first time I was ever really and truly scared to lose my life. And it's not that I'm scared to die-- it's that I'm scared to die and leave my girls without a sane parent in the world to raise them. I cannot even begin to imagine what hell their lives would become if Pierre were to gain custody of the children in the event of my death.
So I made a deal with God. I'm not allowed to die until my kids are raised. D'you think He will agree? :)
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I might get a call from the principal's office today about Lu, my 5th grader. She called me yesterday after school, in tears... she had gotten in a fight on the way home on the school bus.
There's a 6th grade boy who has been harassing her (and others) since the beginning of the school year, pretty much daily. For the most part, she just ignores him, puts up with it, uses non-violent ways of dealing with him, etc. But yesterday, he started sexually harassing her, and she snapped. According to Violet (who gleefully re-enacted the whole scene for me), Lu grabbed this kid's hair, yanked him towards her, put him in a headlock, and proceeded to punch the living tar out of the kid.
I asked Lu if he had tried to fight back; she said yes, but that he never did land anything on her because, "I know how to duck, Mom".
So what do you tell your kid when something like this happens? My co-worker (male), when hearing the story, burst out laughing and said, "Good for her! But you don't want to 'high five' her when you get home..." I did have a talk with her about how violence isn't the answer, that we should use other means and ways to solve our differences, etc., but I have to admit that secretly I'm glad she (literally) took matters into her own hands. She's been the object of much teasing and ridicule this year... I have a feeling that after the school rumor mill does its thing today, kids won't be bugging her half as much as they did before.
And I bet that Mr. 6th Grade Bully won't be harassing her (or the other girls) on the bus from now on. At least for awhile...
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Shandy pushed one too many of my buttons. I was tired of the war zone she creates in our home, I was tired of her blatant lying, I was tired of her stealing my and her sisters' things, I was just plain tired of all the contention and anger and disrespect.
However, there was some good that came out of the whole mess... she and I had a LONG talk afterwards. We discussed issues, aired a lot of grievances, and cleared up misconceptions. She has come to the realization that she probably could use some help re: counseling services. I pitched the idea of residential treatment to her (I've been checking into a local program here that looks very promising). She was amenable to the idea.
So we'll see how it goes... I think it would be very beneficial, and hope things work out that I can manage to afford it. The chance for her to 'escape' from her life and be able to work on herself and her issues in a therapeutic setting would be a wonderful opportunity.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Shandy has been turning into quite a handful of a teenager lately. She's 15, thinking she's going on about 23, I would suppose.
Last night, she informed me which high school she will be attending next year. Period, end of story. Her best friend will be attending this school, which is what precipitated this whole thing.
My objections to her attending this high school are:
- It is 40+ minutes from our house.... with no traffic. And that's rare.
- She is counting on my brother giving her his old car (if and when he buys a new one sometime in the possible near future).
- She is going to be paying for her car insurance and gas with a future job she is planning on getting after she turns 16.
- In the meantime, she wants to get rides with her friend and friend's sister (who would be driving). Their house is currently up for sale, and the family wants to move closer to the other high school.
- I have no way of getting her to and from this high school if she doesn't have a ride.
I have now been accused of trying to keep her from her friends and break them apart. (???) "I'm not stupid, you know... I know exactly what you're trying to do!"
Gotta love teen logic.
Monday, February 20, 2006
One thing we both came to realize yesterday, though, is that this type of conversation would have never occurred with our former spouses. Communication just didn't happen like this... it was basically non-existent. So it is actually a huge milestone for both of us, relationship-wise, to even be at this place. Being in a happy, working relationship is a good experience for us.
I wish I could take the qualities I really like about Ron and the qualities I really liked from my previous boyfriend and mesh them together into one guy. I'd definitely go for him. :D
So is this stage 1 in an amicable breakup?
Friday, February 17, 2006
Last night, I finally had time to sit down and see this week's shows my kids taped for me. They picked the final 24 contestants, and I was happy to see that my favorite guy made it: Taylor Hicks. [http://www.idolonfox.com/contestants/taylor_hicks] The guy is a total hoot to watch!
I think one of the reasons I like Taylor so much is that he's been so successful, regardless of what the 'rules' said an American Idol should be like. He's not young, he's got grey hair, he's not your typical pop-star looking sexy-slinky teeny-bopper kind of contestant. He's just talented, and has got enough personality to fill three other people. :) I like that.
It is a sad reflection on society, though, that Simon didn't want to send him on to the final 24 for the simple reason that he didn't *look* like an 'American Idol'. It's not that he wasn't talented enough. Taylor just wasn't the 'whole package deal' Simon was looking for. Talent and personality just aren't enough in the music business, unfortunately, it seems.
So Taylor is one of the underdogs. I'm gonna vote like crazy for him. And for the other non-traditional Idols that made the final 24. They're truly my American Idols-- those who continued to pursue their dreams, despite people telling them that they weren't good enough, pretty enough, just not *enough*... and yet they doggedly continued on the path to success.
Regardless of the outcome of the competition, those are the folks who really have what counts in this life. I hope that they realize it, and aren't too crushed when they're voted off by the superficial viewing public.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
So after the luncheon, they provide us with some entertainment-- two local singers-- and it is *really* cheesy. Joseph, a friend from another department, is sitting a few places down the table. He starts quietly laughing. And I mean laughing-- tears running out of the corners of his eyes, face is red, whole body shaking. I can't politely look at the singers without also looking at Joseph.
I start laughing silently, too. This is bad. My manager is sitting next to me... the one who only recently started liking me (after trying to get me fired 3 years ago). Joseph can't control himself. He's wiping his eyes with the cloth napkin and trying to hide under it as best he can. About 3 more people are in the same situation I am, and we're all looking like some sort of freak show from the contorted faces we're making to keep from bursting out laughing. Oh, the humanity! The performance is beyond cheesy! I'm acutely aware of my manager's presence behind me, and I'm desperately trying to gain control of myself. Quickly.
Joseph finally gets back to as normal as Joseph gets when the music and show become a little more sane. Then, near the end of the show, they sing one of their songs they've written:
Have you ever felt that natural high
When you get up and exercise
You feel those endorphins rise
It just hits you between the eyes
And Joseph loses it again. So do I, along with about 4 others around him. By this time, though, my manager is doodling on the luncheon program. Okay, so maybe I won't be thought of *too* badly for this breach of etiquette...
The husband/wife duo finishes with a long compilation of "Les Miserables" songs, thanks the audience for the opportunity to entertain us, and sits down. Everyone cheers (is it because they liked it, or because they were happy that they were finished?). Then the director of Human Resources gets up and announces....
"It looks like we have time for one more song!"
Joseph visibly slides down in his seat. They come back up to sing. This time, it's a country song they've written. I can't even remember the lyrics, because about a minute into it, I look over at Joseph-- he's taken some of the chocolate frosting from off his cake, blacked out one of his front teeth, and is smiling at all us table cohorts.
Not only can I not keep from laughing silently this time, I start coughing on top of it.
I swear I'm gonna kill him next time I see him.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
They had a specialized menu for the evening-- a five course meal for two for $60. We were served:
- Freshly baked herb bread (which we dipped in olive oil and basalmic vinegar, of course)
- A bottle of Martenelli's Sparkling Apple Cider
- A full appetizer plate that included fried mozzarella sticks, zucchini somethings, and prosciutto
- Not-from-a-can tomato basil soup
- Caesar salad
- Your choice of entree: prime rib, chicken, or salmon (all Italian style, of course)
- Dessert plate with 4 different delights on it
I swear, I gained 10 pounds last night. It was the best dinner I've ever had, hands down. There was even a live accordian player walking around the restaurant. Very romantic!
In other news, I went for a follow-up visit with my opthamologist yesterday. He infomed me that I was a "borderline at best" candidate for lasik. So it looks like I'll be heading to see my sister's eye surgeon to get a second opinion as to whether or not I can ditch glasses/contacts for good. I figure if her eyes were worse than mine, and she's seeing 20/20 now, he most likely will be able to help me!
I got to thinking a lot last year after Katrina hit. There were so many people that were in dire straights because they didn't have the medicine they needed, or other medical necessities to be able to function in their daily lives. It made me realize that if there were any type of a disaster, and I were to have my glasses broken, or contacts lost, I would be functionally blind. I would not be able to take care of my family. And that is a sobering thought.
So I had a choice to make: do I pay off an attorney bill, or do I pay for eye surgery? After much careful consideration, I opted for eye surgery. Now I just need to find a surgeon that can actually work on someone who has eyes as bad as mine. Cross your fingers!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I have a sweetheart this year. I'm currently dating Ron, a Very Nice Guy. He treats me like a queen, which is a completely new experience for me. I will have to admit that being doted upon is, well... rather nice. Other guys have been good to me, but he's *WAY* into me. He thinks the sun rises and sets upon me.
So he's really, really, really nice... but I'm not head over heels for this guy. I mean, I know you don't have to be all goo-goo eyes for someone to have a great relationship with them (and we have a pretty darn good relationship), but it feels like something is missing to me. With my last serious boyfriend, there was that spark-- the special something that seems to be missing between Ron and me. I think Ron feels that way towards me, but I'm just not feeling it back. We've been dating exclusively for 4 months now, and it's just not a-comin'.
I don't know what to do... he treats me and my girls like gold. He helps me with household chores and "honey-do's", attends my girls' soccer games, and is always there when I need someone to be there for me. He wants to marry me, but he knows I just don't want to go there right now (and he's willing to wait as long as it takes).
It's kind of ironic-- my last boyfriend broke things off with me after 8 months of exclusive dating, telling me that he just wasn't ready for a serious relationship (???) and that he just wanted to be friends. I couldn't do that-- I was way too in love with him-- and have completely cut all ties with him. Now, I'm feeling like I'm in the same situation, only reversed. I'd like to be 'just friends' with Ron (at least for awhile, until I get my feelings about this situation sorted out), but I think it would be way too hard for him because he's so in love with me.
Love is too complicated. I keep asking my best friend Carol across the street, "Please remind me why is it I wanted to start dating again?"
Monday, February 13, 2006
Have you ever heard of the old Chinese curse, "May you lead an interesting life"? Well, I think I lead a very interesting life. Not that I necessarily *want* to, mind you, but it just seems to happen that way. Co-workers are always stopping me to find out the latest 'episode' in the saga of what constitutes my soap-opera life.
One of these days, I'd like to settle down and have a nice, boring life for a change.