Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm a Lazy, Lazy Bitch

For the last two weeks, and frankly even longer than that, I've been running around like a crazy person, putting tons of miles on my car, packing, moving, shopping, running the kid back and forth, working, etc. The days of delicious naps in the middle of the day are over for a while, and I think the non-working awake hours I've spent lately can be counted on one hand. This is fine for now, its all for a good cause (that wonderful pantry cabinet that I will have when this remodel is over) but I am going to bed at around 9 every night, totally exhausted.

Rob, obviously, has a lot on his mind, too, and is adapting to living with my parents, but his day-to-day hasn't changed all that much. He still takes the bus in to work (a different numbered bus, but that's really the only difference) and he's still playing softball once a week, and he's still sitting in his climate controlled office doing contemplative work with other smart people, and getting an actual lunch break and two, quiet commute hours a day to read, or sleep or play Word with Friends on his iPhone. I don't want to diminish his contribution here, but I barely get to sit down the whole day and eat most of my meals over the sink or in the car, and I've become one of those people who actually uses my hands free device and squeezes phone calls in while driving from one location to the other.

Last night we're sitting at the dinner table, (we all eat dinner together, including my parents. Isn't that cute?) and something comes up, I don't remember what, and my dad starts making a joke about how I ask Rob to do everything for me, and how he knows why Rob is seated in the corner where he can't get up (so he doesn't have to do anything.) I look at my dad like he's crazy, and then he goes on to talk about how Rob has worked ALL DAY. Oh, and this was a day after my mom laughed at Rob while he was doing dishes; or rather, because he was doing the dishes. I thought I was going to lose it.

There's no use, though. My dad is from another generation where men got home from work and sat and read the paper while dinner was made and cleaned up, kids were bathed and put to bed and a little laundry was folded until the mom collapsed in a heap.

My parents believe I am the laziest person they have ever met. They've said this out loud to me and to their friends, so I'm not making false assumptions. They have repeatedly muttered the words "Poor Rob..." If this period of living with them while being pulled in 17 different directions does not dispel that opinion, nothing ever will. I have a feeling I could work and run around 23 hours a day, and it would make no difference; my baseboards are still filthy and I still eat out too much.

My dad is lucky he's cute...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Julianna Margulies can Suck It

Remember how I told you I'm living with my parents right now? Well, I am. Me, Rob, Leila, the cat and the dog. Boy oh boy.

If you've been reading me for any length of time, you already know that we go on vacation with my parents every year, on their dime, for at least a week, sometimes two. My parents are in their 70s, my mom is super active, my dad is super sedate, and they are both really kind, generous people who are single-handedly (or double fistedly) keeping cocktail hour alive. We have a lot of fun together, and they're not the sort of parents I feel I have to hang out with, or that I roll my eyes at, and I don't screen their calls.

They're still my parents, however, and naturally this relationship comes with its own set of button-pushing, needling, know-me-too-well, God-my-parents-are-getting-old idiosyncrasies. I don't often write about my parents because they are very private people. In fact, I don't think they know this bog even exists, and if they found out, they would be completely flummoxed and outraged by the way I over share. Now that I've been living with them for over a week, though, I have to get some stuff off my chest:

My mom likes to watch Piers Morgan every night. She doesn't actually watch every night, she has a life, but when she's home and its nine o'clock, she watches Piers Morgan. The other night, Julianna Margulies was on there, and my mom has never heard of her, but we had to watch her for an hour and see what she had to say, which wasn't much. Then my dad comes along and says, "You know what's a good show? Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader. Now that's a good show." and he continues, "See, they have these grown people answer questions, and they have these fifth graders..." you get the idea.

Now let me tell you a story about dish towels: My mother finds great virtue in using things until they either break, disintegrate, or run screaming from her home, begging for mercy. Knowing this, I brought a few of my dish towels along when I moved in. She was confused by this: why would I feel the need to bring dish towels, her's a perfectly fine. She held one of them up to show me, and I said, "Mom, I can see the back yard through that towel." And she's all, "No, you can't!" and I'm all, "Yuh huh! there's the bird feeder!" Then I said, "I bet you've had that dish towel longer than you've had me." and she goes, "yes, but I didn't use it for a few years because it was too good." Its a dish towel, people, a 45 year-old dish towel. I know what someone is getting for Christmas...

I miss my TV. I miss my DVR. I miss HGTV and Food Network. I miss my dish rack. I miss having dinner and not doing the dishes until morning. I miss my front loading washing machine. I miss preheating the oven to the actual degrees indicated on the box instead of cutting that in half to save energy. I miss turning lights on when its dark. I miss my mail, which I forwarded to my parents' address more than a week ago, and all I've gotten is a week-old Newsweek. I miss knowing where my food is (my mom likes to rearrange and consolidate, resulting in two boxes of completely different cereal being merged into one.) I miss getting take out; whenever I've wanted take out, I've been told I have to eat a fried egg instead. 11 weeks to go...

But, here's what's awesome about living with my parents: In addition to the aforementioned cocktails, my dad will bust open a bottle of cold champagne and we'll drink it together, WHENEVER I WANT. They have good butter and cheese and liverwurst in the house at all times. I can buy these things myself, of course, but I never do because it just tastes better at my parents' house, and now I can eat it ALL THE TIME. My mom is really funny. I am living with two people who love my kid and will take care of her when I need to go do errands. My dad loves my dog. I'm sleeping like the dead in my old room. They have a Costco card. They have not gotten on my case even one time for being a slob (though I've been trying really hard not to be a slob, and you know how hard that is for me.) They are doing us the biggest favor in the world by letting us stay with them while our house gets torn apart, and I am truly grateful. We could not do this project without their hospitality, so I will watch Piers Morgan with my mom, and drink my dad's booze, and eat fried eggs all they want.

I owe them. Big.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Here I am! I'm Here!

Okay, here I am, I'm back. You were just about to give up on me weren't you? But I'm here! Always here, lurking around.

Instead of posting inane stories about my life and my hangnails and whatnot, I have done the following things:

1) Packed up my entire house, 14 years worth of crap, and stored it like this:
Just add two piles of sofa cushions, and that's almost everything I own. (I thought I had more crap. It sure felt like more when I was packing it...)

2) Taken some of my clothes to my parents' house, where I am currently living (I know! More on this later, you can bet your ass.)

3) Made approximately 500 decisions about cabinets, appliances, siding, ducting, pizza toppings, and what color my toenails should be.

4) Fallen into bed at the end of each day praying for deep, dark, dreamless sleep, only to be woken by a) the cat either scratching in the litter box with which we are sharing a room, crunching his food, or purring wildly in my ear and rubbing his face on me, or b) Leila, waking up in the middle of the night and coming in to my bed because she watched Celebrity Ghost Stories and is extra freaked out now (in addition to being a regular amount of freaked out at watching the only home she's ever known get torn apart.)

5) I've been taking pictures like this:

and saying Holy Shit! out loud to anyone who happens to be passing by.

So that's where I've been, and I have to go back to that right now...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Simon Le Bon is in the House!

Today it starts for realsies. The packing. I haven't packed a house in 14 years. I thought I was really good at not collecting stuff, but apparently I was not as good as I thought. I packed two boxes yesterday, just to get a feel for it. This is going to suck, is how it felt. I keep thinking I will hold off on all the fragile stuff, pack all the books picture frames, start on Leila's room, but when I look around there's just STUFF everywhere. Oh look, I'm going to have to pack those dust-laden candle sticks! And over there is the old atlas that we never look at! And the artwork! And the cleaning supplies! And what exactly do I do with my TV?

Yesterday I went to my mom's to pack up some of the shit I have stored there. That was part of the deal; I can move my family and my pets into her house for three months, but in exchange I have to clean her closets. She has asked me to do this for 20 years, and it has always seemed like a monumental task. I was delighted to find out that most of the crap in those closets is her's!

I found all my Duran Duran stuff, and there is a lot of it. I have dreams about selling everything as one lot on ebay one day and making my first million. Some day, these magazine clippings of Simon Le Bon, will be worth something, I just know it! I also found a poster with kittens on it that I got as part of a Ranger Rick magazine in the third grade, and I had to wonder what I was saving it for. The kittens got shitcanned, but the Duran Duran stuff stays.

I just realized that for the next three months, I will be paying actual money to store Duran Duran memorabilia. Hm. I will also be paying real money to store cleaning supplies and God knows I have no use for those, so I guess it all evens out.

I'd better get started. I don't want to get started, I want to go get a pedicure, but I'd better get started...

Friday, September 9, 2011


Dudes, I have not worked this hard in a long, long time. I haven't watched any TV or taken a decent nap or anything in two weeks! I think I'm finally seeing the light at the end, though, and I'm hoping I get a little bit of a break next week so I can focus all my energy on my remodel that hasn't started yet.

Working just sucks, doesn't it? I mean, some people love their jobs, are fulfilled, addicted, whatever you want to call it, but I am not one of those people. The only job I've every found fulfilling is parenting, and even that has some low points. That whole potty training thing was a nightmare. Worth it, since no one wants to wipe the ass of a nine year old, but dealing with poo is just as bad as it sounds.

I have to work this weekend, too, and somehow find time to make my mother's potato salad, and she is unreliable in relaying recipes. She cooks by memory, and leaves out at least 3 key ingredients when telling you how she makes something. Then, when it doesn't come out, she says something like, "Well, did you put enough butter in?" and I'll be all, "You didn't tell me to put any butter in!" and she'll be all, "Everyone knows you have to put butter in!" and, yes, there may be butter in her potato salad recipe, anything is possible.

Last night I had a dream that I was contemplating sex with Ted Danson. The brown haired version, not the white haired version. We were at Oprah's house, which was not nearly as impressive as you'd think.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Viva La Nine!

I think my daughter has reached the age of reason. This morning when I woke her up, I told her to pick out some clothes and put them on. This is kind of a new thing for us, as I usually pick out what she's going to wear while she lounges in bed and chit chats with me. So she's all, "I have to pick out my clothes every day lately!" and I'm all "Me too!" and she's all, "But you're fourty and I'm nine." and I was all, "Nine is plenty old enough to pick out shorts and a T shirt."

She then picked out a totally reasonable outfit, and came into the kitchen where I was making her lunch and her breakfast. She was on the verge of tears as she said, "I don't want to grow up! I want to stay nine forever!"

My poor baby! I told her I could see that she was very serious about this and I was bummed for her because time was going to march on and she was going to have to get older whether she wanted to or not. Then I said, "and there are so many wonderful things about getting older and becoming a grown up!" And she was all, "Like what?"

uh... um... well... uh...

Gentle readers, she stumped me. I stood there staring at her with a half-hearted smile on my face and couldn't come up with one single thing about being a grown-up that was better than being nine. The seconds of silence felt like hours, and I got more and more depressed, and finally I said, "You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want!" Which, of course, is only true if you want to have a liver transplant and hen drop dead of heard disease and hour later. At least that's how it would go for me, trust me.

Then I just started making shit up. "You get to go to college which is awesome, and you get to find fulfilling work, and fall in love and have a baby which is just the best thing ever!" The last part is true for me, having a baby was the best thing ever, but college was only so-so and I have yet to find fulfilling work, and being in love is fine, but it has very little to do with actual marriage.

So, for today, it sucks being a parent. My job is to prepare her for the world by making her do her homework and making her pick out her own clothes and adding more and more responsibility and independence, but I just want her to be nine forever so she doesn't have to have her heart broken by a stupid stinky boy, and pay bills, and get up early for a sucky job, and eat vegetables.

I'll let her clean toilets, though, I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Please Leave a Message

What did the world ever do without voicemail? I swear, I have made six phone calls this morning to try to transact some business, and I have had to leave messages everywhere! Doesn't anyone ever pick up the phone anymore? Now I have to sit around and wait for return phone calls in order to move my day along, and they could come in five minutes, or they could come tomorrow. And, chances are, I will be at the grocery store, on the can, or otherwise engaged when they call back and they will have to leave a message and nothing will ever be accomplished!

Truthfully, there are lots of times when, while my outgoing call is ringing, I pray for voicemail. We've all said that prayer: "Please don't pick up, please don't pick up, please don't pick up." because we want to get credit for either being responsive, or taking initiative or whatever, without actually having to do anything. Whenever I hear someone say, "I have a call into so-and-so, I'm just waiting to hear back." I know what it really means; it means, "I knew you were going to ask for the status on this issue and I haven't really done anything, so I called and left a voicemail just before you asked and now I can pass the buck to the poor slob who hasn't even heard my message yet and is wondering why he hasn't heard from me, but I'll look like I'm on top of things."

Admit it! You know its true!

Luckily, I have the internet. Now I can spend time refreshing facebook and looking at Youtube while I wait for people to call me back. I know Debbie, at the last place I called, was probably having a cup of coffee and relaying the exciting story of what she did this weekend to her co -workers, who weren't really listening because they don't give two shits about what Debbie did this weekend, but they want to avoid their phones.

What a world it would be if everyone, including me, did what they were supposed to do, when they were supposed to do it. Imagine how productive we all would be! We'd have so much more time to take naps, and we wouldn't have as many nightmares, and my house remodel would probably be done by now, and there would be no war or famine. Maybe not the last part, but still!

Now I'm going to blow dry my hair, which means I wont hear the phone when it rings, and thus dwindles the day...