Monday, March 31, 2008

In like a lion, Out like friggin Godzilla

After a week of 50-60 degree weather, complete with LB's and my first hiking trip of the year, I woke up this morning and yet again had to dig the ice scraper out from under the seat of my car. GRRRRR. Its now snowing, and I'm sobbing quietly at my desk.

Yay for Colorado, you BIG TEASE.
In other news, I took my POS to the car wash for some much needed R&R. I am ashamed at the amount of trash that I extracted from my vehicle. I found coffee-stained paperwork from my EGG DONATION, which means I have not de-trashed my car since early December. I won't even mention the goodies that LB had left crushed under the floor mats. It was obscene. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was looking at the utter pigsty I cart around everyday.
Also, my baby daddy's (who I haven't heard from in over a month now) sister hooked me up with a refurbished waterproof/freeze proof/shockproof camera that should be arriving tomorrow. I AM BEYOND STOKED. I kinda wish I had it this weekend, because the cataclysmic state my kitchen was in on Sunday morning DEFINITELY needed documentation!

Friday, March 21, 2008


When I was 12, I went to a sleepover where the activities entailed dancing to Whitney Houston's "Queen of the Night", eating pizza and cokes, and watching scary movies. Fun huh? Well it would have been fun, had the scary movie been of the normal "tween" scary movie selection. You know, Scream, Scooby Doo, House on Haunted Hill..those type movies.

What did we watch?

The Exorcist.

Ok so the effects are cheesy, its horribly dated, the subplots are kinda boring, but that didn't matter to me. All that mattered that night was a 12-yr-old girl (oh same age as me!) was possessed by the devil and raping herself with a crucifix. Hmmm didn't get over that for a decade or two.

Honestly, I started developing a phobia of young girls, since they always seemed to be vessels of evil in EVERY MOVIE I SAW. Another reason why I thought I would never have kids. Another reason why I was psyched to have a baby boy.

I wanted nothing to do with the entire mother-daughter horror that the Exorcist represents. I wanted to stay as far away as I could from that awful notion of uncontrollable fear that a mother has when she can't help her daughter.

Sadly, its something that all parents experience. Maybe not the extent of Exorcist proportions, but sometimes there is nothing you can do for your child. Each time LB wakes up and can't be calmed, I feel that fear. And even though I am a grown woman, each time I hear a scream from her room, I revert back to my 12 yr old self, feeling the blood drain from my face during that slumber party.

Last night was a quiet one, at least.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


After imbibing three Louises (margaritas) last night at the movie, I could have gone straight to bed. However, the red packaged dvds sitting on my counter proved too tempting to pass up. So I watched an episode of Big Love (how politically incorrect of me, after watching Thelma and Louise). Netflix sucked the rest of my evening away, and I fell into bed at around 11 pm.

I think I lay there about 15 minutes before I heard LB stirring. Whimpers eventually turned into wails, then screams. I entered the room and picked her up out of her make-shift bed, where she tearily demanded water.

She grabbed the cup so vigorously that it spilled down the front of her jammies, completely soaking both me and her. Oooh MAN did that piss her off. She morphed into red-faced, shrieking, rigor-mortis toddler as I changed her clothes. Afterwards, I tried lulling her back to dreamland, by singing her favorite song, but was halted with a throaty


Ok then.

For about 30 minutes she was inconsolable. The more back rubbing that was administered, the more it fed the flame. She pushed me away when I tried to hug her, she stood up in bed when I tried to lay down with her, she screamed "NOO" when I tried to offer her more water.

Finally she calmed down, completely out of the blue. No reason other than she probably was completely exhausted. I laid her down in her bed and sang to her, rubbing her back. Then I said my usual goodnight routine:

"Nite nite, I love you, I'll see you in the morning."

and from the blankets I heard

"I Sowwy Mama."


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Colorado Department of Education ate my life

So I guess its pretty obvious I work for the school district by now, right? I was trying to keep it under wraps, but eh..I have bigger fish to fry. Its almost 2:30 pm and I am trying to squeeze a mini-post in between CSAP drop off/counting/packing/mailing/killing myself.. Yes I hate the CSAPs. I probably hate them as much as the kids who are forced to take them (Thanks Dubya).

Today is the day where I ask myself (ala Kevin Spacey in American Beauty) When did this become part of my job description? and ...Maybe we should all just sell our souls to Satan because its more convenient that way!

I am beginning to wonder if the CSAPs are convenient to ANYONE. Because as far as I can tell, its a pain in the ASS for teachers, students, testing proctors, administrators, UPS dudes, and us lowly Admin Assistants. Cause if I were to write an American Beauty-esque job description of what I do, it would look something like this:

My daily duties consist of picking up the garbage, sorting the leftovers, lubing the communication gears, fixing the potholes, making the cookies, and generally swallowing any task that the Giants of the School District do not have time to do, because they are busy handling much more important things. I have the staunch understanding that it is my job to make sure the streets are clear of all administrative debris, because if one of those Giants trip, they crush everyone under them. I provide the walker that supports the overburdened body of the Administration Building.
Wait, I think I can pull another metaphor out of my bag o tricks.....

So in honor of the most classic of all chick flicks, I say you have two choices tonight at the Abbey:

I'd like a Wild Turkey with a coke back, please.

A Margarita with a shot of cuervo on the siiiiide.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I looked at my calendar today and realized that I have 3 different meetings scheduled. Yeah, yeah, big whoop, I am an Admin Assistant, I schedule meetings. The only difference is this time I am IN the meetings, not just to take notes, make copies, get coffee, or to set up a conference call, I actually am presenting and discussing information. I actually serve a functional purpose other than secretarial. Wow. This means that I have knowledge and data that other people don't have. This means that in order for things to be accomplished, they need ME to move forward.

I know this is minor kudos, but it still feels good. It also makes me a little scared. Along with this realization, I have also noticed an increase in phone calls, emails, interoffice mail and other general communication that passes by my desk. I am now on two different committees in my district, and have started to dedicate serious time to my department's web page. The HR Director has informed me that he will be forwarding information on training for Notary Publics, and I should go ahead and order my supplies. AAaack.

An increase in responsibility is suddenly evident, and with plenty of district drama surrounding the hierarchical salary schedule, I don't doubt that there will be a rallying of Administrative Assistants in the near future. The question is do I want to take part in it?

As stressful as my job is, I like to keep a sense of levity by remembering that while I am sitting in my heated office, listening to podcasts, members of the facilities department are out there shoveling snow and pressure-washing graffiti off school buildings. Now THAT is a way to start your Monday morning, huh?

For every angry parent I talk to over the phone, there is a teacher out there who is physically breaking up a fight, a principal who has to search a kid for drugs, a school nurse who has to witness the effects of bullying, a counselor who has to report child abuse to Social Services, and a janitor who has 20,000 sq ft of hallways to mop before he can go home for the day.

Yeah, my job really isn't that hard.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The life of a restaurant

When I first moved to Durango in 1996,

this was the restaurant that stood across from the fairgrounds on north main. Lori's Family Dining had been running since 1971, and had also managed to extend a faction of itself to the Durango Mall.

Neither are still in existence. There used to be a bowling alley at the mall too, where kids could hang out after school. You used to be able to get a bite to eat, shop, go bowling and even have a beer if you wanted at the Durango Mall. I wish I could say that's still an option.

Nope, not anymore. They have also demolished one of the few remaining Drive-In Movie theatres left in the USA. Check off another activity for kids. Eh, kids are a pain in the ass to deal with, right? Why should we give them choices of fun things to do, when there are plenty of Meth Dealers in the La Plata county region? I'm sure these people could find things for kids to do. At least they wouldn't be hanging out around our local business and bothering the paying customers. Ugh. I mean what do people expect? Keep taking away kid/teen-friendly places to hang out, and replacing them with condos and other more lucrative business ventures, and you are asking for a f***ing problem.

Lori's eventually turned into Delaney's, a similar restaurant (American-style, down-home, chicken-fried-steak place), which was decent enough. Then Delaney's went out of business and was replaced with a horrendous restaurant called "Pickles." Ok so I only ate there once, but it was awful. I didn't even try the fried pickles. After Pickles kicked the bucket, it turned into the "Kettle" restaurant and pancake house. That has lasted for about year or two, but just yesterday I noticed that the whole restaurant has been repainted and the sign now indicated that a Chinese restaurant is moving in.

Christ on a cracker. Its exhausting, and I'm not even a business owner. But it makes me wonder how someone can keep investing in this place that seems to flop every restaurant that is housed there. Do people think that there is something soooo special about their menu that it will flabbergast the public and kill the competition? I think the property is jinxed. I wouldn't open a restaurant there if I inherited the property tax free. I think it needs to be bulldozed.

.....and replaced with a bowling alley.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Compare & Contrast

I am writing this in honor of my friend JL, who is on the brink of opening a brand-spanking new scrapbooking store in Durango.

She and her mom have been putting every waking moment into renovating an otherwise demolished back room of their auto parts store. They have turned grease stains into polished floor, ugly cement walls into shades of Tinkerbell green and Heffalump purple. Fuel pumps and carborators have been replaced with metallic pegboards and handpainted shelves. Soon stickers, glitter, books and paper in every color of the rainbow will burst through the doors on opening day, making a bright spot on College Drive.

Honestly, I think the amazing transformation from a testosterone-charged, spit-shine parts store into kistchy cellebration of female-driven embellishments is quite poetic to say the least. I commend my friend for pursuing her own interests under the harsh gaze of the elder traditionalists in her family; the ones whose daily exchanges consist of grunts between mechanics. I look forward to watching the mechanical grunts morph into girly gushes.

JL has been feelin' the heat, so to speak. The pressure of running a small business in a small town, where all the owners have been linked since the establishment of Durango, and criticism is never absent, is starting to rise its ugly head.

She wrote about being bombarded with questions today: When is your business opening? What kind of stuff are you going to have? ME WANT DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS. I'm sure she is getting comments like "Well, you know, at the Scrapbook Cottage, they had THIS there.." and "You should DEFINITELY have the same stuff, ALL scrapbook stores have THOSE THINGS."

Yuck. Unsolicited advice is always uncomfortable, but it can be used to your advantage. Getting people's opinions on things may throw you off balance, but it also re centers yourself in the world. It reminds you of why you are different and what you have to offer that others might not.

When I was pregnant (which is the time of your life when you will get the MOST unsolicited advice), People felt obliged to HEAP their opinions on me, and I was expected to absorb every word with a demure and grateful demeanor. People told me ludicrous things like I shouldn't OPEN DOORS, drive down dirt roads, hang around pit bulls. I got serious looks of pity and disgust when I worked my pizza delivery job, and eye rolling when I told people I wanted to have a waterbirth. I got looks that said "Oh great, ANOTHER hippy is bringing a granola crunchin, non-immunizing, dirty, barefoot child into the world."

Damn straight I was.

Opening a business is kinda like having a baby. I mean, you make plans to have it (well if you aren't me), you prepare for it, you make sure you know everything you can know about how to take care of it, and then you welcome it into the world. And when people criticize it, and compare it to other babies you are heartbroken and angry when yours doesn't "meet" the standards people have.

I have complete confidence in my friend. She is smart and level-headed. When I suggested that she get her liquor license and have the world's first scrapbooking bar, she simply laughed. Another reason why I would be a shoddy business owner.

So Hang in there JL! I we love you and will be there at your grand opening! Yay for the Scrapbook Nook!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I got home from the vile daycare parent meeting (a whopping total of 4 attended!) last night with the full intention of going to bed as soon as I put the toddler down to sleep. It became clear to me when I could not break from the Vulcan-death-grip she had on my neck, that she was NOT going to slide peacefully into dreamland.

I guess this possibility didn't occur to me 3 hours earlier when I let her eat an entire Wendy's Frosty, and watched her run in circles around the daycare, giggling maniacally. Hmm. Good Job Mommy.

So even after a full musical revue of Mary Poppins, Annie and the Little Mermaid, she still was whimpering "mama, mama, mama, mama." whenever I started saying "Goodnight." By the time 9:00 pm rolled around, I was mumbling through "Part of your world" with my head on the bar of her makeshift crib (foldable playpen). I finally said, "Ok, mama needs to go take a shower. Nite nite."

I Left the room under severe screaming protest, but I was done for the night. I was literally falling asleep in the shower. Once out of the shower, I should have gone directly to bed and passed out naked under the covers, like the good ole days. The days where I didn't care if I woke up with a rats nest in my hair, or unbrushed teeth. I didn't care because I was able to wake up 30 minutes before work, throw my hair in a ponytail and run out the door with a toothbrush in my mouth.

Now I brush my teeth before bed, comb my hair, do the underarm dove treatment and get into Pjs. Then I make sure the door is dead bolted, see that my cell phone, work ID, car & work keys, chewing gum, debit card, spare diaper and glasses are all safely in my purse (everything else is expendable). Then I make sure all the lights are turned off downstairs, try not to trip over LB's potty (which she has filled with cat food) and grab any dirty clothes that are lying around.

Once I am upstairs, I walk into my room and look at my bed. Then I look at the computer. Look at bed. Look at computer. Turn on computer. Sit at desk until midnight, checking email, instant messaging, chatting, watching youtube, checking myspace/facebook, reading forums on cafemom, winking on and downloading music. Am I still falling asleep? Yes. But somehow I don't care as much.

So that fact that now I am a cranky, overtired, uncooperative, leave-me-alone, excuse for an administrative assistant mess, is REALLY my own damn fault. Instead of doing the right thing last night, I selfishly pursued my own indulgences. I insisted on ME time. After spending the day doing everything for everyone else, I sacrificed precious sleep for those few delicious hours of electronic narcissism.

Sometimes when I sleep, I dream that LB is screaming, and I sit straight up in bed like a freakin' Zombie. Silence. 30 seconds later? A wail from her room. Pretty much describes what happened last night. Every hour on the hour.

The third time I jerked myself out of sleep, my thoughts were no longer on LB.

Oh no.



Oh P.S. If I have to scrape my windshield in the morning one more time, I am going to go postal with the ice scraper.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I've been scouring the Internet for new blogs, since most of my links are close friends and other parents I've been reading for a while. However, I feel a little lonely as the only single mom on my blogroll. Where are all the single moms hiding?

Here are some good ones out there:

Ms Single Mama
Mama Cum Laude
Mommy Pie

Oh, and here are some additions to the Great Single Mom Movies that I totally missed.

Riding in Cars With Boys
Soul Food
As Good As it Gets

Also, I ran across this preview the other day, and its about a single mom, but its a little creepy looking. Its like Obsessive, crazy single mom movie, but hey, its directed by Kevin Bacon. What did I expect? I'm thinking about netflixing it, cause I dearly love Kyra Segdwick, but I don't know. What do you think?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Worth it

At least I know when I have a stressful day at work, I get to see this face when I pick her up from daycare. Kinda makes all the parent yelling, invoice altering, email responding, message deleting, fax sending, purchase order requesting, student ushering, meeting organizing, gay friend calling, baby daddy ignoring just.......disappear for a minute.

I wub ju Widdle Boo.

oh and TGIF.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Progress without change.

Last night my mother admitted that she considers herself happy because she no longer wakes up in the morning wondering if there is a point to getting up at all. Lord. How much more Canceresque can you get? Is there are more depressing definition of happiness out there?

I told her "I think you should raise your expectations a little bit."

I also told her she isn't happy because she lets stress control her life. She is stressed about my grandmother's mental and physical health, she is stressed about my dad and his mid-life crisis which has blossomed into full-blown delusions of a Brazil-like Utopia. She is also stressed about my life, LB's life and the ever changing baby-daddy-drama. And on top of that she is stressed about her job, where she has recently been promoted, which means working 10-12 hour days.

What I don't understand about my mother is the fact that she is a hard worker, and does very well at all of her jobs. I don't think I've ever seen her NOT fully engrossed in a job. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, she usually goes to work. If you hated working so much, wouldn't you turn on a movie, or listen to some music when you can't go back to sleep?

She is stressed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I only see her relax when she has a glass of wine, or sings with my dad. I think she needs a change. And I'm thinking that change means letting go of my dad as her primary responsibility. It means finally sucking it up and getting a divorce. It means letting him fend for himself, and if he wants to move back to the Land-of-Wonderment (Brazil), then let him go.

One of my co-workers made up a theory about parents in our school district, and I think it applies to all walks of life:

People want progress, but they don't want change.
I'm beginning to think its true.

Monday, March 3, 2008

First Three CDs you bought.

I know this is going to be an obsolete post in a few years. By the time my daughter is old enough to own music, the CD may not even be around. Hell do 12 yr olds even buy cds or do they go straight to iTunes and download mp3s?

Anyway, I thought I would challenge my fellow bloggers to a slightly less time consuming meme. What were the first three CDs you owned and what were your favorite songs on them?

Extra Credit Challenge* What about cassette tapes? hehe.

CD # 1: Tuesday Night Music Club by Sheryl Crow. How eclectic. Since CD players really we're affordable for my family until about 1993, I think I was eleven when my dad gave me this CD for Christmas. I didn't even have my own boom box, so I'm assuming the reason my dad purchased this for me was that it had to be played on the "family" CD player, and it had to be appropriate for my 9 yr old sister to listen to. Apparently the lyric "I like a good beer buzz, early in the morning" is totally fine for a 9 yr old to hear. Gotta love songs about Chronic alcoholism.

CD # 2: Throwing Copper by Live. At 12, I actually purchased this album with my own allowance money. My dad worked a music store at that time, and he gave me a catalogue of every album they stocked. I remember flipping through Rob Zombie Sheet music, and being a little disturbed by the overtly sexual artwork, mostly involving clowns, corpses and nurses. Creepy. I had also purchases a Boom Box, so I could blast "Selling the Drama" at my leisure, but my most favorite song really was a toss up between "Lightning Crashes" and "All over you." *Sigh* Your love water....

CD # 3: Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette. At 13, I was officially ready to be angstified. I mean come on, I was practically groomed for angry female rock. However, I was shocked at my mother's prudish reaction to the line "And are you thinking of me when you F*** her?" Where's the feminist love? What a great title feels so good, swimmin' in your stomach....

Extra credit: Gloria Estefan's Miami Sound Machine was the most memorable cassette tape I can remember. Especially since it accompanied my pink portable tape player with the shoulder strap. The Rhythm is gonna getcha.....rhythm is gonna getcha..