Sunday, January 25, 2009



It's that time o' year again. The time of year when I realize the Earth has rounded the sun once more. And what does that mean exactly? means that today is my birthday.

I'm going to have a good 38. That's all there is to it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Playing the Lottery

I'm pretty hotmad right now.

I am trying to find a school for My Little One, preferably a Montessori school.

I heard about one that's right, literally, on the same street as the nursing home where Pop is living. So night before last, on the way home, my husband and I drive past it, look around the outside of the school and jot down the phone number. I find online that the school has a website and drop in an e-mail requesting more information, specifically asking if they have an opening in the 3-5 year old class in March.

No response.

Okay, I'm fine with that. Sometimes e-mail is filtered by junk mail systems, and I understand that. So, today, I call the school. I asked if they have an opening, and the nice lady on the phone relays that no, they indeed, do NOT have an opening at this time, but she could put My Little One down on the waiting list, that there's an abbreviated summer program, and that there's a $75 registration fee, blah blah blah.

Me: But I don't have to pay that until she's actually accepted, right?
NL (nice lady): Yes, you do have to pay that when you turn in the paperwork I'll send you.
Me: But what happens if my child doesn't get accepted at all? How do I get that money back? What's your policy about refunding it? Or do you use it toward the registration costs when she IS accepted?
NL: We don't. There's no refund on that registration fee.

*awkward pause*

Me (calmly but agitated): Are you KIDDING me?! You don't refund the money? That's a dumb policy. Why do you have that policy?

*NL begins to panic, shuffling papers suddenly*

NL: I don't know. That's just their policy.

(me in my brain quietly, "f*ck the elusive 'their'...who the eff do 'they' think they are?! that's totally jacked up!)

Me (calmly): Well I will call another school. That's a ridiculous policy.


I didn't even say good-bye.

And in case you didn't know this about me, I loatheloatheLOATHE the phrase "I don't know" unless it's followed by the phrase, "but I will find out and follow up with you" or "let's find out together right now, shall we?". Especially in work matters. If you don't know WHY you have a policy, then you're dumb. If you can't justify your work and why you matter there, then go home. Seriously quit wasting everyone's time, energy and money. Find your passion and do it. Either that, or be passionate about what you're doing RIGHT NOW.

So....let me get this straight. I mean, I'm just thinking out loud here, m'kay? I have to PAY YOU to hold a CHANCE for my kid to get in to your school? Hmmm. How about NO. I'm already going to be paying out! the! ass! aaaaalllll of the supply fees, the technology usage fees, some other miscellanous fees, and the freakin' TUITION! This sounds eerily like the Texas lottery. And we all know that, at least in Texas, the lottery money is NOT spent on education the way it was marketed years and years ago.

This must be the untapped into anger that my therapist keeps telling me that I'm stuffing down with food.

Yeah -- I'm pretty peeved about this.


*counting to ten*


Seriously, though, it's bullshit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Catching Up

Update 1

I am on Facebook and figured out how to pull my blog from blogger into the NOTES section of facebook. Pretty cool little tool. Of course, my worlds are colliding. I have lots of work friends on Facebook, and lots and lots of people with whom I went to high school or know me from my childhood that haven't had contact with me in years and years. Now, by posting my blog more openly there, I am exposing myself to some (1) major fun being poked at me; (2) major gossip going on or (3) my wonderwoman-ness will be revealed to be notsowonderwomanish and all will see that I am truly HUMAN! *wink*

I guess it's not such a bad thing. IyamwhoIyamandthat'sallthatIyam. Right?

Update 2

Pop moved from our house into a nursing home shortly before Thanksgiving. Since that time, his world and our world has changed significantly (not this is NOT a shameless campaign slogan left over from Obama). Pop seems much happier where he is. There was a snafu with Medicaid (which is a constant FUBAR entity) where he wasn't qualified for physical therapy until just last week. When my family went to visit him over the weekend last, he reported that he'd received some therapy and feels stronger. It's not as intensive or as often as he was getting here at my house, but it's better than him laying there getting bedsores and existing, right?

Also, the stress in my house has dimished significantly. My husband is breathing with ease again and his whole personality has changed. It's amazing the difference in him. I truly don't think he realizes how different he is now -- and it's for the better. Of course, so am I. I was getting pretty resentful and reactive, but trying to just turn it over to God.

My mother in law is also more relaxed. She's been enjoying going to my sister in law's house on the weekends. The kids there love having her stay over and I know that she enjoys them too. Of course, this allows my four in my clan to be the Four of Us. Occasionally, there is even just Two of Us when my husband's older sister offers to keep the girls overnight. Amazingly, my husband and I have not argued or squelched our one-on-one time together!

Update 3

I attended my 20 year high school reunion. My husband, kids and I road tripped it to far west Texas. Along the way we saw all kinds of scenery.
Alternative Energy: Wind Turbines

There are acres and acres of these in West Texas. They are seen high above the aging pump jacks that I've come to notice more and more since I work for a private oil and gas production company. Notice King Cotton as well -- Texas's #1 commodity.

West Texas Skies
There's just nothing like them. You should see the sunsets. And the stars! Oh my stars!

The kids were pretty snippy by the time we checked into the hotel room. They'd been awakened that morning by their parents shaking their little bodies: Santa's been here! Santa came!!

They leapt out of their beds and we did Christmas morning festivities, packed up the car, fought a bit, nearly didn't go, then headed out using the Garmin that my husband bought himself for Christmas.

By the time we all settled into our hotel room, we were starving but spent some time that evening with my Godmother and her entire family, then it was bedtime. The girls slept together in the same bed (this is the first time my family has ever road tripped and spent our time in a hotel all together). I heard incessant complaints and whining by them about how "sister was touching me!" or "she won't leave me alone!" or "she isn't being still" and "I can't sleep!" and "make her stop!"

This is how they fell asleep that night (que linda!). The doll is two dolls in one. Flip her skirt the other way and she's wearing a different dress.  My Godparents gave it to Boa; it comes from Puerto Rico.

So we went on a "this is where mommy went to high school" tour and it was a love day, but the hallmark wind of El Paso whirled 'round us. We ate at the best pizza place in the world, House of Pizza. After that, I took the family to Scenic Drive, where I knew the girls in particular would be very interested (my husband had already been on a previous trip). The girls were enamoured by "climing" the mountain and seeing the whole city.

The reunion all in all was good fun. Admittedly, I'm a little disappointed with the turnout.  The event combined the classes of 1988 and 1989, and the holiday time was selected specifically because the committe figured alumni would be available to attend.  Most folks have stayed in the El Paso area, but knowing many have moved and would likely "go home" for Christmas, the committe had hoped for higher attendance. 

One day was a family day, which we didn't attend.  We opted for resting and visiting with My Godparents and other friends that weren't high school-ish.

I was embarrassed about my weight, as usual, but especially so because at my 10 year reunion, I had recently lost a LOT of weight, was newly single and felt very good about myself.  I still had a good time, caught up with old friends, talked to classmates I hadn't had even one conversation with back in the '80s.  I am impressed with what all my classmates have accomplished!  But, at the core, and the most important part of all this visit was RELATIONSHIPS. It felt good to back home, see and meet people, share my childhoodworld with my children. I miss El Paso a lot, and definitely, my heart strings are tugged when I visit, but I'll only always just visit.

One more week till my birthday! :P

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Not Fitting IN

I don't fit in well, but I feel pretty comfortable wherever I am.

I was chatting with Big Dave about this earlier today, and actually, it's a realization that's slowly reared itself unto my consciousness.

I work with a gaggle of 20-somethings and 50-somethings. I am 30-something. So, I don't fit in to the "younguns" exactly, nor do I fit into the "veterans" exactly, yet, I do fit into each group. Each group says they enjoy my company and they ask me to do things socially with them. Yet, I'm the ONLY 30-something and well, it's weird.

In one of my therapy sessions not so long ago, I was relaying how growing up, I spent a lot of time alone because most of my cousins were older than me by at least three years, then I had two cousins that were younger than me by a good eight or ten years. And growing up military, my family would go "home" to my aunt and uncle's ranch in West Texas at least once a year, especially if we were state-side. The whole brood would gather there and play games, sleep, the normal holiday gathering. Well, I was found often, lurking around the adults instead of with the kids. And luckily, the adults, for the most part, let me hang with them. But, my therapist said something very therapy-ish when I said, "I never really fit in". "Well no wonder! No one ever included you! They left you out."

I sobbed.

"I never really thought of it that way." I said rather pathetically.

And you know what?

She's right.

Now don't get me wrong -- I'm not doing the Blaming Game. But it was a revelation in the context of how little I really understand myself in situations. I just DO things. I don't necessarily see my role -- or lack thereof -- in any situation.

Even now, in motherhood or friendship, I don't understand my impact on a person. Conversely, I don't necessarily see that person's impact on me for a long time, if ever. Certainly some people have come and gone and come again in my life that I just don't understand what the purpose of our kinship is. I suppose I really shouldn't HAVE to understand it, but I am a person who LIKES to understand it. I like knowing your value to me and me to you. I have a need to appreciate you and make you beautiful no matter who you are. I am just a subjective-izer. It's both good and bad to have that quality (a blog saved best for another day perhaps).

Anyway -- sorry I've been aloof. I'm battling some life adjustments, trying to enjoy my children more, working on bolstering my marriage and being a better, more-present wife. I also have been a bit creatively stifled. I don't want my blog to be so serious and it FEELS HEAVY these days. I will try to add some levity. Additionally, I got a new camera for Christmas and am trying to learn it, but I might've gotten in over my head. It's a sophisticated momma.

Happy New Year and all that jazz....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weekly Word of the Weak: Gestalt

1. a configuration, pattern, or organized field having specific properties that cannot be derived from the summation of its component parts; a unified whole.
2. an instance or example of such a unified whole.

I first heard this word when Dr. LP used a test of gestalt to evaluate the perceptual abilities of a patient. He had a small cup of tiny trinkets that included a thimble, a paperclip, an eraser, a battery, and a few other such items. The patient was asked to put their hands behind their back. The patient was then instructed that the doctor would place an item in the hands. The patient had to feel it, try to define it and say their guess out loud without laying eyes on the item.

I hadn't heard the word used in any other context. Then, the other day...someone was talking about an attraction to someone they'd never met but had passing conversations with, even seen a photo or two ~ nothing lewd, just candid shots from situations in every day life. This person described the attraction as "gestalt".

From then on, I figured one could talk about many things in different contexts using the word gestalt.

Give it a try....and feel free to let me know what you've created.