yes it’s a dead horse

well now I feel obligated

… people are still checking up on my little site here. Go figure.

I could start in on how time flies and all that crap, make excuses why I haven’t posted a freakin’ thing here since September, but, you know, fuck it. I just haven’t been in the mood to write. The kidlettes are still doing and saying REALLY funny shit, like the other night when we were driving across the state again and had been in the car for a good 8 hours and The Boy suddenly throws up his little four-year-old arms and shouts “I can’t TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! I just CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!” And then puts his little curly head in his hands and shakes it back and forth saying “Argh!” and “Aaahhhhhh!!” over and over. It even made The Girl laugh, and she’d been feeling sick for the last hour. Of course, the next half-hour of “My bum hurts!” and “Are we THERE yet?” pretty much took the giggle out of the whole thing, but holy crap that was a funny five minutes.

There have been some exciting developments recently though… I mean, aside from the demise of the washer and dryer and the ever present maniacle laughter of the dirty socks as they plan their take-over of the house. To fully appreciate this little bit, we have to do some back stepping…. way back to June, actually, when The Husband decided that he’d had enough of the flatlands and his current army unit and put in for a transfer. We did not, of course, expect a speedy response, and so when September rolled around and shortly after The Girl started kindergarten we still hadn’t heard anything, we weren’t all that surprised. And then there was the surgery for The Husband. That was great fun, let me tell you what. The man does not tolerate anasthesia well AT ALL. Good God, he was puking for almost an entire day. I was playing nursemaid to him, and then to the kidlettes when they got sick, one after another, for weeks and weeks and weeks, bitch and moan and whine and complain, I know, I know, yadda yadda yadda. But SERIOUSLY! And THEN? THEN??? When I was just about to have a wonderful 5 days out of town, all on my ownsome, I got sick. That so sucked. I mean, really REALLY sucked.

So finally, in October, The Husband found out that, lo and behold, his request had zipped right up the chain of command in a matter of, like, 10 days. But then St. Louis, the end point, decided to lose it. “What request?” they said. So obviously, we were meant to stay here in the flatlands, the bible suspenders of the midwest, indefinitely. Whatever. I can deal with that. And then a couple of days ago, three to be exact (yes, I know that’s not technically a couple, lay off-I’m telling a story here), The Husband calls St. Louis again to say “What the Hell?” and finds out that Oh, yeah, we DID have your paperwork, but we still have you listed in this program that you actually HAVEN’T been in for about 2 years now, and that’s what’s been holding the transfer up. So whaddya know, the very next day, Ta Da! We’re off to a new location, far from the midwest. Amazing what happens when people get their shit together and pay attention to the appropriate information.

So now the fun begins. The painting, the fixing of holes in the walls, replacing and repairing all the bits and pieces that have needed replacing and repairing for God know how long, but that we’ve been putting off for myriad reasons… all so we can try and sell the house by May. Fantastic timing, I have to say, painting in the winter is oh so much fun, especially when winter is usually fucking freezing from November until March, as in oh-my-god-it’s-HOW-COLD? For example, we had a record setting day of -86 degrees last winter. You heard me, NEGATIVE EIGHTY SIX DEGREES. It’ll be an adventure, that’s for damn sure…

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it’s a new and exciting kind of monotony

… THWACK-I’ve been slammed with adulthood. Crap.

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I know it’s been a stupid long time since I’ve been here, and for that, dear BlogSurfer.us (you’ve even changed your name! you sneaky little scamp), and readers (those of you whom there may or may not be), I do sincerely apologize. But here’s the thing. Life has been kind of, erm, fucked lately. Like, laundry-list-o-stupid-shit fucked. Some big, some little, some shrug off “meh” stuff, some “holy god you’ve got to be kidding shut the fuck up or I’ll do it for you” kind of stuff. And all the while, I kept thinking, I really need to write this. I really really really need to sit and write. But did I? Nooooooo. Did I curl up in the corner and cry like a baby? Yeah, a couple of times (ok, more than a couple times. Quit rolling your eyes, you lunatic of a sister, you). Did I seek solace in a few other places that shall remain nameless? Oh my yes. (You can stop shaking your head Professor, most of it was gin and tequila.) But did I sit down and write? Nope. Not a single freakin’ word. And wasn’t that the whole point of this blog in the first place? Uh, yeah, it was.  Carving out this little word-cave was supposed to give me a place to spew whatever blech I needed to so I wouldn’t have to slide into it and swim around until I was covered in the muck and dreck and dripping with ick. ‘Cause that shit is harder to get off than the sticky  shit that comes with the Easter hams. thankyouveryfuckingmuch.

And so here I am, we are, after a summer full of family drama/trauma, one kidlette in kindergarten and another in preschool, and a husband attempting to heal from back surgery. What? you say. Do explain! Drama? Trauma? Surgery? And what about being slammed with adulthood? That sounded painful! Yeah, well… there’s no one to play nurse-maid for ME, so slap a fucking bandaid on it, rub some dirt in your eye and get back in the game. Right? Fuck that, it fucking HURTS!!! And I’m TIRED! And everyone in this god forsaken house (which, by the way, hates me on some base level, but we’ll get to that later) is either broken, sick, 4-years-old, or some evil combination of the afore mentioned maladies.

Someone made the comment to me recently that “sucking it up”, although it is not technically a psychiatric term, really ought to be simply for it’s descriptive perfection. And she has the qualifications to say this, by the way, the MD after her name and everything. And she’s not one of those half-assed psych docs who get paid insane amounts of money to throw drugs at people without ACTUALLY doing any REAL therapeutic work with them. She’s a give-it-all-you’ve-got kind of doc, and dare I say human being in general, and I get to say this because, well, I’ve known her for that many years and through that many evolutions. But back to the “sucking it up” thing… So she makes this comment to me, and it was (is) so fucking appropos of the last couple of weeks.

(And yes, I know that EVERYONE has to just suck it up and get on with things, so don’t start finger waggling and head shaking and thinking Oh lord, here she goes again, all this Poor Me song and dance again because A. I’m venting here, that’s what this is for; B. Really? You think this is self-indulgent? and 3. Even those of you reading this who might 1. know me, 2. be related to me, or 3. think you may have some sort of strange stalker-esque soul connection with me, you still don’t know the whole story, so judge not lest ye be fucking judged. M’Kay? Yes, I’m a little touchy ’bout that. It’s an issue. I’m working on it.)

Moving on…

I had a point, there was one when I started this, although I think it may have morphed in the two days since I started writing. I was going to give you a sort of “best of” (hah-best of-more like blooper reel) recap… the reunions with two friends I haven’t seen in almost 20 years that made me feel indescribably loved, the family reunion that was strange in a California-meets-North Dakota in Montana sort of way (just think about that one for a minute, you’ll figure it out… it IS that descriptive, and it IS what you’re picturing… probably… just add elderly farmers and ranchers), and the annual family vacation that quite literally crushed a large part of my heart, twisted a medium sized chunk of my brain, and sucked just the smallest bit of my soul right out (no, not exaggerating on that one, and it all happened in the span of roughly, 0h, 10 minutes? 15?Families can be just so super duper sometimes). And then of course there’s the beginning of kindergarten, which is, dear Professor, beginning to atrophy The Girl’s brain already…

And then of course there’s The Husband’s back surgery and consequent convalescence, which does pretty much throw off my whole fucking day. As a person who is NOT built for constant companionship,  this constant companionship is driving me batshit. I keep thinking it wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t so broken, or if he was handling it better, or more helpful while he’s here ALL FUCKING DAY, but mostly it’s just that I’m The Mom. And at this point, I’m The Mom to a kindergartener, a preschooler, and what amounts to a college kid living in the basement. At least he’s not as stoned as he was before the surgery, and yes, he does help with the kidlettes, but there’s too much yelling. Too much impatience. Not enough love. Doubles my work, makes everyone feel like shit. Kids, me, Husband, everyone.  It’s like walking a very tight, very thin wire in bare feet-it cuts, and you bleed, but you have to stay up there and balance because you finally made it up there, you managed to get all the shit balanced in your hands, on your shoulders, and you’re keeping your eyes closed because if you open them you might not see the end of the wire-there might not be anywhere to set anything down. So yeah. I’m tired of sucking it up. And I’m just tired. Really fucking tired… and thirsty. Where’s the goddamn gin?

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mind the gap

… can we take her preschool teachers with us? 

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For those of you paying attention, I have one child who I know without out a doubt is terrifyingly smart. That’d be The Girl. The one who enters the public school system in the fall. Today is the last day she will ever spend in the wonderful world of Montessori preschool, where both of her teachers have given her three amazing years of freedom to explore her interests and talents while making sure that she doesn’t forget to cover the rest of the learning spectrum. They have spent countless hours of their own time searching the internet for extra worksheets to bring in for her so that she would be able to continue to progress at her own rate and not be held back simply because the rest of the class wasn’t working at the same level as she. And the results? I have a 5-year-old who reads at a fourth-grade and above level, adds, subtracts, multiplies, and is beginning to work with base-1o math. She understands the concepts behind basic chemistry — I couldn’t figure out how to “dumb down” the process of salt dissolving in water, so I wrote down the chemical equation and then sort of worked backwards from there. She so got it. So completely got it.

So when I dropped her off at her class today and her teachers asked me “what are you going to do with her?”, I started to cry. Because I honestly am terrified about public school. If you’re a smart kid and there are AP classes, you might be okay. But if you’re a REALLY smart kid, even the AP classes aren’t going to be enough. Unless you have teachers who are going to go way above and beyond the mark to keep you interested, into the cracks you fall. Like me. You get bored. You drop out. Maybe you go to college early. But you certainly don’t get the education you could have/should have, not if you’re stuck in the No Child Left Behind era.

This is where I step up on my soapbox and get REALLY self-righteous, so some readers may do well to turn away. Or feel free to fire back with nasty comments.

But as a child who DID get left behind, here’s the thing: the NCLB programs have done nothing less than dumb down our entire school system. The median remains the same, and yes, the lower quartiles may have been raised, but the higher quartiles are either dropping or dropping out. The best and brightest are being completely ignored and left to fend for themselves instead of being nurtured and trained to be the next generation of scientists, doctors, leaders, and great minds that we so desperately need in this country. Why do you think our country has gone to such shit over the last few decades? When I dropped out of highschool at 17 and was accepted into a private college (with academic scholarships, but no diploma, nor a GED mind you, just an insanely high ACT score), I immediately became frustrated because the college level courses seemed to me the level of what high school should have been. And again with grad school — seemed like what college should have been. I keep asking myself “when does the challenge happen?” I’ve concluded that it doesn’t. But it should. And it shouldn’t be just for those who can manage a private school education, either. Not everyone is built for college. That’s just the plain truth of it. Just like not everyone is meant to be a parent or a lawyer or a doctor. We all have our particular path in life, and there is no shame in being a mechanic or a salesperson, or a chef or a stylist, or even a fast food worker. Not if you do that job to the best of your ability, with pride of workmanship each and every day. But don’t you dare dumb down the schools to accommodate those who shouldn’t be there just for the sake of “fairness”. I got so screwed by that thinking, and fuck you if you’re going to do that to my kids. I’m not built to be a homeschooling mom, but dammit if I won’t work three jobs to find some private school or afford the gas to drive to the nearest charter school so my kids can get a real education.

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There will be no falling into the educational abyss for my children. I’m minding the gap.

it’s not apathy, it’s entropy

… according to the universe, Martha Stewart is a crappy housekeeper

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I had an epiphany the other day while I was trying not to see the pile of dishes out of the corner of my eye. For whatever reason, the law of entropy popped into my head. You know, that bit of science that says the universe is constantly trying to attain a state of chaos and that order is actually against the natural order of things? Well, I started to wonder why I couldn’t just apply that to my state of domesticity. I mean, if the universe truly IS striving for a state of chaos, and therefore chaos would be the universe’s natural and perfect state, then really, one could naturally conclude, nay, LOGICALLY conclude that the lack of order in my household is merely a representation of the perfect entropic state of the universe. Furthermore, following this logic, one could also LOGICALLY conclude that I am, therefore, a better housekeeper than Martha Stewart.

Wow. I even impressed myself a little on that one. Maybe MM was right — I should have gone into Public Relations.

dumbassery #2: oh crap – what if it’s genetic?

… I know I’m wrong, you know I’m wrong, and we both know I’m not going to budge, so lets just finish the fight, I’ll win like always, admit I’m wrong later, and make you a chocolate pie tomorrow. Deal?

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We are all guilty of dumbassery. Even me. I completely admit to acts of unnecessary, if not necessarily excessive, but maybe, probably, dumbassery upon more than one occasion. Per week. Maybe per day. Sometimes per hour. One of the best things about having small children is being able to blame at least a modicum of all that dumbassery on the children. I could probably still do that, as Thing 2 (yes, they’re back to Thing status again) is still technically a toddler and sucks out any energy that might possibly head up to my brain as excess for thought processes by, say, 6:30 am. With great zeal, I might add.

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Thing 1 just sort of adds a sucker punch when she starts to ask her version of kid questions, like ‘ why is the sky blue? Is it because the water is blue too? Or is the water blue because the sky is blue?’ Or she’ll start throwing out multiplication problems like, ‘mom, 10 times 12 is 120, right?’ while I’m trying to, say, balance the checkbook or write email, or even try to blog for that matter. My favorite is when she corrects me on my precision of speech. That one I take full responsibility for, because I have, both consciously and unconsciously, drilled into these children the importance of grammar and speech from the time they could theoretically hear the voices of their parents.

So by the time these children are done with their day, my brain is rather wobbly – kind of like jello. Which, btw, if hooked up to electrodes will register brain waves. Interesting.

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The point of all this preface? Preface? You say. This has all been PREFACE? There’s MORE? Yes, there’s more. But it’s likely that there are only one or two people actually reading this, and blogging is cathartic exercise in ego building anyway, so fuckit. THE POINT, as I was saying, is that I have been re-living a bit of dumbassery for several days and avoiding my own blog because of it. How sad it that. Pathetic. I know. I dumbassed myself into a state of cyber-embarrassment. Long story short, some questions ARE stupid questions (or questioning statements). And if you have a question, send it email, don’t post a comment. And definitely don’t post two comments. Keep the dumbassery to a minimum of participants for godssake. Don’t go spewing it all over the entire momosphere.

On the other hand, wow, what an ego, to think that these people have nothing better to do than point and laugh at the dumbass in the corner, way off in wordpress land, depending on condron.us to even generate hits let alone readers. And now that I’ve owned up to my acts of dumbassery cleared my conscience, maybe I can get back to more regular posting. God knows the Things have been giving me plenty of fodder lately…

an unnecessary excess of dumbassery (part 1)

… and yes, Sue on checkout aisle 27, I did still call your manager even though you changed your attitude once you saw me write down your name and aisle number.

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Being rude to a customer by making snide remarks to OTHER customers ABOUT said customer is blatant dumbassery, not to mention the complete antithesis of “Customer Service” which, Sue on checkout aisle 27, is what you are paid to give. So do your fucking job, and do it with a smile. Or move on to telemarketing or credit collections so when you’re a bitch, it’ll be over the phone, and it might actually be appropriate to your position.

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Here’s the thing – I worked retail for a very long time and I have a come to a point in my life where I have adopted a zero tolerance policy for shit customer service. If you happen to be my wait staff at an eating establishment, not only will your tip reflect your performance (including demeanor while at my table and whether or not you gossip with your coworkers on the work floor – hate that. Totally inappropriate.), but I will fill out any available comment card, and if I’m really peeved about the service, I WILL call the management or even (gasp) write and actual letter using an ink pen and paper made from a tree. Yes, it’s archaic, but it does tend to make a statement.

Silly woman, you mutter. (Yes, I can hear you out there – and you with the diet Coke – either quit belching or say excuse me. Good God! Manners, people!) You’re wasting your time… and killing trees! Death to the tree killer! First, settle down, it’s recycled paper.  And as for my time, I don’t feel like I’m wasting it. Because I don’t understand why it became okay to not do your best, to be your best, at whatever you do. Even if you don’t like it. It’s called work ethic. It’s called pride of workmanship. I don’t care if you’re flipping burgers or building fucking rockets. YOU DO YOUR BEST EVERY SINGLE TIME, and you ALWAYS TRY YOUR HARDEST to GET IT RIGHT.

So for you, Sue on checkout aisle 27, that means you don’t sneer to the customer ahead of me and say “I just hate those customers who pile up their groceries like that. I mean, I’ll get it done, just slow down lady”. You don’t then glance at me out of the corner of your eye, glare down at my groceries on your conveyer belt, purposely NOT push the button to move the belt forward to allow me another chunk of space to put the remainder of my items on the line, and then chuckle to yourself as you leisurely conclude your transaction with the customer ahead of me. Because, Sue on checkout aisle 27, I WILL take down your name and aisle number and I WILL call your supervisor, you store manager, and whomever else I need to in order to feel satisfied that my frustration as a paying customer has been taken seriously. And no, I will not include the fact that your attitude changed when you noticed that you’re behavior was being noted. That’s not personal work ethic, that’s fear of punishment, and that doesn’t count. And no, it doesn’t matter that once you realized my items were actually stacked for YOUR CONVENIENCE and to MAKE YOUR JOB EASIER your were actually rather friendly. None of that matters, Sue on checkout aisle 27, because you treated me with initial disdain and rudeness.

I have lived in The Other Dakota for almost 6 years – my tolerance for excessive dumbassery is reaching its limit.

dear condron.us,

thank for sending all the readers. I just wish that they’d keep coming back when I’m NOT on the top of the top 100 list… 

your’s truly.

the help