Thursday, April 27, 2006

Advice I gave my son today

Relationships should bring out the best in you. By relationships, I mean all kinds, be it friends or boyfriends/girlfriends.

Signs they are bad for you (or you're bad for them):

  • You feel bad when you finish talking to them.
  • You can't get your work, homework, or studying done (or done right).
  • Your grades or work performance suffer since being close to them.
  • You find yourself doing things you used to consider wrong.
  • You make excuses for their bad behavior.
  • You keep things you all say or do a secret (because you're afraid of getting in trouble or being embarrassed).
  • You're in trouble more often since being close to them.
  • You compromise or sacrifice the dreams or goals you had before knowing them.
  • You compromise your standards and values since being close to them.
  • You treat others around you poorly since knowing them.

The list could go on, but you get the idea. Being close to someone means discovering who you are and what you can be together, not losing yourself for what they want.

Look around. If you're in one of these relationships, grow a backbone and stand up for who you are, what you want, what you believe, and what's important to you. You are too valuable to lose.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Unsexy man? I think not!

So, some idiot columnist on made a list of the Unsexiest Men Alive.  Actually, it was two idiots.  Two MEN idiots.  Begs the question, what do they know about judging sexy men?

Never heard of  I can't imagine why not, being the entertainment experts that they are (not).  They even have a column exclusively about Moonsigns.  Wow.  (No wonder they thought it was a good idea for two men to write a list of unsexy men.)

Anyhow, #6 was dearly beloved Chad Kroeger. Oh, they did not.

How anyone (female) can hear that voice and watch him in all his rock-starness (see right) and not get tingly in the toes, I just don't know....  For pity sake, just LOOK at him!

I think they're just jealous. Hmph.

The depth of their idiocy went further, when they said he was listed for being in Nickelback, which they called the worst band ever. Oh really? Hey fellas, here's a photo (below) of Nickelback winning Group of the Year (and Album of the Year) at the 2006 Juno Awards (the Canadian Grammies).

Take that,  Must be deaf and blind.  Besides being idiots, that is.

So, rock on, Chad.  I got your back...and anything else you'd like me to get. Haha!  

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's really not that hard...really!

You've heard me say it before. Why can't people just do what they're supposed to do? Today, I'm left wondering, whatever happened to integrity?

You might remember a post in which I talked about a woman at work ("G") who refused to do her work properly, especially if I was the one asking her to do it. She'd report it complete and correct, but it wasn't. Even the corrections weren't correct. We went in circles for weeks! Why? Because the boss insisted that those responsible for the mistakes should fix them, and learn from them. It would have been easier for me to fix it, but she wouldn't have learned from it. (Or had the chance to learn from it. I'm not convinced the lesson stuck.)

So, we've been working on this huge project, with me taking the leadership role (again) with the group. "F" did well with it, but seemed almost too fast sometimes. We tested the system today and found two significant problems, totally of his doing. These are things he should have done properly in the first place, but he took the lazy way out and did a half-assed job.

Did he own up to it? Did he say, "Sorry, my bad. I'll get right on that"? Certianly not, or you wouldn't be hearing about it. Instead, I got:
"Uhm, I dont' think it's fair that I should have to correct that myself. That's going to be a real pain in the a--."

Mind you, I'm not a confrontational person, but I'd had it. This guy is in my office, bugging me, about six times each morning about what he doesn't like or what's "not his job." This was the last straw for today, and it came at about 9 AM. My response was a curt: "It's a pain in the a-- of your own making. Yes, it's fair."

I've spent the day with him whispering behind my back about that. Not a shred of taking responsibility for his mistake. Just complaints about how "it's not fair" that he have to fix it.

Reminds me of a particular Scotsman in California.

The Cliff's Notes version: Do not buy ANYTHING from Clansman Knitwear, at They have no interest in getting your order to you.

The long version: I ordered two shirts in February. A month later, I hadn't heard anything, so I emailed. And emailed. After several days, I received a call from a lovely woman who explained the mixup at the warehouse and said she was sending me an extra shirt for free. Nice! I should have had them in three days.

TWO shirts were mailed to me. A WEEK later. That's mailed, not received. And guess what? They were the wrong ones.

So, I'm called and emailing again. Days later, I get a call from the owner, Ralph. Thick Scottish brogue. I have to admit falling for the charm in that! I believed that he was making it right for me, although I had to tell him what my original order was.

Again, days passed into weeks. Nothing. I spoke with Ralph one more time. He even told me he'd send a SASE for the wrong shirts, if I'd please send them back. Guess what? You got it -- NOTHING.

This time, though, my emails and calls went unanswered. I finally contacted their local BBB, and found they had a history of such complaints. I also found that I could file a complaint with the FTC, who would investigate them for consumer rights violations and take legal action. They also recommended that I forward my information to the state Attorney General.

So, I wrote Ralph one more time, to let him know the Attorney General was about to learn his name. THAT got a response. However, Ralph blamed his staff for letting me down. He never took responsibility for dropping the proverbial ball himself. I mean, he spoke with me twice and knew how upset I was. He knew I was looking into the BBB and disputing the charge with my bank. But he didn't take ownership of the problem and see it through himself. He passed it off to someone else (allegedly) and they dropped it (in his story).

It boils down to integrity. Will you own up to it and take responsibility? Will you learn from solving the problem? Or will you pass it off as someone else's problem and make your escape?

Listen, we all make mistakes. It's what we do about them that shows the stuff we're made of.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Survey says....!

Sometimes, when your life seems it's darkest, a little trash TV is just the salve you need.

I was watching Family Feud last night. Man oh man, did Richard Karn have his hands full! On one side was a family dressed in pseudo-matching gold shirts/blouses (except for one fella who opted for a flashy gold satin, yeah). On the other side was a family who thought wearing hillbilly teeth on national, syndicated TV was a capital idea.

The gold shirt people handled most of the play time, but the hillybilly teeth kept stealing the points. By the end of it, I laughed my head off and felt a tad better for it. Sometimes, it's just unbelievable how stupid people can make themselves look to an entire nation.

Richard: "Name something with the word 'sponge' in its name or title."
"Spongebob!" Good answer! Good answer! "Survey says...." ::ding::
"Sponge bath!" Good answer! Good answer! "Survey says...." ::ding::
"Sponge cake!" Good answer! Good answer! "Survey says...." ::ding::
"Sponge nose!" Good answer! Good answer!

... Richard looks astonished....

"Survey says...." ::RRRR:: Strike one!
"Sponge cleaner!" Good answer! Good answer!

... Richard looks a little baffled....

"Survey says...." ::RRRR:: Strike two!

Richard to Satin Shirt: "Okay, you have two strikes. Your opponents are set to steal if you miss this answer. What'll it be?"

Satin Shirt: "Well, Richard, if I-uz in trouble with the law, I'd want my record..." Get ready for it. "...esponged."

Richard Karn had the best "WTF?" face I've ever seen, as the gold shirt family hollered "Good answer! Good answer!"

Hillbilly teeth stole the points and won the round. Shock and awe.

I saw the second best "WTF?" face when Satin Shirt was in the same one-more-strike-and-you-lose position and was asked to name a country that people admire. Canada is on the board. France, Italy, England.

And Satin Shirt says, (I'm seriously not making this up) "Europe!"

For a moment, I wondered how this man made the team. Then I heard to enthusiastic chorus of "Good answer!" and knew all I needed to.

Not that the Hillbilly Teeth family was much better, mind you. In the bonus round, they made 72 points (you need 200). Highlight:
"Name something you see at the side of the road."

And the man was emphatic about it. Evidently, the survey people haven't been to his neighborhood.

Okay, so I know I shouldn't laugh at stupid people. They can't help it. But I needed the laugh and they were on national TV. Better than chicken soup.

---- Update: No kidding, I heard this one the other day: "Name something people stick pins in." Answer: "Their eyes." Wow.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


It's hot. Not outside. Inside.

I know, I can hear y'all now: "But you live in TEXAS, Blogget! What do you expect?"

Some people are surprised to learn that we get snow here. Well, most years. It seems the only consistent weather pattern we have around here anymore is wind. Anyhow, it's not all sun and sweltering here. We actually have winter.

But this is in my office! 9:30 AM and it's 80 degrees in here! For the love of all that's holy and comfortable, why can't they manage to fix an air conditioner? The summers have always been unbearable in this building, on the upper floor (there's only two!). I think the A/C man's truck has a permanent parking spot around back.

Wouldn't you LOVE to have a job where you can accomplish nothing good, day in and day out, and still be paid? Still have a job?

So, we all invest in fans. That means we now have wind inside, too.

The drone of the fans can lull you into dreamland in no time. So...::yawn::...I'll talk to y'all later....zzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, April 10, 2006

His best friend

Honest, that's what he called me. He said I was the best friend he had, so he had to make sure things were worked out with me. What do you make of that?

As expected, he called back tonight. I'll spare you the color commentary and jump right into the Cliff's Notes version.

I explained myself a little more calmly. He's asking the impossible - for me to accept that he should take our children on a trip with his daughter (from the second marriage), his new girlfriend, and her son. For pity sake, they've been going out a very short time and they want to have this Big Happy Family trip with all the kids? How fair is that to the kids if this "just dating" thing doesn't work out? That's not even mentioning the appropriateness question.

Remove the girlfriend from the picture. I also don't believe he can handle the kids properly. Mr. Teenage Attitude can really push the limits. And he (my ex) is very insensitive to our daughter's viewpoint of everything. He's quickly forgotten the pain he inflicted when he sprung a new (and unpleasant) stepmom on them, quickly followed by a new baby. Those things don't go away so fast. And my daughter is particularly sensitive and that won't change. It's who she is.

The traveling thing is out for now. He does, however, want to spend more time with the kids. "I have to get your trust back," he said. Baby steps, because I'm hard to convince. I don't take chances with them.

For what it's worth, the new girlfriend had already suggested that he needed to spend more time with our daughter, doing things that interest her. So, she's seen the inequity, too. That must make it pretty hard for him to argue with me.

For the record, he still hasn't won an argument with me.

The best part of being a divorced mom....

...really has to be dealing with your ex-husband/kids' father. No, really. It's delightful.

(Is the sarcasm dripping from your screen yet?)

He wasn't this way when we dated. Honestly. He was attentive and loving and caring and romantic. He adored me and showed it. A few years later, he made a career change. I won't name the business, but it's one where you're always "on" and have to really promote yourself. I didn't want him to become that. He promised; his family would always be #1.

He was wrong.

It didn't take long for him to expect everything to revolve around him. He made some astonishingly selfish choices and things degraded from there. I could no longer trust him in any way. Now, he's a completely self-centered asshole. It's hard to watch your kids have to learn that for themselves about their own dad, while he lets them down repeatedly. I hate that heartache for them.

He's just past his second divorce now, from a marriage that was a surprise to everyone, with a child that was a surprise to everyone. My daughter didn't take the surprise well. This little creature was taking what little attention she got from her dad. She's understandably resentful. As is my son, who was asked his opinion of the woman only to be told it didn't really matter because Dad had married her over the weekend. It was a bad scene, beginning to end.

He has a new girlfriend, who has a son. My kids like her and she seems nice enough. The problem I have isn't with her, really, but how my ex is handling this. My kids stand by and watch him wrestle and play with her son just like he used to with them. You can guess how that bugs them.

My daughter already has issues about "How much does Daddy love me?" because he doesn't get jazzed about her activities like he does my son's. It's sports vs dance, so guess which one gets Dad's attention and applause? I know, I know -- it shouldn't be either/or, but it is with him. The man just doesn't see the lopsided treatment he gives, no matter what's said.

This morning, Wonder Dad called me. He wanted to know if he and his girlfriend could take the kids out of town, to a ball game in Dallas.

Wow, was that the wrong button to push.

I went ballistic. I let him have it, with both everything-I-can't-stand-about-you barrels. First, there's the issue of traveling with someone he's just dating. I mean, it's not like they are even engaged or have been going out for long. And they want to pack up her kids and mine and go stay in a hotel together. Oh, lovely moral example, Dad.

Even if she wasn't in the picture, I wouldn't agree to this. Just look at what he's suggesting -- a activity (ball game) that only he and my son are interested in. As is usual in such situations with him, he has my daughter there to babysit his little daughter. He's taking care of his own wants and needs, disregarding the little girls who don't fit the picture. It just works out nicely for him that one is able to babysit the other. Lovely, lovely.

You read what my daughter is going through. She just can't take a slight from her Dad right now. And I really don't know how he'd handle the crap my son is dishing out lately. He tends to say things like, "If you think you can whip me, then we'll go outside right now." Great parenting technique. That's what I want -- a crying, heartbroken girl and a boy worried about physical punishment from his dad, all 300 miles away.

I hate getting mad like that. I was relentless. He tried at one point to say, "Listen, according to the divorce decree, I can...."

I cut him off and said, in my best I'll-cut-your-balls-off-and-feed-them-to-you voice, "You want to push that decree? Try it. I can push back. Things will get really ugly and you will not like how it turns out." Don't threaten the mama lion, you pill-poppin', self-centered, nutjob.

The thing is that money speaks with this guy, more than anything else. When the decree was written, he LIED to the court to get his child support set lower. I've never pushed that, but I certainly will if I have to.

"Don't threaten me," he responded. Ha. Watch me.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's a mean, mean world

Life isn't so easy for my easy child.

My mother picked her up from school yesterday. She has a way of disarming kids, so that they eventually talk about things they don't want to talk about. I think it has something to do with ice cream.

At that same moment, I was talking to one of my daughter's teachers. We discussed some trends we've seen with her behavior and possible solutions. When I got off the phone, my mother called and told me about the conversation she had with my daughter.

My heart is broken. Why does the world have to be so mean for kids?

My child is very much like me as a child. She is imaginative and often "in her own world." We just have odd thoughts richoceting around in our heads and it's distracting! She is tall for her age and looks like your classic porcelain doll, with ivory skin and a mass of jet black curls. All of this makes her very unique and memorable. Unfortunately, it also makes her a target.

She has a very open, loving, trusting personality. She doesn't understand why anyone would not want to be her friend. I remember once when she was little, she climbed into the ball pit at Chuckee Cheese's. She said the the little girl in there, "Do you want to be my friend and play with me?" The girl said, "No." My daughter turned towards me and yelled from the ball pit, "SHE SAID NO!! SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BE MY FRIEND!!" She was completely flabberghasted and wanted to share her shock.

Now, she just cries.

Apparently, she is sitting at the back of the room in most of her classes, with girls she once considered friends. They discovered that she is easily distracted by noise. It completely disrupts her brain. So, they make noise. Incessantly.

"I'm the kid everyone likes to play tricks on," she said. "And they laugh and think it's funny. Not many people like me."

That made my mother cry. It made the teacher cry, too, when I asked for her help. I cried, remembering that pain all too well. A classroom of kids laughing at the jokes being made at my expense. Name calling. Sneers. The delighted looks as they broke your heart. What was fun about that? What was it about me that they felt I deserved that? I have never understood. Words really can hurt as much as sticks and stones.

And my child is living it, too. I enlisted the teacher's help, in such a way as my daughter's name won't be known as the "victim." She felt so bad for her. She's just been telling me what a spectacular kid she is, then we learn about this private hell she's been enduring.

You just want to hold them and protect them all of their lives. I hate that I can't. The school does anti-bully activities and such, but something just doesn't get through.

If you have kids or even just know kids, make sure they know the damage their words or unkindness can bring. I have the scars still, thirty-some-odd years later. I have memories I'll never share with anyone because I'm too ashamed. And it's happening to another generation. There are other ways to deal with someone who is a little different. Hurting them isn't the answer -- getting to know them is.

For now, I want to keep the world away from her, even though that's not realistic. I'd do just about anything to take away that pain.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"I have a headache THIS big...."

...and it has LIFE written all over it!

I'm stressed to the gills today. Writing makes me feel better. So, here I am, dear diary.

Do you ever just reach a point where one more thing happens and your brain snaps? I mean, I could almost hear it snap like a twig.

"Darling child of mine, what's this in your folder?"
"A progress report."
"This looks pretty bad. Why didn't I see this two weeks ago?" (reading the date on it.)
"Uhm, I had Nana sign it."
"Yeah, so I wouldn't get in trouble. I told her it was old, though."
"Well, you're in a lot more trouble now. What's this zero on your homework?"
"I didn't finish it."
"You've had four days now. Is it finished yet?"
"Why? You've been saying you didn't have homework this week."
"I dunno."

The end of the grading period is tomorrow. I can't do a danged thing about it now. The teachers probably wonder why they haven't heard from me, the hands-on parent. I can only hope my dear child pulled out the stops and brought up those grades on her own. Anyone laying bets on that?

And this is my easy child. She never does this kind of thing.

My son has been Mr. Attitude this week. Too much going on, with the time change, loads of homework, baseball, and the city track championship. I'm hearing some things about him and a particular girl that I hope aren't true. She is a typical teenager and can't keep her mouth shut, so her bragging makes its way to me. If she's honest, then he's lying. There's conversation #2 that I have to have tonight, but never wanted to have at all.

My boyfriend lost his job. It's not as bad as it sounds, but it's not good. It was only a part-time student job, but it was in his career field. The boss really targeted him and it looks as though the reason cited are bogus, so it wasn't a great environment to be in. Still, he has some trouble finding jobs because he has a rare disorder that is slightly disfiguring. It seems to turn people off. I worry about him not finding another job in his career field.

I'm concerned (again) about how our relationship is going right now. I'm getting that something's-going-on-and-I-dont-see it feeling. On the phone, he talks about all sorts of romantic ideas for our date nights. Then, the day of and in person, he says, "I dunno. What do you want to do?" Romance ::poof!:: forgotten. It's disheartening.

I think my aunt is dying and I haven't seen her in a long while. Her husband died last week and my folks traveled to his funeral. They were shocked at her state of debilitation. My mom wants to go visit again, but my dad hates this aunt. I'm in the middle of their bickering about it, and Mom's worry over her sister.

I got a kick-ass evaluation at work. So, I asked my boss about opportunities for advancement for me, in some restructuring that will happen at work soon. Totally broadsided the poor woman. She stammered and groped around for an answer, but honestly hadn't thought about it. That was disturbing. I mean, I don't want to be Director of Everything, but I'm over-educated and over-qualified for my position since finishing my Master's degree. I have proven a higher level of responsibility, especially in a leadership role. I like what I do, but I can do so much more! I'd like to move past the entry-level position I'm in. But she's never thought about it. I don't like the sound of that.

I've been traveling -- respresenting our division at international, national, and state conferences, presenting sessions and research, working on research with a high-powered woman who ranks well above my boss. So, I've visible outside of this little sphere of influence. I hate the thought of looking elsewhere, but I might have to.

I want a doctorate. I just have to find out how to pay for it. And have the time for it.

I haven't managed to finish the school newsletter yet, and it's deadline day. They'll just have to understand this time that I had bigger things going on.

I miss my dog.

Okay, stress-vent over for now. Thanks for listening :o)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Does this make sense?

Okay, so I've been getting emails from some guy who calls himself MC. It's tidbits of this romantic writing he's done about some woman he's supposedly worshipping like a goddess. He tells me it has -- gulp -- 15 parts! He says, "I'll keep sending it to you, to get you in the mood."

Wait. "In the mood"? I don't think so.

So, just to be sure we're on the same page, he knows nothing about me. Hasn't read the blog. I mean he knows NOTHING. He asks one question of me -- will I send him a picture? Uhm, no.

See, I'm no idiot. I fully realize that I'm not the only woman he's sending this to, to get her "in the mood." For what, he never specifically says, but the nature of the writing makes it a safe assumption. So, I tell him that if the writing is supposed to be "mood-inspiring," then it loses some impact when you know it's not for you, but instead going to many women.

That apparently wasn't clear.

He writes back and tells me I'm oh-so-wrong. The 15-parter was actually written about and for a specific woman he knows.

Let's check this again. He's hoping to get other women "in the mood" by sending them romantic writings (in 15 parts) definitely meant for another woman.

There's something about women and getting them "in the mood" that he's missing. Yes?

He makes no attempt to get to know me. He doesn't read my profile or any of the blog. He just wants my picture and wants me to melt into a puddle of romantic surrender, in 15 parts. Be still my heart. How can I possibly resist.

For anyone who has read this blog for long, you know how much his kind of attitude gets under my skin. So, do you think I resisted the urge to tell him why this isn't appealing to me? You know me so well, my friends!

So, I told him. He took exception and said I just didn't "get it." Oh no, I "get it" pretty clearly. He's the one not "getting IT," if you know what I mean. I told him to stop writing to me.

He ignored me (surprise) to let me know he could write a NOVEL of this stuff, but the message degraded into indecipherable nonsense. Scary. Again, I told him to stop writing to me.

He ignored me again to say he didn't want to waste any more time on me and -- get this -- told me to stop replying! Is that rich or what? "I'm going to ignore your request to stop writing, but you better stop replying!" Does this make sense to anyone else?

I blocked him. But not before replying to tell him so.

Glam I Am (Not)

I realized something last night, while at the ball park. Some women can pull off the wind-blown look and still have sex appeal.

I am not one of them. Wind makes me look like a bag lady.

We have lots of wind here. Wind and dirt, once the cotton comes in and there's nothing to hold down the soil. Check out the pic of Texas Tech on a windy day. No, the coloring hasn't been altered -- that's reality.

In the spring time, Mother Nature throws in some rain with the wind and dirt. Ever seen blowing mud? Welcome to Lubbock.

My hair is curly. Always has been and I've never resented it. As though you haven't guessed already, I like being an individual. Red, curly hair certainly makes me memorable.

I got a hair wrap a couple of weeks ago. I can hide it to be my professional self, then let it down with the curls to be my funky self. For the couple of months it'll last, I'm going to enjoy it, but some people just don't get it. Some people = my ex.

"So, what's the hair thing represent?"
"'Represent?' It doesn't 'represent' anything, other than I like it."
"Yeah, but what does it mean? What's the significance?"
"It's just me. That's all. Just fun."

He hmpfed at me.

I now own a hoodie. If you're going to blow the glam thing anyhow, might as well do it completely! I love baseball season, so I won't be staying in. So, while it's cool enough, it's either bag lady or hoodie for me.