Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why I Blog.

I love blogs. I love writing this blog. I love reading blogs.

I read blogs for many reasons. I read the funny ones, the inspiring ones, the ones that show the amazing things someone with mad skillz can make with yarn. I love displays of creativity and craftiness. I love people articulately expressing opinions, whether I agree with them or not.

I read blogs that make me feel normal. The ones where moms want to pop other people's kids upside the head. The ones where people want to tell their bosses to fuck off. I feel less bad about hating certain types of people when I see that other people hate them too. It's comforting to know that I'll have someone to sit next to in Hell.

I suppose that's why I write, too. I put it all out there because I'm an external affirmation whore and I need other people to tell me that I'm normal, or, at least, that I'm the kind of abnormal that's fun and entertaining and not totally creepy.

I also write because I'm cheap. And when I unload a ton of heavy emotional shit on you like I did last time, I almost feel guilty. I'm saving a ton of money in therapy bills. Just so you know, I'm saving it for my kids' therapy fund.

Speaking of The Apes, I blog because I want to remember the wacky shit that my kids do (which reminds me, I need to share a poem that Pie wrote), and I like to look back over my posts from the year before and see how I've grown as a parent.

I blog because I loooove feeling like I this blog is a really big secret and only the coolest people can know about it. I like knowing that people who have never met me know what panties I'm wearing to my Inlaws', and want to know how much butter I'm putting in my desserts. I've even gotten butter-intensive recipes from readers. That's so cool.

I write to entertain, to inform, and to purge myself of all the profane rants that percolate inside of me. I blog to avoid some of the realities of my life (like housework) by confronting and sharing other realities of my life (like depression).

Which brings me, tangentially, to why I'm blogging today:

The honeymoon is over. I need to find a job.

Remember the last time I looked for a job? Here's an excerpt from my post from March 26, 2007.

"Friday I had my second interview at Vandelay Industries downtown, so I figured R and my parents could take the kids to the City Museum just down the street and I could meet them afterwards. I felt great about the interview. Here's one of the highlights. I'm paraphrasing, of course -

So, tell us a little about yourself, Penny!

Well, for the last six years I've been a stay-at-home mom, but I'd always planned to go back to work when my youngest started Kindergarten. So this opportunity has come up a year earlier than I'd expected to go back to work, but I decided that I'd rather pursue it now rather than wait until it was the ideal time and hope that there was a good job available, cuz I'd really prefer not to go back to retail... I mean, there's nothing wrong with retail, but I'm 36 years old and I'm kinda too old to be folding jeans for a living... I did my time at The Gap ten years ago... I mean, if there's a Jean-Folding Emergency, I'm your man. Just a little sumthin' extra I'm bringin' to the table...

I assure you, if I hadn't gotten the inside information that what was keeping me in the running for this job was not so much my work experience but rather my youthful exuberance, I probably wouldn't have said all that, but I opted to just go ballz out and be my lil ol' effervescent self. And I think it went well. The interviewers laughed at my jokes this time. When I arrived, the girl I'd be working with actually told me that this interview would be informal and that they just wanted some more people in the office to meet me. I took it as a good sign.

Anyway, after the interview I was to walk to The City Museum to meet R, my parents, and the Apes. On the map, it doesn't look it was that far from where my interview was. In reality, it's about fifteen city blocks. Not a big deal, I've walked farther than that, I wasn't worried about it. But then it started to rain. No problem, I had an umbrella.

Cut to a shot of me walking down the street in the rain with a broken umbrella. In heels. For fifteen blocks. The good news? I was wearing my Power Panties."

I didn't get the job. I didn't care.

I don't want a job. I have a job. My job is being here in case anybody needs me. I have gotten used to setting my own schedule, for the most part, and answering to no one but me. Since going on bed rest when I was pregnant with Pie, I have been a stay at home mom. This is the first time I've had more than a couple of hours to myself during the day in eight years. I rather like it.

And, in a way, I feel I've earned a sabbatical. The way I see it, I've banked all of the fifteen minute breaks people who have regular 40-hour a week jobs get in an eight-hour workday and I'm opting to take them as a lump sum.

Then there's the fact that I really, REALLY hate writing resumes and cover letters. It's depressing. I hate reducing three years of work experience into a single sentence. I hate trying to summarize myself. I never know what to say. I don't feel like I come across accurately in summary form. I'm way too complex.

I hate seriousness and formality. It's not Me. I don't interview well. I get really flustered and I feel like they can tell how uncomfortable I am. If they had an open bar at a job interview, they'd hire me in half a second.  But then I'd probably slip and say, "Oh, I should tell you about my blog!"

I wish I could put Pevely Flea Market Costume Contest Winner 2006, 2007, and 2008 on my resume. If they're not impressed by that, then I don't want to work for them.

Yeah, we skipped Pevely this year.  BUT, we're going to Trunk or Treat on Friday, and this year's costumes are some of the best I've ever done.  There will be pictures. 

Oh, here's a good pic of The Green Dress, before we left for the Reunion.

Should I wear it to my interview? 

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Inner 7th Grader Takes a Beating.

I loved my awesome green party dress. Loved, loved, LOVED it. I loved the color, the fit, the fact that I found it in a thrift shop for $15, and the way Kev's mom fixed it to look absolutely perfect on me.  My glorious shoulder freckles looked magnificent. 

I really was looking forward to knockin 'em dead at my reunion.  I wasn't a bit nervous in the car on the drive to fancypants downtown Clayton, because I knew at least one person slated to attend had gained more weight since high school than I have. There was a deliciously morbid comfort in that.

My only fear - more of a concern than a fear, really - was that given the guest list, it might be a little bit boring. And when I get bored, I get creative. And when I'm drunk and bored, my kind of creativity might frighten some people.  It might delight those who know the post-high-school Penny Karma I have since become, but I didn't drink at all until college, so my high school pals have witnessed plenty of Creative Sarah, but not Drunk Sarah. 

And I was reasonably sure that the uberconservative George Dubya High School alumni weren't ready for Creative Drunk Penny.

Out of the 85 people in my graduating class, only about 30 were signed up to attend. Of the 30, I only cared about 5 or 6. I couldn't care less what Kimmey Fiero, Stereotypical New Money Stinkin Rich Gorgeous Barbie Doll Cheerleader Snotrag is faring in her illustrious career as a Trophy Wife.  In fairness, she was never really outright viscious to me exactly, but that's only because she didn't want to squander her precious Cheerleader Spirit energy on a peasant like myself.

We ran into Kimmey Fiero in the elevator. 

She is one of only a handful of people with whom I can't even bluff my way through a fake conversation full of nothing more than small talk and pleasantries. I don't care what she's done over the last twenty years, and I know she doesn't give two shits about me either.

She did that sappy obligatory "Oh, hiiiiiiiiii!  How great to seeeeeeeee you! You look fan-taaaaaa-stic!" bullshit. I was smirking through clenched teeth, choking on the words I wanted to say, which were "fuck off, you emaciated twat," or something like that.

We joked uncomfortably about how long the elevator was taking to get to the roof. The ding of the elevator brought an audible collective sigh of relief, and she pranced off to look for her uppercrust kinfolk, who apparently had better things to do that night. Kimmey left after less than an hour because nobody cool was there.

The very instant R and I stepped out of the elevator, Julie Wigglesworth yelled from across the room, "HEY, THERE'S MY LITTLE CEASAR'S BUDDY!!!" in a pathetically overt attempt to humiliate me in front of my husband.  See my last post if you don't know what I'm talking about. 

She was hoping to out me, I'm sure.  It didn't work.  I laughed, said, "Oh, Julie, this is my husband R. You met my friend Kev a couple of weeks ago (turning to R) - Kev and I ran into her at Little Ceasar's when we were picking up dinner for the kids (turning back to Julie) - Kev and his wife are so great, in fact, they're watching our kids for us right now!"

Derailed that shit, didn't I?

As the night went on, I learned some interesting things. One of my former classmates ran into another fellow former classmate at, of all unlikely places, a strip club several years ago. The mother of a friend of mine died, which made me extremely sad to hear.  FOUR of my friends had each popped out two more kids since I'd last seen them.  I've popped out two more since the ten-year too, come to think of it.

I drank. A lot.

I offered (read: threatened) to whip my boobs out as part of a fundraiser for the Alumni Association.

People told me how hilarious my Facebook updates are, and I snickered to myself, because those people have no idea that I'm waaaay funnier without the Facebook Filter in place.

I got defriended on Facebook 24 hours after the reunion.

It was a nice night, really.  My effervescent personality sparkled brilliantly.  I was really delighted to be able to introduce my husband to people who have known me longer than he has. R, I would like to add, looked dapper and amazing, and he got to know several of my friends, which was really cool. 

And the next day (yesterday), the pics appeared.

I look hideous in the pics everyone is posting. I looked horrible in the pics at the ten-year too. I look gigantically pregnant in the pic that wound up in the Alumni Newsletter. I was mortified by how underdressed I was for the ten-year, so I was going to overcompensate this time.  I'd been stewing about it for a decade.


The invite called for "Smart Casual" attire. What the fuck does that even mean???  People wore jeans. That pissed me off, a little. I glammed it up and wound up with pictures of my backfat posted for the world to see. Look.

Oh, and notice my buddy Newman (who made sexually suggestive remarks to me every single day for six years, back in the days before I would have been as tickled by it as I would be today) making out with his adorable wife on the right side of the pic.

I wish I didn't look so hideous in the pics, because that's what the people who weren't there are going to see and use to draw their own conclusion about how well I've aged. Of course I know that there are some folks who would be ripping on me no matter what I wore, which is why I chose to wear a dress that made me happy.  And I was happy... until yesterday's rude awakening.

I really thought I looked awesome. People told me I looked spectacular, and I believed them.  And now here I was faced with the reality - and relative permanence - of these wretched, unflattering photographs floating about the internet.  I really wanted to blow my classmates away, and instead, I made a complete ass of myself. 

Here I was having a great time, thinking I looked bloody freakin amazing, and the whole time I had no idea I looked so Huttish in my shiny green dress.  I am totally embarrassed, and there's nothing I can do about it now.

To their credit, R and Kev and Rip and my beloved loves have all reminded me of my beauty.  R told me he thought I looked stunning and he was proud to be with me, but it's almost like hearing it from your dad. You know he means it, but you also know he would never tell you that you were anything less than beautiful.  I was too deep in a self-loathing funk to listen.

I feel disgusting, enormous, amorphous, gross, and above all, incredibly foolish.  I want to throw up.  I want to take a scalding hot shower and scrub my skin with steel wool.  I want to crawl into bed with a box of Oreos and a bottle of Schnapps.

I know I'm taking it far too seriously.  I know I'm totally overreacting.  I know I'm making a big deal out of something that's really not a big deal.  I know I'll get over it.  But right now, I feel like everybody else was in on a big hilarious joke...

and that joke was me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Heard It Through The Grapevine.

You might not have known this about me, but I'm not big on the Forgive And Forget thing. I know it's unhealthy to go through life bitter, but I bear grudges against people who have pissed me off FOREVER.


Why do I bring this up? Because I'm still pissed off at Julie Wigglesworth (aka "The Grapevine") for telling the entire world when I was literally - LITERALLY - the only person cut from the girls' basketball team tryouts because I kept forgetting to inbound the ball. And she'll be at my 20-year reunion this weekend.

Kev and I ran into Julie at Little Ceasar's last week when we were picking up dinner for The Apes. I can't wait to see what rumors get started via "The Prayer Chain", which is basically where everyone spills whatever juicy piece of gossip they have uncovered.

"Ladies, we need to pray for Penny Karma's marriage... I saw her last week WITH ANOTHER MAN!!! (insert collective gasp of horror amidst clinking of teacups)" And by the way, whenever you add food to one of these dirt-dishing sessions, it's doesn't count as gossip.

Snark + Snacks = FELLOWSHIP. Just tellin ya.

I was briefly tempted to bring Kev to my reunion, but I think it'll be way funnier if I bring my trophy husband R and try to send Julie silent but comically overt signals to keep mum about the fact that she totally busted me with my boyfriend. Whatever. R and I have no secrets from each other, but I'll take the high road and let her think she got the scoop of the century, because I'm the better person.

And P.S., she's gained at least eighty pounds since the 10-year reunion. I, on the other hand, have lost about forty. And I have a kickass dress to wear that looks absolutely stunning on me, thanks to Kev's mom who altered it for me in exchange for pumpkin muffins that don't taste like pumpkin. Plus I got a Swiss Army bra to go under it. The bra cost more than the dress, hose, and shoes combined.

And my husband's a million times cuter and awesomer. Oh, and get this - she started dating her husband back in high school (married the first guy she ever kissed - how very Barbara Bush) and she was sooooo excited to tell us that instead of going to a four-year college, he was going to go to a tech school to learn both "Heating AND Cooling... so he can work year-round!!" Like it was a double major or something. Mensa material, for sure.

She's one of those people who spin the most mundane shit to try to puff themselves up. When her hubby's grandfather died, they moved into his house, which just happens to be in a very nice suburb of St. Louis (where I just happened to grow up), but the way it appeared in the Alumni Newsletter was that they had "inherited an ESTATE in Kirkwood". Ok, the word Estate doesn't necessarily refer to a giant fancy house, it could also - and, in this case, DOES - refer to an acrid-smelling house full of acrylic yarn and other old people crap. I mean, Hello, ever been to an Estate SALE?

But I'm not one to talk snarky shit behind someone else's back.

Ok, I suppose my sharing all of this with you while eating Cocoa Puffs out of the box technically counts as Fellowship, if you're snarfing a snack too.

Remember back when I was trying to decide whether or not to join my high school's alumni group on Facebook? I've been way more active on FB than on my blog, and I feel kinda guilty about that. But rest assured that this blog will ALWAYS be the place where I unload my profane rants about the things that many of my FB friends won't be able to handle.

My blog is my internal monologue. Facebook and Twitter are my internal one-liners. A lot of them are little situational funnies and snide remarks that come to me in a particular moment, and I don't feel that those moments contain enough substance to warrant a full blog post.

I'm sorry if I've disappointed any lurkers, but I find Facebook more engaging. Feedback is more immediate and conversational. I like when people comment on my silly status updates and pictures and I can know exactly who's reading what I'm writing. Yeah, my Facebook is kind of a watered-down version of my life (which requires some major filtering since my parents and uberconservative high school friends read it), but I love that people still think I'm funny when I'm not dropping a ton of muthahfuckin expletives n' shit.

In totally unrelated news, I've been trying to figure out how I can bring up the subject of knitting to my sons' teachers. Because if they are, in fact, knitters, I'm going to have to rethink my Teacher Holiday Gift plan. Non-knitters are mesmerized by FunFur because they don't know shitty yarn when they see it. I would never knit a gift for someone I knew was also a knitter. If they don't know the difference between a knit and a purl, they're getting a cheesy garter stitch scarf for Christmas. And if they're designing their own lace charts and selling their patterns online, then I'm fucked.

I've been cranking out cheesy scarves for the last couple of weeks. I'm trying to use up all of the crap yarn in my stash. I can't believe how much Lion Brand Homespun I had. And the colorway I had, when knitted up, kinda looks like it was made out of dog hair. What was I thinking??? But I'll knit it up into something that would impress a Muggle, and give it away and then it will be out of my house.

So my brilliant idea is to wear one of the sucktastic scarves to Parent-Teacher conferences next week and see if they comment on it. If they say, "Oh, you knit too?" then I'll say "Well, I just started recently..." instead of "Yeah, I started three or four years ago but I suck, not because I lack skills, but because I lack the ability to focus and commit to a long-term project, so I mostly make hats and scarves and stuff that doesn't require seaming."

It's sad how often I'm forced to find creative ways to hide what a dumbass I am. It's alarming how adept at it I've become.

I'm sure this skill will come in handy at my reunion. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I forgot to share this with you.

Look what happens if you type "getting tonsils out" into Google Health.

Scroll down.

I'm thankful that the pottymouth disclaimer appeared prominently. I'd hate for anyone to be unpleasantly surprised.

Heh. No, no. I'd secretly kinda love that.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Follow-Up. And Heartbreak.

It's been more than two weeks since I got my rotten tonsils taken out. I think I'm the first person in the history of advanced medicine who didn't lose a ton of weight after a tonsilectomy. I lost a bit, but I was kinda hoping I'd lose more before my Reunion. I mean, come on - if you tell me I can eat all the ice cream I want, what do you THINK I'm gonna do?

It's not entirely my fault, ya know. I'm blaming Kev for letting himself get so dehydrated he had to be admitted to the hospital. Hospitals freak me out, and I didn't want that to happen to me, so yes, I prescribed myself massive quantities of ice cream. As preventative medicine. It's SCIENCE, people.

And I also think I turned the corner in my recovery the day I told R that I was totally sick of soup, yogurt and popsicles and if I didn't get a damn cheeseburger in my belly pretty fuckin soon, I was going to hurt somebody. And the Gooey Butter Popcorn, let's not overlook the healing power of that. I willed myself better so I could munch on something solid. Thank you, Steak N Shake and Poptions!

At my follow-up appointment my doctor told my my tonsils were "badly infected" and it was good that we got them out. I'm still recovering, but the worst is over. I'm already glad I went for the tonsilectomy. Oh, and did I tell you what one of the other doctors in the office's name was?

Anyway, I want to write about the heartbreak I experienced yesterday.

This is my favorite time of year. I LOVE Autumn. Pumpkin Pie Concretes at Ted Drewes, Pumpkin Fudge from Grafton, Mizzou football, turning off the air conditioner, making my bean soup in the crock pot, walking on crunchy fallen leaves on my way to the mailbox, not having to shave my legs... love it love it love it.

But my most favoritest thing about this time of year is planning for yet another year of Karma Domination at the Pevely Flea Market Halloween Costume Contest. At least one of my children has won their age group in each of the last three years.

By the way, if you're generally not a "click the link" kind of person, this blog will convert you. You should always click my links.

In 2006 Tito's pirate costume took first place, and Beeb's bloody surgeon took third.

Pie's Harry Potter costume, equally brilliant, didn't make the cut. I don't mean it as a comment on the literacy rate in Pevely, but we stopped dressing our children as literary characters.

In 2007, Beeb won as a bunch of grapes, and Pie won as Larry the Cable Guy (one of my favorite costumes we've ever done). Tito was a spider, and he got robbed.

Last year's contest was TOTAL bullshit. I'm STILL pissed about last year.

Pie won with his Indiana Jones costume, which was a great costume, but I worked my ASS off on Beeb's clever Christmas Tree costume (complete with sewn-on blinking lights), and on Tito's Luke Skywalker costume, and neither of them placed.

This year I was going to set things straight. Righting a past injustice is a-whole-nother level of motivation, my friends.

R and I have been tight with our friends The Racers for a while, and while they have seen glimpses of my competitive nature once or twice, I thought it would be fun to invite them to the Pevely Flea Market Halloween Costume Contest so they can witness the madness for themselves.  Last night I went to the PFM website to find out what time the costume contest started so we could make plans.  Here's what I found:

This year's prizes will be awarded in a random drawing.


My guess is that someone in Pevely Googled Pevely Flea Market Halloween Costume Contest, saw that some obnoxious Suburban St. Louis Soccer Mom with a pottymouth blog took it a weeeeee bit too seriously (which, I admit, I do), and decided to shut the shit down.

I broke Pevely. I broke it with my will to win.

The prizes were getting less and less stellar. The first year we got movie tickets, the next year McDonald's coupons, and last year a coloring book. So perhaps it was a budgeting issue. But still - now what am I going to obsess about for the next three weeks?  There's still the Trunk or Treat on the 30th, I guess, but it's not the same.  I'm severely disappointed.

Fortunately, the Racers will still get to see my fiercely competitive side today as the newest member of the Karma Crew, Dexter, is running in the Hamster Ball Derby this afternoon!

Dexter's been working out.

And I've been feeding him Hamsteroids.