Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jobs I'd Be Good At

1. Exotic Animal Trainer This has always been my plan B. If my life had taken a turn for the worst, I had decided I would move down to Southern California and go to this exotic animal training school there to become a trainer. One time when we were at Sea World in San Diego watching the whale show, my eyes welled up with desire to be in the water with the whales. Then I remembered how sometimes trainers are maimed and killed by the exotic animals they are training. So, probably better to stick with Finance. I leave work unscathed most days.

2. Sound Production I think my life should have a soundtrack. I love music, and I often think of the perfect song in various situations in my life. I think I'd be really good at picking the right music for scenes in television and movies. Also, and I'm not sure how this is related to sound production, but I'm really good at hearing a voice and knowing immediately who it is - like famous people who do narration for commercials.

3. Judge I may not like making my own decisions, but I really like making decisions for other people. And I think I'm really fair. I have an open mind and I'm really good at seeing things from all sides. Even when I have a strong conviction about something, I can always see how someone might see it differently.

4. Host of Survivor I've got nothing on Jeff Probst, believe me - the guy rocks at hosting that show. He is perfect. He makes it look so fun, that I'd like to do it too. I've actually always wanted to be on that show. I even sent in an audition tape. But, I think maybe I'd like to host it even more. Or maybe I just want to marry Jeff Probst.

5. Business Owner Someday, I will own my own business. Someday when the kids are on their own and I have enough money to retire - so that I can spend the time and money it takes to start your own business. Or, when I win the lottery. My sister and I fantasize about opening up our own specialty kitchen store. We both love dishware, linens and kitchen gadgets - but she's much better at actually using them to make something wonderful. We'd find all these really great kitchen accessories from around the world, and we'd hold cooking classes at the store.

6. ER Doctor I've always thought maybe I should have gone into medicine. I loved my science classes and was even pre-med for a time in college. Until I realized how long a road it is to become a doctor, and decided that I wasn't committed to it enough at that point. I had an internship as a sexual health educator in college - and I think that might have been my favorite "job" ever. I taught classes and had office hours to teach the basics of the male and female reproductive systems, give the low down on STDs and the many forms of birth control and how to use them. One of the best classes I ever taught was a class on AIDS that I gave to a fraternity house on campus. Those guys came up with so many different scenarios that they were trying to rule out as an opportunity to contract HIV, the creativity was amazing. Although I don't know why I'd be surprised that college-aged guys would spend all their time thinking about sex. Back to the ER Doctor thing... one of my greatest talents is remaining calm under pressure. Especially in the most stressful situations, I find that I can be cool, collected and am surprisingly better at making decisions and delegating than I am in normal situations.

None of these jobs are even remotely related to what I actually do for a living right now. However, I think I could probably site parts of my job where I use the skills of a trainer, producer, judge, business owner, emergency doctor and yes, even a reality show host.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My own blog angst

My sister got me into blogging, and I couldn't be more grateful. I used to love to journal. That was before I had kids. Now, who has time to hand write anything? So, this has become my little online journal.

Some people read my blog after finding me on AllMediocre, or from a link on my sister's blog. I've also given my website to some of my family and good friends. I used to send out online photo albums of my kids all the time, but as life has gotten busier and busier, I find less time to do that. I thought giving friends the site would be a good way for them to catch up on what I'm up to and see the latest cute pictures of my kids whenever they want.

My angst has to do with the fact that I occasionally find myself thinking about who might be reading this when I write something. I don't ever want to write that way. This is my personal journal, and my way of recording some of my thoughts for my children. I'd love for them to look back on this someday and laugh at the funny stories from their childhood, get an insight into how their Mom felt about being their Mom and most of all - to know more than anything else, that they are so loved.

So, whenever I've hesitated to post something, I remind myself of why I'm doing this.

There are only two things that I won't write about in this blog. One is people at work. I've got so many great stories about people that I work with, but I don't want to get fired, so I'll have to find some other outlet for those. The other is something else that I'm not going to talk about not talking about - let's just say that I'm not going to blog about it.

So, this is my life. And this blog is my creative outlet.

If you are reading this, I hope you enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, stop reading it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Comment to my sister's post

Since I can't post a comment to my sister's latest post about her blog angst, I will just write a post about it on my blog!

Re: Angst #1 - Take your brother-in-law's comment with a grain of salt. By his own admission, it pains him to eek out a sentence. He can't fathom why anyone would want to write for pleasure. He doesn't even read my blog. When I asked him why last night, he said "Why the hell do I need to read about it? I live it".

Re: Angst #2 - I've totally done that before...write out entire posts in my mind, and by the time I sit down to actually type it, I can't remember half of the amazingly clever things I was going to say. And p.s. your husband knows finance, but he does not know writing if he thinks you are just good. You don't give yourself enough credit.

Re: Angst #3 - You crack me up every day girl! You crack my friends up too. They're always telling me about how funny you are, and how much they enjoy your writing.

Re: Angst #4 - As you can see, I can't stand to not comment on certain things - like you not realizing how great you are. So there.

Re: Angst #5 - I love your theme now, and I love your idea for the new theme. I think this whole thing has evolved for you and it keep growing. Just move over to The Norwindians when it feels right.

Re: Angst #6 - I still have this one postcard from Dad that has about 3 sentences on it. I treasure it.

And finally, because I often think there is a perfect song to convey exactly how I feel in any given situation, this is for you:

The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World

Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.

It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

Hey, you know they're all the same.
You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
Live right now.Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else.

It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.

It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Down for the Count

I am sick as a dog. Interestingly, apparently my sister is sick too, and I didn't even know it until I read her post. No wonder we haven't talked to each other the past few days. We've both been throwing up.

I woke up for work on Thursday at 4:00am, and felt like crap. However, I thought that it was just because I'd been getting up at 4am all week, in order to make it in by 5am and working until 5 or 6pm, only to come home - take care of the kids - and then get back on the computer to work some more. You see, I work for a major financial firm (that is still around and not in trouble - thank God), and I've been the project manager on a risk mitigation project involving exactly what is happening in the market right now. 'Nuff said.

By the time I was sitting in my third meeting of the day around 8:30am, it was all I could do to keep from barfing into the garbage. The best part was that the CEO of my firm was in the meeting. I couldn't decide whether it would be a good or bad career move to toss my cookies in front of my CEO. Would he think "Wow, she's really upset about the market, and cares deeply about our firm.", or "What the hell is she doing in the office getting the rest of us sick too.". I decided I needed to get the heck out of there.

Clearly I caught the flu or something. No surprise my immune system was compromised by lack of sleep and stress. What I can't figure out, is how all these Managing Directors that I've been working with all week seem just fine. I mean seriously, their minds are sharp, they're energetic and they seem rested - and there is no way they are getting much more sleep than I am. I don't get it. I guess that's why they are Managing Directors charged with determining the future of our firm...and I'm not.

And thank God I'm not, because I decidedly can not do it all. I feel like I'm constantly struggling to be the best I can be in Motherhood, my career and my marriage. One or two of those always seem to suffer for the sake of the other. In general, my career has definitely taken the "mommy track", and I'm just fine with that. I chose the job and assignments I have now because of the flexibility it allows me. Usually, that is. This particular project was supposed to be a two week temporary assignment... I've been around my firm long enough to know that it would probably be longer than that, but I never thought it would turn this high profile and this intense. Who knew the market would get this crazy? Oh yeah, my brother-in-law. He's been predicting dooms day for about a year now. I guess that's why he is a Managing Director at another major financial firm (that is also still around, and also not in trouble - thank God). I was always thinking he was just being a pessimist, and it wouldn't get that bad. Huh. Guess he was right.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

and the correct anwser is... animal crackers

Phone conversation with my friend, M.

M: Do you have a sec?

Me: Sure, what's up?

M: I'm at Trader Joe's, and I need to pick up something to send to G's new Preschool for her birthday, a little snack. What do you think about animal crackers?

Me: Sometimes teachers don't like you to bring anything sweet, like a cookie. Did they give you any guidelines?

M: They said to bring a healthy snack. What would you bring?

Me: Maybe pita bread and hummus dip, or cheese and crackers, or sliced apples?

M: You think so?

Me: Trader Joe's has a really great Banana Bread mix that is super easy - you only have to add water, oil and an egg, and then bake it. Slice it up, and you've got a yummy "homemade treat". I've sent it to Seesa's Preschool a couple of times, and they love it.

M: I don't have time to bake.

Me: Then I guess just do one of the easier things.

M: Like the animal crackers?

Me: Sure

M: Should I get animal shaped, or letter shaped? Letter shaped are more educational, right?

Me: Sure, kids like those letter ones.

M: Ok, I'll head over to Safeway for the letter ones.

Me: If you have to go to a whole different store, just get the animal shaped ones. It really doesn't make that much difference.

M: Ok, should I wrap them all in individual bags for each kid, or just give the teacher the box to pass out at snack time.

Me: If you don't have time to bake, how do you have time to wrap the cookies in individual bags?

M: You think it would take a lot of time?

Me: Seems like it, but maybe not. I don't think it's necessary, but if you want to, go for it.

M: Ok, I guess I'll just decide later.

Result of conversation (a lot of which I've actually left out): I should have just said "yeah, great idea" from the very beginning.

More about Me: Some of my friends and family might consider me a hypocrite for even writing this about my friend M, as I myself, am a recovering havetogetanopiniononeverythingandendupdoingwhatIoriginallyplannedoholic. When I told my husband about this conversation, he said "Now you know what it's like from MY end!". I am happy to say that through a successful 12-step program involving in part my husband traveling all the time - forcing me to deal with everything on my own... I am recovering. We all get mired in indecision sometimes, which is why this conversation with my friend M was so humorous to me. I've been there so many times. But for me, my indecision was sometimes debilitating. Am I occasionally lured by the sweet smell of friends with opinions calling to me too? Definitely. Maybe I should offer to be M's indecision anonymous sponsor?

Friday, September 12, 2008

On the bright side

After dragging my kids grocery shopping after a full day of Preschool, I took them to dinner and then some ice cream at Rite Aid (and more shopping for Mommy, I love multi-tasking). They chose bright blue and pink cotton candy ice cream. They loved it.

It was getting late, and there was a small enough amount of ice cream left, that I decided to let them eat the rest in the car on the way home. I really don't even need to go on with this little story, because I'm sure you've already figured out... that they spilled some of it on the backseat.

On the bright side, my car - which you know if you read this post and this one, had some odor issues lately; now smells like sweet cotton candy. Yummm, reminds me of the Fair - which you know if you read this post, is one of my favorite times of the year.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My fifteen seconds of fame

I was listening to my favorite morning radio show on my way to work today, when they started discussing an interesting topic. It was about a survey conducted by a Mom's website about sex. They had surveyed 25,000 married woman with kids, and determined that they have sex a lot less than they did before kids.

Surprise, surprise.

They went on to talk about the reasons why, which included exhaustion and negative body image, among a few other things. One of the stats was that something like 60% of Moms said that they'd rather read a book, than have sex with their husbands. Hello! Who wouldn't? Just kidding. Sort of. I totally understood the results of the survey - I mean preferring to read a book doesn't really have anything to do with not wanting to have sex with your husband, it's just about needing some relaxing "me time" instead.

After hearing numerous women call in to say that they wanted to have sex ALL THE TIME, it was their husbands who didn't ever want to have sex - I was getting a little fired up. First of all, I think that a lot of these women were missing the point and didn't hear the first part of the show, where they explained that it was a survey of Moms. Secondly, I think that there are a lot of exhausted Dads too. Thirdly, I don't think that sex is non-existent after you have kids, I just think it changes. A lot.

So, I called in.

They put me on the show, and here's what I said: I've been married for 10 years, I have 2 kids and I'm exhausted. The biggest turn on for me these days, is if my husband DOES THE DISHES! The female DJ on the show said "Ding, ding, ding! Exactly! How about telling me how much you appreciate all the hard work I do taking care of the family, and doing the dishes while I go to bed and read a book. Then maybe you'd get some when you come to bed with me, instead of when you sneak up on me naked while I'm making the kid's lunches."

Later on, a few of my friends called me to say that they'd heard me on the radio, and were cracking up about it. Guess I'll have to tell my husband when he gets back from his latest business trip, before he hears about it from all our friends.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Girl after my own heart

Seesa is my animal lover. I couldn't be more thrilled, as I share her passion. I've always loved animals of any kind, I was very active in 4-H growing up and I wanted to be a veterinarian at one point (if I'd actually followed my passion, that might have been my profession, but that's a story for another post...).

Right now, we only have one pet - a lop-eared bunny named "Tinker Belle". As the kids get older though, we'll add some more animals to our menagerie. I like to have at least four or five around at any given time, so I've felt a little under dressed with only one.

Here are some pictures of Seesa with our bunny, riding a pony and holding a chicken at a petting zoo. She's always got a big smile on her face when she's around animals. My husband would say that I'm projecting my own feelings on to hers, but I really think they touch her heart in a special way.

Tonight, I took Seesa to her first 4-H meeting, and enrolled her in the rabbit project. Just being at the meeting brought back so many happy memories for me of my own 4-H years. Even though I didn't know a soul in the small club yet, I felt so comfortable - it was like going home again. I think she's going to love it. But, even if she doesn't - it's fun to show my kids some of the things that I loved as a kid.

On the way to the meeting tonight, Seesa asked "Is it 4-H because I'm 4?". Then, on the way home, she asked if we could go to a "2-H" meeting, for her sister Milly. Get it? Because Milly is 2. So cute! The kid's got such a loving heart.

By the's a picture of me as a 4-Her. Yes, those are rabbit trophies in the background. Yes, I was am a geek!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Recipe for disaster


One 2 year old girl
One bag of goldfish crackers
Two cups of curly mac & cheese
Fifteen edamame beans
One cup of milk
One vanilla sucker

Start by filling up your 2 year old girl with a bag of goldfish crackers, so that you can finish packing the car for the weekend at the beach. Then, take your 2 year old to dinner on your way to the vacation rental, and fill her up with curly mac & cheese, edamame and milk. Top off with vanilla sucker from See's Candy, strategically located right next door to the restaurant. Stir well by strapping 2 year old girl into car seat and driving 30 minutes on very windy road.

Finished product: A lovely barf fest in the back seat of your car.

Afterwards, enjoy cleaning your 2 year old, her clothes, her sleeping blanket, her baby doll, her car seat and your car with the little box of tide and kitchen sponge you find at the vacation rental.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My car smells like B.O.

Wasn't that an episode of Seinfeld?

Every time I turn on the air conditioning, I swear it smells like my car has body odor. YUCK!

What the hell is that all about? I need to get it checked out.

I'm afraid that people are going to start passing out when I emerge from my car after driving around with the air conditioning on.


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