No, I didn’t win a lamp

I can make excuses all day long. Fuck you and fuck me and my excuses.

Here at the Big Red X, they nominate people in the North American Delivery Organization for recognition. I don’t know how many people there are out there who do what I do either directly or tangentially, but it’s a monstrously large beast that, for the most part, excels at doing things piss-poorly.

So, one can be nominated as being especially delightful or something. So, in 2013, 350+ people were nominated. About 170 got recognized. So, if you get nominated, it’s a 50/50 shot you win. And you win a gift card for $175. That strikes me as an amount that’s odd as fuck, but what do I know (or care).

I won in the 4th quarter. Yay me.

I also learned I was nominated in the 3rd quarter but didn’t win. Boohoo for me.

Here’s where it gets fun. Of the 170 or so winners, they pick 8 for the year to be recognized as being especially awesome.

Guess who’s awesome?

So, I get $175 and “receive an invitation to a recognition dinner and an overnight trip with a guest”. I’m not sure if I get the trip paid for, but I do get a shiny invitation. Knowing my luck, the dinner is at a Cracker Barrel in Hickory NC.

Am I ungrateful? You betcha. Know why? Well, here’s what was said about me.

“Robert worked untold hours with great personally sacrifice in support of XXX” (FANTASTIC typo left there on purpose)

Here’s what my most recent boss said about me (I say “most recent” because I’m now on my 7th boss in the past 30 months. Yay for reorgs!)

“You met the challenge and exceeded where others failed. I could not be more impressed that you worked tirelessly (sometimes 12 and 16 hour days) to make that account successful, there is no quit in you.”

So…if I understand, all you need to do to win an invitation to dinner is be willing to put your life on hold for a year and sacrifice your happiness, your health (physical and mental) and the overall well-being of your life and family.

CHECK!

Because that’s what I did and that’s where I’ve been since September of 2012. I’ve been in a hole working to set every record for performance that our organization has. I didn’t eat right, I didn’t run enough (getting bitten by a racist dog didn’t help), I drank WAY too much (and that’s coming from me), I didn’t sleep well and I was a more insufferable asshole than I normally am. And, it seems that, in order to get your boss promoted, that’s what they expect from you.

My direct team is down to 6 people. We used to have a dozen. 6 have quit because this is such shit. And before anyone tells me to get off my ass and do something…I’m trying. I’m actively looking for new opportunities both in side of and outside of the company because I need a change. As I told people this morning, I’m tired of having to implement other peoples’ bad ideas. I know I can do it and I want to do it…my way.

Anyway…I want to do more of this in the coming whiles. I promise to try harder at writing. Maybe it will help me get out of the funk I’m in.

Here’s what we look like now.

1231429_10201650442758835_1588483101_n

Captain America to the rescue. You suck. – incredipete

My money-making scheme

In these apparently troubled economic times (seriously, I am so removed from normal society that I’m only vaguely aware that “something” is going on. I just keep my head down and keep working) I have come up with a way for us to pad our household income.

But I digress.

Last night, Shmuppie and I were at swimming. She swims, I exercise. Normally, I bike and then run. This allows me to catch up on magazine reading and allows me to convince myself that I don’t need to run as far because I’m up against a time limit to pick her up from swimming.

But, on Monday, I had a horrible run. I had indigestion after eating at my parents’ house the night before (first time we were there for dinner since Christmas Day), I didn’t eat breakfast and it was stiflingly humid. My 3-mile jaunt turned out horribly with me having to walk most of the last mile. I was ashamed.

So, on Tuesday, I decided to run first. I did a nice little 5K and then biked. I was soaking wet but felt OK and had redeemed myself somewhat.

On the way home, I was taking stock of life.
(PS…If you haven’t noticed, the theme here has gone from getting chased by midgets to babbling about health and fitness…sorry)
I had just run and biked. I’d met my latest goal on the Wii and had kept my weight low for the 3rd straight month. The radio was on and I could actually identify some of the songs.

I suddenly felt less than old for once.

Then we got home.

JewelrySlut had assembled dinner.
Moo was running around the house in a diaper. She was holding toy phones to each ear and dancing and yelling. Music was on. It was like walking into a tornado.

My point is…this is my money-making scheme.

I want to sell seats in our house. You can come by between 5:00 and 9:00PM and watch what happens. The target demographic is married couples without kids. If you can survive watching what goes on, you MAY be ready for children of your own.

As I said…we walk into the house:
Shmuppie immediately does the opposite of what she’s supposed to do. She’s supposed to put her towel in the dryer and go change into clothes. Instead, she stands, alack-jawed, in front of the computer, backpack on, staring at Pandora.

Mo is still running in circles yelling at her phones. She’s also trying to jam one into my pocket and swap it for my Blackberry. She wants it so she can see “BABY!” (Her as my wallpaper).

I’m holding my gym bag and sweating. All I want is to change shirts (I take 3 to the Y) and eat.

We get everyone to the table. Moo wants everything on the table and nothing (at the same time). She’s rejecting food left and right while asking for it 2 seconds later. Mostly, she wants “beeboos” (strawberries). She lets us know this by yelling “beeboo” over and over again while doing the sign for them (in case her dipshit parents can’t understand).

I relent and get the beeboos. I plop 2 on her tray.

“Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet”
“Yes…the beeboos are wet” Now she starts crying for her wet beeboos.
“Teeshoo Teeshoo Teeshoo Teeshoo Teeshoo Teeshoo”
“Your beeboos don’t need a tissue. You’re fine. Eat”

“I have a social studies quiz tomorrow” (JewelrySlut and I exchange horrified looks)
Oh…what’s it about?
The regions.
The regions?
Yea…the regions.
The regions where?
In North Carolina. (Duh)
Oh…what are they?
Coastal Plains, Piedmont and Mountains (I knew this and was testing her)
Oh…what about them
Well…we need to know what jobs people have in them.
Like what?
In the coastal plain, people fish.
That helps…seeing how it’s near the ocean
In the Piedmont, people make furniture and work for banks.
Oh…I guess I’m not doing it right then seeing that I do neither. What about the mountains?
I don’t know. I think they work at places where they use wood to make paper.
Paper mills?
No.
Well…I don’t think they call them “places where they use wood to make paper.” They call them paper mills.
We have to write a paragraph and say where we’d like to live, in what city, and what job we’d want.
OK…where do you want to live?
I could live in the mountains and whitewater raft (a kick she’s on lately. She wants to go whitewater rafting)
In what city?
Boone.
OK…so you’re moving to Boone to be an outdoor guide of sorts. Can you name any other cities in the state?
Raleigh?
Yes…that’s one. Any coastal cities?
We don’t know any Pacifically
JewelrySlut: That’s good, but do you know any Atlanticly?
(Blank Stare)
Raleigh is in the Triad
No it’s not.
Yes it is.
No it’s not. Raleigh is in the Triangle along with Durham and Chapel Hill (We do love us some shapes here in NC). The Piedmont is Greensboro, Winston Salem and someplace else.
No it’s not.
Trust me.
Beeboo Beeboo Beeboo Beeboo Beeboo Beeboo Beeboo Beeboo
NO MORE BEEBOOS!

Shmuppie now sulks because we’ve shattered her perception of North Carolina.
Moo is yelling for fruit but is ever so sad that it’s wet.
JewelrySlut is drinking wine and crying.

I finally decide that dinner’s over. Moo has been released from her chair and has managed to bring every toy she has to the table. She’s also banged her head on the table 47 times and fallen down 13 times. She’s howling in pain and asking for teeshoos. All I want to do is get the 2 of them to bed so I can shower and wrap things up at work. JewelrySlut is eating still. If you ask me, she’s dawdling over her salad to avoid the chaos.

Shmuppie is sent upstairs. I start clearing the table. Moo is now climbing the furniture. I just start yelling at everyone. I’m now pissed off and want the night to be over.

10 minutes later, we get Moo moved upstairs. She barges in on her sister. Shmuppie is in the shower. I happen to notice that she’s also completely dry. In the shower. 10 minutes after we sent her upstairs.

*SNAP*

There goes my sanity. Moo has managed to run into the tub and is howling again. JewelrySlut is only now making it upstairs, having SLOWLY eaten her salad.

I grab Moo and pull her from the bathroom.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HOW CAN YOU BE IN THE SHOWER AND BE DRY? WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME?

Booboo Booboo Booboo Booboo Booboo Booboo Booboo Booboo Booboo
Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet Wet
SHUT UP YOU! (To the 2 year old)

I slam the bathroom door before Shmuppie can answer. I don’t want to hear the excuse. I don’t want to know what she had been doing for 10 minutes that didn’t include showering. (She claimed the water was too hot).

JewelrySlut now appears and is yelling at me.
Moo is trying to pull her diaper off.
The bird s flying in circles in her cage.
We can her Shmuppie form the shower cursing my existence.

All I want to do is get them to bed.

See…if you had bought a seat to this and could survive it, you’d know if you had what it takes to be a parent. Because, that was not abnormal. That was Tuesday. Today will be just as fun but for a host of different reasons.

I need a vacation. Not any vacation. As I tell JewelrySlut, I need a vacation where she and I can go to a nice hotel, stay in a room with a king-sized bed and lower the A/C to 68. We’ll sleep all weekend. That’s all I want.

Of course, I’m a parent so that’s not always an option. Especially in 2011. Shmuppie no longer permits us to do anything without her. We can’t get a babysitter and go to dinner and we certainly can’t send them to my parents’ house.

2-3 hours would be nice.

We get to do it all over again tonight at 7:30. I can’t wait.

I remember what this is like

It?s almost gotten out of control around here lately.

We?re on the edge of needing help.

There must be a support group we can turn to for our problem.

No, asshole, it?s not the drinking. We?ll drink as much as we damn well please. Do you really want to get to know me when I don?t have a liter of wine in my veins? I didn?t think so.

No?we?re almost becoming healthy people. The people who rail about how unhealthy most people are.

We need to stop.

Know what was the worst thing about our recent drive to FLA? It wasn?t 10 hours in the car with a young child who hates the car and spends all of her waking hours whining. It wasn?t the fact that NC and SC offer you only 2 lanes on 95. No?it was the food. We knew that, at some point in the journey, we?d need to eat. And that upset JewelrySlut and I greatly.

We?ve always been dead set against fast food. Face it, the shit?s horrible and isn?t good for you. It?s loaded with a bunch of crap that was never meant to be ingested and considered food. Of course, we?re reasonable people. We let Shmuppie have the occasional Happy Meal or some crap from Chik-Fil-A. It?s not right to impart all of our insanity upon her.

But, the damn Wii had pushed us over the edge. Ever since I climbed on the balance board and it made a sad face at me and told me I was fat, we?ve been committed?and should be committed.

2011 has become the ?Year of the Salad? in our house. Because of our schedules, we never seem to be able to get to the Farmer?s Market to buy fresh produce. As a result, we?re left trying to buy produce in a city that considers fried chicken to be a vegetable. Our local grocery stores plain suck. We make the best of the situation and spend way too much money on fresh fruits and vegetables. The people at the register?the people who are supposed to know all the produce codes, often look at us and have to ask what things are.

?Um?that?s broccoli?
?Oh?what do you do with it??
?You cook it and then eat it??

This goes on every week. But, despite our struggles to find food that hasn?t already rotted, we?ve made progress. We?ve nearly convinced Shmuppie that eating fast food will kill her and Moo can?t be far behind. We?re proud that our kids recognize vegetables in both their raw and cooked form. It?s wonderful to see Moo signing for her food and not have it just be ?cookie? or ?wine?

Yes?she knows the sign for wine and often asks for it with dinner. We oblige and give her 3 drops. It?s all in good fun.

She?s leaving for detox this afternoon. I?ll miss her.

The probable highlight of our summer happened last weekend. We didn?t have swim meet for the first time in a few weeks, didn?t have to be at an airport and weren?t in FLA. We were home and had nothing to do. With much excitement, we set out for the Farmer?s Market to load up on veggies. All we wanted to do was buy some good stuff and then sit at home and eat it.

And eat we did.

Tomatoes, peppers, onions and yellow squash got tossed with some oil and vinegar and made into a salad.

Tomatoes and peppers went into another salad.

Bread (bought from the black guy in crazy chef pants) got sliced, grilled, and topped with grilled green tomatoes and cheese.

Boneless pork chops from The Piggy Store were brined and cooked.

To top it all off, we made a pizza. My new pizza stone was tested out on the Compensator (the name for my too-large grill). Basil, more fresh tomatoes, chunks of mozzarella cheese and diced onions made for one of the best pizzas ever.

Add beer and a few bottles of wine, and you had a Saturday. The weather was unseasonably awesome (by comparison, it hit 107 yesterday) and we had a wonderful day.

Sunday involved more vegetables and some nice steak that I managed to find at the store. The remaining basil was sacrificed to make a lovely pesto. More bread and tomatoes were grilled.

The weekend was heaven?and neither JewelrySlut nor I managed to gain any weight!

Because we?re obsessed like that. She?s fighting to lose 2-3 more lbs. to get down to a level she hasn?t been at since before Shmuppie was born. I?ve been holding for the past 3 months. I lost the weight quickly?maintaining it?s been the challenge for me.

So?bringing me back to where I was originally (I?m so happy to have not lost my touch. Who says less with more better than I do?) was?we hate fast food because it?s bad for you and makes you fat.

End of story.

I forgot my fucking password

It’s been that long.

JewelrySlut told me someone had recently posted to say “Where have you been”. Shit…it’s been a while.
What’s happened, you ask as if you care?

We signed up for Netflix
I started running
My mother stopped talking to me
My father stopped talking to me
JewelrySlut turned 40. We spent it at home. I made a kick-ass osso bucco for her so that made it a little nicer
We went to Emerald Isle and it rained a lot
Shmuppie turned 9
She finally learned how to ride a bike
I lost somewhere between 22-24lbs depending on the time of day and how bad of a crap I still need to take
I got a raise and a promotion
JewelrSlut lost nearly 20lbs
I had to buy new clothes
Shmuppie finished the 3rd grade
The state has decided that she’s academically gifted and talented
It became summer
We went to FLA for a few days
Shmuppie started the 4th grade
For some reason, I’m still running because I apparently haven’t realized how much it sucks
The wee-un will be 2 in a few weeks
A week before that, I’ll be 37
I’ve lost more hair

Wrapped around this has been my work schedule. I’ve been working anywhere between 50-60 hours per week all year. The only good thing about it is that it’s all been from home. No more travel for me.

I’d love to offer a good excuse, but when I close my laptop at about 8:00 every night, I’m too tired to do anything but sit on the couch. I type emails to drooling chimps all day. The last thing I ever want to do it type some more.

But I should. And, if we all now me, I’ll get into a surge of writing, bang out a few boring posts about the color of my bowel movements or my boss’s horrible typing and then vanish again.

But, I”ll try. I do have some amusing things to say…I just need the strength to say them

Sometimes you’re the bug.

Sometimes you’re the bug’s asshole.

For months now, my mother’s been complaining of back and ass pain. She was convinced it was a muscle pull in her ass. The rest of us were convinced it was her back. Of course, she did not seek medical attention for this.

You see, my parents have some sort of fucked up frontier mentality when it comes to seeking medical help. They’ll more or less let themselves get to the point of collapse or loss of limb before they go see a doctor. My brother and I, on the other hand, go see doctors when we’re sick. As a result, we’ve been labeled as weak and this is brought up as yet another reason why we had daughters; I’m not man enough to raise sons.

At times like this, JewelrySlut likes to remind me that nothing about my family or my upbringing was normal or healthy. I used to laugh comments like that off, but I now realize how right she was. My family is a mess.

Back to my mother’s ass:

So, by last week, it was so bad that she couldn’t walk. She was in serious pain. In addition, she had a lovely stomach virus that’s tearing through the collective asshole of The Triangle.

By Wednesday, my father got her an appointment with an orthopedist. Said doctor would review the MRI taken on CHRISTMAS EVE!

Yup…seriously fucked up disk. Surgery time!

So, on Friday evening, my mother had back surgery and wouldn’t you know it, but her ass and legs and back feel better.

So, the good news is that my mother’s going to be able to be more or less pain free now.

Here’s the bad news and how it impacts us.

We’re fucked and I’m pissed about it.

**Momentary background**
JewelrySlut and I are tired. We’d like just a few days, or even a few hours, away from the kids. As she says “For a little while, I’d like to be someone other than Mommy”. We haven’t had any time to ourselves in nearly 6 years. I know that this is a part of parenthood, but everyone gets a little time, don’t they?

Shmuppie was home for 5 weeks and was cranky for 4 1/2 of them.
Moo got sick right after Christmas.
We had last week’s puke parade.
I was sick on Thursday and Friday with the stomach flu.
Last night, Shmuppie broke out in hives and swelled up like a balloon. The por kid is missing her 3rd day of school in 2011 today.
It’s supposed to ice tonight. This will cause another 3 weeks of school cancellations.
The whole “father in law’s health is deteriorating” thing is really kicking into gear. It’s not “if” he’ll move to a facility at this point; it’s “when”.
JewelrySlut is turning 40.

The last one isn’t a bad thing, but it’s an event. Her birthday trip started out some time ago as a week in Aruba. Then, we had Moo. Then, it became a long weekend up in NJ with ChurchBomber and MerlotMan. Well, we killed that 2 weeks or so ago because we could see all the shit that was heading towards our fan.

We’d decided to go to Asheville for a weekend, stay in a nice hotel, and just chill.

Well…now that’s not happening.

Now, am I mad because my mother had surgery and can’t lift Moo? No…that’s not it. I’m happy she had the surgery and will be getting better. Am I FUCKING FURIOUS that, a few days after we would have gone away, she’ll be well enough to get on a plane for 2 weeks in Maui?

You bethca.

We need to save our strength and heal up for our vacation. I’m not sure how one can be well enough to sit on a plane for the better part of a day and not be well enough to care for a grandchild, but that’s the case.

So, JewelrySlut and I will be home…yet again. Yes, we’re acting selfish, but dammit, we want a weekend away from the mess. We’ll try again in late February, but I’m sure that will also fall to shit when one of my parents’ dogs gets a hangnail and needs full time nursing care or some bullshit.

PS: Before I posted this, JewelrySlut and I had this very discussion. It’s not that we’re pissy that she had surgery…it’s quite the opposite. We’re pissy that every effort will be made to ensure that she can go to Hawaii (Even if, as JewelrySlut said, she needs to be administered epidurals on the tarmac at RDU and upon arrival in Maui) because, in the end, that’s what’s important.