Monday, July 23, 2012

Dogs are people, too.

This is my dog. I'll call her Spazz-brain.

This is my other dog. I'll call him Wha...?

Spazz-brain is actually pretty smart. Hence the "brain" part. But she's also a crazy little piece of shit who likes to root around in the trash can for pieces of paper towel to chew on. WHILE YOU WATCH. Hence, Spazz.

Wha...? is just about the sweetest, kindest, snuggliest little (big) doofus in the world. Spazz-brain is definitely the brains in this relationship. Wha...? can't even figure out how to sit. The most basic of dog obedience concepts and he just doesn't get it. But he makes up for it by being sweet.
Except when he shits on my floor.

See, dogs don't come with warning labels. Dogs don't come with a manual (and even if you adopted your dog and they gave you a book - well, you still have to READ IT, asshole). People don't tell you that when you bring a dog home, you have to do more than just feed it and leave it outside.
I'm a dog person. I get them. I've studied wolf behavior, I've taken puppy and adult dog obedience classes (with a dog. By myself would be weird.). And hell, I even showed one of my dogs in obedience trials through 4H. But even with all that, my dogs still shit on my floor. WTF?

Okay, so it doesn't happen OFTEN, but if we're not on high alert for any little "fruhf" or "rowow" then Wha...? leaves us a present that only an 80-lb dog can gift you. And it's usually on the floor that I just scrubbed, vacuumed and steam-cleaned (from the last time the damn dog decided it was Christmas.)

Anyway, the point is, dogs will shit on your floor. And they'll chew your shit up. And they'll scratch up your hardwoods and yellow your grass and sneak out the front door, leaving you to go on an hour-long chase while they glance back and fucking SMILE at you because, HAHA, you're the idiot who's chasing me!

People don't get this when they get a dog, which is why many dogs end up in shelters.

But that's ok. Because then people like me can adopt your little piece of shit and bring him home to become our own little piece of shit.

And when they look up at you with those adoring eyes and a tiny little slurp on your nose, you realize - they're so worth it.

Yay! Blogger worky!

Problems seem to be fixed. Onward!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Urgh. Blogger mobile no worky.

I have to apologize for the formatting errors in my previous two posts. Blogger mobile is being a bitch and won't let me do anything from my phone, which is my only computer right now since DH went out of town and took our laptop. I'll fix it when I have non-mobile access. As it is, I'm having to type this on another app and then copy/paste to Blogger. Sad face.


I used to live on a cul-de-sac wherein the houses were small, on 1/3-acre lots, and far enough apart that you couldn't really hear when the neighbors' kids got an F on their report card or came home drunk. Now we live in one of those "master-planned communities," which is shorthand for, "How many houses can we fit into a square foot of space without it looking like these are apartment buildings?"

As such, we can now hear everything. Behind us and two houses down, the dad is never happy with his kid (or maybe the kid really is just a little shit, I don't know). Across the street, the little girl likes to call her mom a bitch (I can't help but giggle - I kind of agree with her). And two doors down, they have sex every Thursday night around 11p.m. See, when I'm up reading my book or my blogs late on a schoolnight, I tend to leave my windows open. I like the cool breeze, and I prefer the cold in general (I live in the Northwest for a reason, and it ain't the Space Needle). But every Thursday around 11p.m., I hear: squeak-eak-squeak-eak-squeak-eak, squeak-eak, squeak-eak, squeak...eak, squeak...eak...squeeeeak...squick. We all know what that sound is, and we all know that no one is running on the treadmill at 11 at night or Windexing windows or polishing tires or whatever the hell people do that makes squeaking noises. Bitches be fuckin'.

 Now, far be it from me to judge. DH and I have certainly done our share of open-windowed squeaking. This post is simply commentary on the different TYPES of squeaking that occurs outside of your own relationship. There's camping-squeaking. This is the kind where you hear, amongst the crickets, nightbirds, and silence of the great outdoors: "Oh yeah...oh yeah...uh...uh...YES!" And you have to resist the overwhelming urge to applaud.

There's neighbor-squeaking: Wherein you don't actually hear anything, but happen to notice your neighbor's naked ass smushed up against their window when you happen to look out yours.

There's car-squeaking: when the car next to yours in the back of the Costco parking lot is suspiciously devoid of people in the front seat but is rhythmically rocking back and forth anyway.

There's airplane-bathroom squeaking: when you don't really hear anything (damn planes are LOUD) but two people manage to squeeze themselves out of the bathroom.

I know there are more, I just haven't had the pleasure (ahem) of experiencing them. Now if you'll excuse me, DH and I have some squeaking to do. (With the DOG toys, you sick bastards. Playing fetch. What the hell did you think I meant?)

Friday, July 13, 2012

You don't HAVE to do it my way. But my way is better.

I don't get why DH ("Damn, he's not Hawkeye" [the Avenger(played by Jeremy Renner...mmm...)] always gets himself in a tizzy when I suggest that he do something a different way. It's not like I'm telling him he's doing it wrong (he is, but I'm not TELLING him that, right?). And it isn't like there aren't a million ways to do things. But things get done better when you do it my way. 

Case in point: loading the dishwasher. Do you HAVE to scrub all the crap off your dishes before you load them? Not at all, especially if you have one of those fancy new-fangled pieces of shit that cost an arm and beat the shit out of your dishes (or the hell do I know what goes on in there?). BUT (yes, I like caps lock. FOR EMPHASIS. Get it?) I soak the dishes, I scrub the crap off, sometimes I even break a freaking nail or get one of those under-the-nail cuts (motherFUCKER, those hurt) from picking dried-on crap off of plates. (Oh, don't look at me like that. Like you've never left dishes in the sink. And if you never have, you're welcome to bring your sanctimonious ass over to my house and do my dishes. Whore.) And loading the dishwasher is a game of Tetris that I ROCK.

Anyway, when I do the dishes, they come out clean. DH, on the other hand, picks them up out of the sink, places them wherever in the dishwasher, and if they don't fit, screw 'em. And because we don't have one of those new-fangled pieces of shit, they come out with caked-on bullshit. Then I end up sticking them BACK in the dishwasher after DS ("Damn, he'll be lucky to Survive till he's 14") empties it. Usually right when company is over and I need every plate in the cabinet. Yeah, we use the heat setting, the dishes are supposed to be sterilized, blah, blah, does anyone actually want to eat off of a plate that has gunk on it? Even sterilized gunk? Nope. My way is better.

Second point. DD ("Darling Drama queen") is a drama queen. Despite being very no-nonsense, "that's bullshit, knock it off" parents, DD likes to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. Or at least whine like a four year old (which she is, so as much as I would like to, I can't fault her for it). Brushing her hair is an exercise in whining. When I do it, I gather the hair at the back of her neck, and while holding the ponytail, brush it from bottom to top. She still gives the occasional "ow" but for the most part, she deals. DH? Well, she usually ends up running away. After grabbing the brush away from him. I'm surprised she doesn't smack him with it. See? My way = better. It's not like I'm perfect. Just better at some things. And come on, it's not like I tell DH that he's programming that weird-looking line of gobbledygook wrong. I don't know shit about computers. But he likes to tell me I'm mean because I'm strict with the kids at school. Trust me. My way is better.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beautiful. Symmetrical. Continuous. Perfect.

Wow, has this been a month. I feel like I've been put through a ringer, squeezed back out, twisted a few times, then thrown into the street to get run over by a steamroller and a herd of wild Tijuanan donkeys. (Although I hear the Tijuana donkeys are pretty tame. I wouldn't know. Ahem.)

I think I've started and stopped this entry about 857 times - in my head, on paper, and on the computer. I'm not really sure how to put my feelings out there while they're so raw, yet still give voice to my wry, inappropriate sense of humor. But I digress, and let's just get down to it, dammit.

Depression sucks balls.

I had to take a leave of absence from my job. I've been off work for a month now. I don't want to go back. I don't ever want to teach again. I want to avoid the classroom like a plague of chittering, hairy locusts. (No, I'm not referring to the kids as locusts.) I just happen to feel that the bloom is off the teaching rose.

Let me back up for a minute, though, to about three years ago. I've written about this on this blog. I had been teaching at a school that had a very high poverty rate and was a tough school in which to teach. I was doing ok - I loved the kids, I made connections with the kids, and people would put difficult kids in my class, NOT (as some people assume) because the principal or other staff didn't like me, but because I made a difference and a connection with those kids that translated into better behavior in my class. Then we got a new principal, and in a school such as this, you can not only survive, but thrive, so long as you have drive, a love for the profession and the kids, and support from leadership. To avoid burning bridges, let's just say that leadership was less than supportive. And I burned out. After 8 years of teaching at this school, I left, found a new job at another school, and started over (kind of).

I started teaching at this new school and had an amazing, incredible, fulfilling and HAPPY year. Then the bomb dropped - my dad left my mom. My mom, one of the nicest, sweetest, most unassuming women you will ever meet, who never hurt a fly in her life, and who was dealing with not one, but SIX major health issues including Parkinson's disease. They had been married 37 years.

This past year has been a bitch. I have been completely overwhelmed by not only the responsibility of caring for and nurturing my family, but also my profession, which has become more and more of a numbers game (we teachers aren't worth much if we don't get those kids to pass a test!). Add in the fact that my mom's biggest support system during her health crisis - my dad - suddenly up and quit on her, which meant that I became her touchstone. By which I mean that I became the one who started getting calls at 11 p.m., my mom so distraught she couldn't even speak and she just sobbed into my ear for an hour. She can't drive, so I started transporting her to appointments. My brother moved into her house and became verbally abusive to her.

Fast forward to this past September. We bought a house and moved 20 miles south of the town in which I grew up. The school year started, and my son started first grade at a new school (the school where I teach). I got my mom to move out of her house (the one I grew up in) and move to a townhouse two blocks from our house. I got her taken care of, my family settled, and all transitions taken care of.

And I couldn't pretend anymore. I lost it. I started having panic attacks at school. I started taking half days because the stress was making it so hard to do my job, much less do it to my (admittedly ridiculously high) expectations. I started thinking that it would be better if I just took myself out of the equation.

A wonderful friend stepped in and told me I needed to get myself some help. She said that she could appreciate how hard it was for me because she doesn't have kids - she gets some down time when she gets home. I don't. She marched me down to my principal and told him (I couldn't do it myself) that I needed time off. He said, "How much?" I came home that day, grabbed a bag, and left for the ocean with another wonderful friend. I had two blissful days of not caring about anything, and not having to do anything for anyone but myself.

I got home and it was like all of the pent-up anger, frustration, depression, guilt and self-hatred pooled into one gigantic black cloud that exploded over me. I came home and had a long talk with my husband (in which he told me he felt like a roommate, not a husband, because I wasn't talking to him about everything going on in my head). I collapsed, sobbing, shaking, and hyperventilating in his arms.

That started the release - or, should I say, the slow leak. My anxiety attacks got worse, and I started cutting. I only did it a few times, but it seemed to make me feel better when all I could do was tremble in my bed while stuck in an anxiety attack that almost felt like a seizure. Hubby stayed home with me for almost two weeks, mostly to make sure that I wasn't going to off myself. I started seeing a counselor and I've had almost weekly doctor's visits to monitor a change in my medication and my condition.

I've been teaching for almost 10 years. I'm good at it, I love those kids, I put 1,892% of myself into my job and most of the people I work with seem to regard me rather highly. And I really feel like I'm whining when I say that I'm so tired. But everything that I've gone through in the past year has made me wonder if it's worth it. The time I have had with my children the past few weeks has been so incredibly fulfilling. I've been able to relax enough to enjoy little things, like brushing my daughter's hair back from her face and telling her how beautiful she is. Like listening to my son read his sister a story. Like spending an hour and a half doing workbook pages with my daughter because she just wanted to do one more (again and again). Like making pancakes in the morning instead of rushing out the door after grabbing a granola bar.

At one point, during my worst time, I was lying in bed, hardly functional, and four words kept repeating in my head. Beautiful. Symmetrical. Continuous. Perfect. I couldn't get those words out of my head, and I started searching for an image that represented them. I never did find one, but those four words did give me something to search for, something that might help balance my life, my family, my mind. I haven't found it yet, but they say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Those four words were my first step out of the darkness that I've been stuck in for so long. I'll share more about how I have begun searching for their meaning in the next few weeks. Maybe my journey will be helpful to someone out there. Or maybe this blog will just be my own therapy. Either way, I've certainly started something new. You're welcome to share this experience with me.

Just try to avoid the Tijuana donkeys. They kick. (Or so I hear. Ahem.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Incredibly Sweet

So my adorably wonderful friend Sara passed this one along to me today, and I'm happy to share it with all two of you who actually read my blog. :-)

This award requires me to list five things about myself and then pass it on to five other blogs I thoroughly enjoy. So here you have it -
  • I adore animals. All kinds. But especially horses and dogs. I never grew out of the little girl's fantasy of owning a pony. Although I'd need one that was bigger than a pony.
  • I love to write but I stop myself too often because I think someone else will think what I write is stupid. Or something. Basically I just worry too much about what other people think.
  • I'm still trying to find a theme for my blog. So far the theme has mostly been "Let's see how much of my inner soul I can bare today." Maybe the theme is actually "Self-serving Boring Drivel." Hmm - a new title, perhaps?
  • My wedding album is almost empty and my kids' baby books basically don't exist. I am HORRIBLE about scrapbooking.
  • I love my husband more than words could possibly express. The man is a gift. Not only does he buy me diamonds, but he accepts all of me, thinks I'm beautiful, is a wonderful father, supports me through all of my crap, and is an incredible kisser. Seriously. I'd offer to let you try him out, but then I'd have to kill you.
And now for five more of my faves...
Amalah A mom with two boys and one on the way.
Dooce Famous in her own right, Heather Armstrong is hilarious, talented, and managed to make this blogging thing into a career.
Cake Wrecks Just for fun.
Mommy Wants Vodka She's funny. And she offers advice. Double whammy.
Moms Need Timeouts Too A mom of twins who just happens to be one of my favorite people in the world.