Thursday, April 30, 2009

the aching of bacon and the rural juror

Do you know what's a bad idea? Reading a normally sane blogger's post about how swine flu very well could kill us all. Especially after spending a day thinking to yourself "Remember when SARS was supposed to kill us all and we survived? This is just SARS all over again! You'll be fine!" Now I sort of want to move to a cabin in the woods, hole up with a supply of canned goods, and wait this thing out. You know, assuming it can be waited out and we're not all going to die.

It's funny how reading one person's opinion can push you over the edge. I mean, I consider myself generally well informed, but show me one person I respect getting overly worried and the worry becomes contagious. As contagious as swine flu, if you will. I've been trying to balance this new crazy "we're going to die from bacon's revenge" worry with a sensible approach to swine flu. Meaning I've been washing my hands every 15 minutes and limiting my time on to checking it only once a day or so. Also, I might be checking out which store has the cheapest Lysol on sale right now.

It also doesn't help soothe my mind any that I've got jury duty this week and either today or tomorrow I'm going to have to actually go to the courthouse. You just know the courthouse is swimming with swine flu. And probably every other disease known to man. Stupid jury duty, it will be the death of me.

Speaking of jury duty, wow how much does it suck? I've never been summoned before and I had no idea it was a week of checking the court's website every two hours to see if I need to report. Which translates to "Did you have things you wanted to do this week, like go to your OB appointment? Well, suck it potential juror because we will make that impossible for you!" My plan is to go in wearing whatever makes me look the most pregnant and explain that I have to pee every ten minutes. Hopefully I'll be excused quite quickly and won't have to fake my water breaking.

Also, not that I'm counting on making any money off of jury duty, but did you know that they only pay $15 a day? I don't even understand how that can be legal. $15 a day is not payment, it wouldn't even cover the cost of parking and lunch. As an aside, does anyone find it humorous that the unemployed lady is complaining about the money she could make off of jury duty? What's that you say? Beggars can't be choosers? I don't know what you're talking about.

Monday, April 27, 2009

career pondering

I've been thinking a lot about careers lately, probably because I spend part of every day cruising craigslist. As I browse through the various categories of listings I occasionally stumble on something that looks appealing, but mostly the jobs are things I apply to knowing that while I'm qualified for them, I won't actually enjoy them. And I know "no one enjoys working," "if it were fun it wouldn't be called work," etc etc, but come on, I know plenty of people that like, possibly even love, their jobs. And what I assume it comes down to is finding a job doing something that you honestly enjoy and not just something that pays the bills. Simple enough to say, but how do you figure that out?

At 29 I should know what I want to do for a career. In fact, by 29 I should be working at a job that may not be my dream, but should have me learning skills and meeting connections to secure that dream job in the future. At least that's how life plays out in my dream world. In the real world, I'm 29 and wondering how it is that I don't know what I want to do. How can I feel so ambivalent about my career options? How is that no career ever jumped out to me as The One.

In second grade I wrote an essay about how I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I held on to this idea all the way to college when I became an education major. There it took approximately two semesters for me to realize that I hated the education department at my school and to transfer away out of it. After that my major bounced around more than I can honestly recall because nothing ever grasped me in any kind of life changing way.

During college I worked at Barnes and Noble and since college I've worked as an office manager, a campaign coordinator, and a manager of member services. Out of those my favorite was B&N and that's because I worked with friends. The others, while not bad jobs, did nothing to set my world on fire. They were all jobs that I stumbled upon thanks to friends and not because they were what I wanted to do with my life. There was not a single college class that I took, that in any way related to those jobs.

Jparks says that as long as he's known me I've wanted to be a stay at home mom. And while that's looking like my next career move, it's not what I've always aspired to be. Hell, I could barely imagine having kids, much less staying home to take care of them or having that be a real financial option. And if jparks were right and I had always aspired to be a stay at home mom I would happily admit it, because it would mean that yes, YES, I know what I want to do with my life.

To get back to my question, how did you know what you wanted to do for a career? How many of us actually grow up to be what we wrote our second grade essays about? Did you graduate and find a job that directly related to your degree or did you stumble into something that you never expected to love but do? Am I the only one that spends large portions of time wondering when she'll grow up and discover her career calling?

(can we all agree that I couldn't be a grammar teacher? look at those commas! holy crap, I need help)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I might actually be tan this summer

Not to harp on and on about the heat, but THE! HEAT!, woe is me. At what point do I need to stop saying we're having a heatwave and admit that summer might actually be coming to the non-seasonal Bay Area? A week of 90 degree temps? Two weeks? Dear Mother Nature, you win. You are capable of making us sweat, now can we have our 70 degree weather back?

This morning I woke up and for some reason our air conditioning was not on and I was slowly drowning in a pool of sweat. I weighted my options and realized that maybe it was time to take my kick board and placenta filled ass over to the pool. Thankfully the pool was empty except for two pale fat guys wearing speedos. It's like God sent them to the pool just to make me feel less self conscious and also a little uncomfortable. Once I got over the initial shock of such sexiness, I was able to get in the pool and swim my little heart out. And by swim I mean, cling to the kick board and kick occasionally.

I spent 30 minutes in the pool and honestly that's about 20 more minutes than I thought I would last. I'm not one that usually wants anything to do with water, but after I was out of the pool all I could think of was going back in. Even though I was in the blazing sun, my body temperature dropped for the first time in six months to a level where I didn't think I was about to burst into flames. And this is where you all tell me "well yeah, you idiot," but being in the water did wonders for relieving the pressure from my hips and back. I honestly think I could go swimming every day for the rest of this pregnancy which is such a foreign thought for me that I'm kinda freaking myself out.

The other way I'm dealing with the heat is to consume Popsicles by the box full. Did you know that Popsicle sticks now come with jokes printed on them? They are jokes that would best appeal to five year olds and unless they start using poop or fart jokes I'm going to be underwhelmed by them: "What did the hamburgers name their daughter? Patty." But tonight's Popsicle revealed a joke that I get, but I'm sure a kid could say the same thing: "What did the leaves name their son? Russel." Am I alone in thinking that might go right over a kid's head? Also, why are all the jokes about naming kids? What happened to such classics as "What's red and green and goes 175 mph? A frog in a blender." I blame Popsicles for all the teenagers having sex and getting pregnant. Obviously they are just trying to create their own little punchlines. If I were the Popsicle CEO, my first order of business would be to tuck a few condoms inside every box of Popsicles. In fact, Popsicle makers I give you permission to steal that idea because something that brilliant needs to be acted upon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

big clothes, little clothes, and movies

We are in the middle of a heatwave here in the Bay Area and it kinda sucks. Although, honestly it's not that bad because there is no humidity and I have air con, but right now I generate so much internal heat that I need no environmental help staying warm. And of course, I'm ill prepared for high temperatures as the bulk of my maternity clothes are jeans and other things that are make me sweat through my deodorant by just looking at them. So today I hit the mall in search of maternity dresses that would provide a bit of summer relief and would possibly still be flattering on my new weirdly shaped body.

Of course, I figured my stomach would be the big hurdle when clothes shopping but I was wrong. Dear internet, let me introduce you to my boobs:


Holy crap, they need to stop growing. When I put on tops and dresses you can hear the fabric screaming as it struggles to hold them in. That dress was cute, but I had to go up two sizes to get it to fit in the breast region. I bought it despite that, figuring that surely my stomach is bound to catch up with my giant breasts at some point and until then it'll just be a less flattering dress. It's funny how pregnancy combined with extreme heat changes your clothing standards.

And speaking of clothes, look at what I also bought over the weekend:

I really need to stop going to Janie and Jack because between those two jackets and the hoodie that I bought, I'm making myself sick with the cuteness.

And finally, to totally change the topic of this post, when do you call it quit with Netflix movies? I've had The Holiday at home for about two months now, yet I haven't watched it. If I really wanted to see it wouldn't I have carved out two hours from my very busy tv watching schedule for it? But on the other hand, I put it in my queue so I must want to see it. Do you have a rule of thumb for situations like this? Like if it sits for a month, then back it goes? Or if it sits for a month then you make yourself watch it immediately? Because these are the kind of big decisions I am unable to make.

Friday, April 17, 2009

modern day geniuses

I've been spending quite a bit of time searching for things to put on the walls of the kid's room, in a move that I believe is called nesting. On a side note, I would like the nesting to stop please, because I can not afford it anymore. Today I spent so much at Lowe's that the cashier hugged me and then the other workers threw confetti as I exited the store. And I faxed in the order for the new carpet. ALL IN THE SAME DAY. I'm expecting a call from my credit card company thanking me any minute now.

Anyway, so I've been searching for things to put on the walls in the nursery and I stumbled on a site that custom makes wall decals. On the home page they scroll quotes that customers have recently ordered and, I shit you not, someone ordered a quote from Ashton Kutcher's twitter. I know this, not because I follow Ashton's twitter, but because the person ordering the quote actually gave credit to Ashton and even specified that it came from his twitter. Not to sound like a grandmother, but what is the world coming to? Are people really ordering the words of a guy that created Punk'd to put on their walls? Did I somehow miss the memo alerting the world that Ashton is one of our greatest minds?

I wasn't really considering a quote decal, but now I'm starting to second guess myself. I'm going to shift my focus from finding art to scouring celebrity twitter accounts for other quotes to impart on my child. Oprah just created an account, surely she's bound to spew greatness worthy of my walls. Oh! Or Shaq. Hell, his bio is VERY QUOTATIOUS, I bet in one day he twitters enough inspiring thoughts to fill my whole house. In fact, here's a quote from him that I'm going to put above my bathroom mirror: "I c two twin sisters. Ug and lee Lol" Brilliant!

Monday, April 13, 2009

leftovers FTW!

Yesterday, as you might know, was Easter and in the fine Parks tradition we hosted Undead Easter complete with Zombie Strippers! and too much ham. After ingesting my share of the zombie strippers ham, I headed over to the Britney Spears concert for what I was calling "the gayifaction of my unborn son." And just in case the concert wasn't enough to make the baby gay, I bought this:

Today I was faced with leftovers for lunch and since I wasn't feeling like ham with mac and cheese again, I dug around in the fridge until I came up with an idea: Gourmet Hot Pockets. Oh hell yeah.

Take some Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough and flatten it out into rectangles. Layer ham, brie, and more ham on one rectangle. Put a bit of mustard on another crescent rectangle and put that on top of your fillings. Pinch the sides closed and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees.

I'm not a huge ham fan, but dear god this was good. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if I had some sliced apples to put inside. I do have apricot jam, so maybe I'll try that instead of the mustard next time. And by next time, I mean tonight for dinner.

Friday, April 10, 2009

humor is our best family trait

Today I should have been updating my resume since I have to mail in my unemployment paperwork saying I did indeed look for work this week and I don't want to lie, but instead I spent the day texting with my mom. And now I'm going to write a blog post about those texts instead of writing my resume. Procrastination for the win!

Also, my mom would disown me for this if I weren't knocked up with her first and possibly only grandchild. I'm fairly certain I have carte blanc to tell you whatever I want about her from here out and she can't get mad at me.

mom: "I got some more liposuction, if I feel better I might go see [insert male name here] this weekend."

me: "Are you going to look like Joan Rivers soon? You might scare your grandson."

"I haven't touched my face yet. And you're in California, he'll be scared if I don't look all sucked and pulled."

"I live in Northern California with all the hippes, not the beautiful Los Angeles people."

"Oh my god, now I have to buy stupid Birkenstocks and grow pit hair to visit."

"Bonus points if you become a lesbian and wear tie dye."


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

cat littered

Remember when I mentioned that Molly has ruined the carpet in our guest room and, in order to safely turn it in a nursery, I would have to replace it? I would like to go back to that time please. That time when I didn't know just how hella expensive carpet is. And when I could look at Molly without wanting to force her into kitty pageants to pay off her many vet bills and home improvement expenses. (Do you think that cat pageants would be as awesome as dog pageants are in Best In Show? Because if so, I'm packing up a busy bee and entering one immediately.)

I've gotten two bids on replacing the carpet in that one 10'x16' room and the first bid is right below $1000 and the second is just above $1100. I could call more companies, but I am confident that the lower bid will be the lowest I'm going to get. When the contractor called me with the bid info he even told me "I buy a lot of carpet and I've got to be honest, that's some expensive carpet." Great. Thanks Molly for literally pissing away $1000. Perhaps if I use loose change in your litter box instead of cat litter you'll start going in there? Would that be more acceptable for your bathroom needs? You do realize that I have to pay for cat litter, so even by peeing on that you are costing me money. Why can't that be enough for you?

I feel like this experience has been a good lesson preparing me for parenthood. Why buy the expensive stroller when your kid will just pee and puke on it? Why get the more expensive, but just as safe as the cheap model, car seat when you'll just end up picking cheerios and god knows what else out of it for the next three years? The only thing I think I can justify spending a ton of money one is a breast pump and that's because it's for me and I take care of my things. I have never once peed on the floor in my bedroom. And while you will occasionally find a stray french fry in my car, I assure you it didn't come from me. Drive through employees drop them in while handing me my bag of food just to make me look bad. It's a conspiracy, X-Files even did an episode about it once.

Monday, April 6, 2009

maybe I'll feel like less of a tool if I join the mall walkers

Before I got pregnant I like to think that I was a pretty active person. I mean I hated the gym with the best of them, but I still made myself go. (Mostly thanks to the personal trainer that cost me a butt load of money. Nothing guilts you into working out like paying a stupid amount to get your ass handed to you on a bench press) However, since getting pregnant I've become one of the laziest people to sloth their way across the earth.

I know that one of the keys to a healthy pregnancy is exercise but I prefer to pretend I have never heard that bit of advice. And honestly it kills me to be this lazy, but I'm one of those "If I can't do what I want, then I'm not doing anything at all" types of people, and right now I can't run so I'm doing nothing. How sick is it that I want to go for a run so badly that I actually dream I'm training for various races. Who does that? Shouldn't I be dreaming of booze and sushi and other crap that's off limits? No, not me, in my dreams I lace up my trainers and head out for a 10 mile run. I dream of clipping my iPod on and hearing the songs that make me mouth the words like an idiot while I run through my neighborhood.

While I'm not allowed to run I am allowed, encouraged even, to walk. But really, walking? Lame. My grandmother walks. My tiny chihuahua walks. Weird speedwalkers walk. I walk from the car to the mall but I do not walk as exercise. It's not that I don't recognize it as exercise, it's just that I feel so weird walking. When I'm walking through the neighborhood I feel like I should have a little sign that says "I'm not casing your house, I'm walking. FOR EXERCISE." When I go running I'm all decked out in running clothes, and somehow that makes it feel like real exercise, but when I walk I'm in my regular clothes. Working out gets you sweaty, sweating requires special clothes, walking requires no special clothes, therefore walking is not working out. See Regan justify. Justify, Regan, justify.

So since running is out and walking is not my thing, I think I might take up swimming. Because there is nothing sexier than a preggo in a tankini. Our neighborhood has a heated pool and I don't think many people use it in the mornings, so my plan is to buy a kick board and swim modified laps. Modified because I'm going to basically float while kicking. But that's exercise! Why? Because I need special clothing to do it and equipment. See previous paragraph.

Now, someone ask me in a week if I've gone swimming even once. Because I'm fairly certain the answer will be "No, but I went for a damn walk."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

employment status: fully terminated

Sorry I've been quiet for a couple of days, I've been a bit stressed out with my employment situation. You all know I was laid off in January, but what I haven't really talked about is how I still worked for the same company as a part time employee since then. Looking back on the situation I know that when presented with the option of part time work I should have said no thanks. I was making less money as a part time employee than I did five years ago as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble. Also, unemployment would have paid me more than the part time job did, so I basically screwed myself out of money all while working myself like crazy. Good times! I think I was just blindsided in January by the layoff and scared because pregnant and laid off didn't seem like a good mix in this economy, so I figured I should take the part time work because it was better than nothing.

Well, the situation has now changed and as of yesterday I am totally, 100% laid off. I had a bit of a hard time with this when I got the news last week, because the news was very vague and even made it sound like I was still employed. Then things started to become more clear and it was looking like I wouldn't be eligible for unemployment. And then finally the dust settled and I was able to file for unemployment. Assuming this all goes as planned, the unemployment should pay me more than I have been making since January and that actually feels kind of nice. Not that I want to abuse the system in any way, but I've been over working myself trying to help my company and the severance package that all the employees were given in January was not offered to me, so knowing that money will be appearing in my mailbox soon without me having to work too much is a really nice feeling. (Let the record show that the severance packages weren't really anything, they just let everyone keep their laptops, but for some reason I don't get to keep mine. Which really pisses me off even though I don't need the laptop.)

I guess, unlike every other person getting laid off right now, this is actually good news for me. By being on unemployment I'll still be able to get medical disability when I have the baby. And since I have to be actively looking for a job, I will get the joy of seeing the looks on people's faces when big, fat preggo walks into their office for an interview. And it should be fun to watch them uncomfortably interview me all the while wondering when I'm due and not being able to ask. At the very least, this should be good interview practice for me. Of course I'm assuming I get any interviews, which may not happen given the job market right now.

In other news the guestroom/nursery has been painted and it looks incredible. And I'm having a hard time calling it the nursery. Besides the paint there is nothing nursery-ish about it, but eventually it will get there and I suppose I will too. Also, I had the big blank wall painted blue and wow, did it make a difference. I'm actually feeling motivated to find a picture to hang there and order the frames I need to finish it off. Of course, as I'm finally rallying and finishing the house jparks is now talking about moving. Because he apparently has no clue that the market value of homes in this area are tanking and we can't sell for nearly as much as we paid or owe. And if you happen to be one of those people that agrees with jparks and now is so the best time to sell! sell! sell! even if you lose money, then might I suggest you shut your pie hole?