Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When good times go bad.

As I've mentioned previously, I've started attending a Pagan discussion group through the Unitarian Universalist church in town. I'm loving it so far. However, things suddenly took a negative turn over the last week.

Last week, a man showed up for the first time, and in simple terms it was discussed that he wants to seek out a career in law enforcement, but most likely will never get anywhere because no one wants to "give him a chance". One woman, who has been a regular for a while now, mentioned last week that she wanted to discuss visions this week. Between the two meetings, it was revealed that this man is a registered sex offender for sexual assault of a child under 15, with violence and possibly a weapon being involved.

That said, we had talked about bringing children to the group. Aaron and I still brought Autumn, but Bronwen, another regular, said her husband refused to bring her four-year-old. I can't say I blame her.

In the emails during the week I said I didn't want to simply brush off the man's record, but he did declare that all he is asking for is a second chance, and I was willing to give it to him, until I heard what happened before tonight's meeting. The woman wanting to discuss visions arrived 40 minutes early, as she has the key to the building, and the man showed up just as early. The conversation, in a nutshell, was very uncomfortable and ended in the man asking where the woman lived.

That said, the man's "second chance" was over. We all agreed on it and the group leader will respectfully ask the man to not return to the group.

It's so tough to decide what is right in this situation. I agree with asking the man to not return, but he wants a second chance. On the other hand, the above-mentioned woman was able to find his sex offender registry without knowing his last name, and had seen him doing it again in a vision.

As was discussed in a previous meeting when we talked about divination, the future can always change. Just because one has a vision or your tarot says one thing, that never sets anything in stone. Then again, I believe in "harm ye none..."

Hopefully we can move forward from here. I'm very much enjoying the education and community coming from this group. I'm slowly starting to feel like I'm reconnecting with my spirit. Now if my spirit could drag my butt back to the Y.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I need a label-maker. Mine's broken.

I've often been found saying that I hate giving myself a label of any kind. The big "non-label" that I deal with is my religion. I call myself Pagan, but it's really a mish-mosh with heavy Pagan roots.

Some labels I don't mind; Mom, wife, daughter, friend. These roles are very important to me, and I take great pride in them.

In the midst of all the chaos yesterday, one of my managers at the Hut, Dan, and I had a talk in regards to a situation where I felt some of the younger 'kids' at work were being favored. (I swear, there's a connection, here. Bear with me.) One issue I have at work, and this happens in the world in general, is that there are workers who are considered screw-ups, goof-offs and things of the like. When they go through a whole day of work with out any major snafus, they get a hearty pat on the back. The rest of us are expected to maintain a higher standard of work ethic, so it's harder to receive recognition for much of anything.

So here's where the two merge. I wonder where I stand in the workplace and in the world amongst strangers, at the bars, as an example. I'm not the model employee, I know this, but I don't screw up or goof off as much as some. I'm somewhere in the middle. I stayed two extra hours at work last night because I felt it was only fair to have the dining room properly prepared for the opening waitress. For many there would be a big "wow" factor, but for me, it's just what is expected. When I go out to the bars by myself, I have my circle of acquaintances, which I'm just fine with. I sing karaoke, and I'm pretty fair at it. I'll never make it to American Idol, but I can carry a tune. As I mentioned yesterday, there's one guy I see regularly who I like to label the "ultimate entertainer." He looks goofy when he's up singing, but not in a way where you take pity on the guy. He's genuinely fun.

I'm not extraordinarily good at any one thing. To use a cliche, I'm a "Jane-of-all-trades, master of none." I help organize Earthfest, I've performed in plays, but never have I been the head of an event or a lead role. If the world's a stage, I'm "girl #2".

At the same time, I know to be careful what I wish for. Many guys at my school knew who I was back in my high school days, and it was only because they had to know my name to make some god-awful variation to call me fat or ugly.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my husband constantly reminds me of how wonderful of a mother and wife I am to this family. It's certainly not that I don't appreciate the recognition. And I'm proud beyond belief of being the mother of an extraordinary daughter. I guess I just wish I had a bit more to go off of.

Off to bed, yet again, at a late hour. Hopefully tomorrow will bring a bit of cold sunshine. (no, seriously, we're looking at a high of 10 for tomorrow.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

(un)Grateful (brain)Dead

So tonight was Michael's birthday party. Being the genius that I am, I volunteered to have the second half of it at Pizza Hut, since I was already serving and could not attend otherwise. Aaron and I said we'd pay for the food and I decorated Michael's cake (which took over 3 hours to do). Now, I don't mind doing any of these things. I love Darren and Michael dearly.

It came to a few hours before the party was to start at Blue Harbor, and Aaron called the boys' mom, Samantha, to verify times and schedule, etc. We found out at that moment that the invites said for the parents to pick up the kids at 8:30. I'm scheduled till 9 and 20-plus people's worth of crap is a lot to clean. Aaron tries to explain that this is a bit late for Autumn as well as the sake of my job at hand, and she replies that there's no school tomorrow, so it's not late for the kids. With some frustrated backing and forthing, Samantha is not getting it, nor is she listening anymore, so Aaron hangs up. She and I end in a text-fight, where I explain that we're frustrated at the lack of communication. Long story short, she goes into bullshit semantics, and I ask for a truce.

Aaron's parents show up at the Hut well before the party arrives and I find that Samantha had given the wrong location on the invites (there are two Pizza Hut's in town) . Can we call this a communication breakdown yet?

The party itself is a success, I have a mess to clean, but I am prepared for it. Samantha's boyfriend, Jon (who I've long ago established as a guy I think highly of-so why is he with her???) is the only one from Samantha's side of the "family" to acknowledge what kind of task I took on and gave me a sincere "thank you". I'm the type who believes those two words mean everything. Sure, I got a thank you from Samantha, as she had one hand on the door heading out, and I said "bye" to them first. Maybe it's just me, but it didn't seem all that sincere anyway.

Two hours after my scheduled shift I head out. The original plan was that I was going to meet up with my mom at the bowling alley up the street, like we often do on Thursdays. She bailed out to go out with some of the bowling teammates for a preemptive birthday celebration.

I decided to hit Hopps Haven where I knew there would be karaoke. There is a regular there, named Aaron, who is the ultimate performer. He dances with more gusto and vibe than anyone finding themselves dancing alone while cleaning their house. Oh, and he does a bad-ass "Baby Got Back" that puts Sir Mix-a-Lot to shame. As I watch this guy, I sit and wonder what it takes to be so free and unashamed of himself. More people need to be like him, myself included.

After two 7-and-7's on an empty stomach I'm still feeling like shit (in fact, a bit worse for the wear), so of course I hit Taco Bell and come home to eat and vent/blog. I gotta work in about six hours so I better get my ass to bed.

Keep on Truckin'.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stuff (at a lack of a creative title today)

Boy, am I doing better today. Yesterday I came home pissed about a two-minute situation at the end of my work shift, came home to a stressed husband, then went back to work today knowing I'd have to confront the situation from last night.

Work went significantly better than I expected. I found myself tattling on myself to my boss in order to explain where my frustration came from. Thankfully the other person's wrongdoing greatly overshadowed mine. Confused? Too bad.

Anywho, things got resolved, my boss sided with me and I came home to a much happier husband. The weather is starting to behave again so I will be able to bring Autumn to our swimming class again tomorrow. I skipped out on the Y all last week and I'm feeling like a total schmuck for doing so.

Michael's birthday party is this Thursday, and I volunteered to make his cake. I may be regretting this in 24 to 72 hours. The idea is based on a cake I saw online with classic Super Mario Brothers as the theme. Pictures of the catastrophe to follow.

Oh yeah, and did I mention my house is falling apart? The kitchen sink got severely clogged from excess cake and frosting crap on Saturday and I just today was able to get around to working on it. The plunger didn't work, Liquid Plumber didn't stand a chance, so I went to the almighty Internet for advice. "Plug the other side of the sink and plunge away"* it said. And whadya know? It worked! Meanwhile, I have a faucet in the basement where a washer has been worn to oblivion, so when it's on at all, it sprays everywhere. This faucet is for our clothes washer, so it can be turned off for now, but we'll need clean clothes sooner or later. Home Depot better have someone in plumbing who knows shit working tomorrow, or I'll start firebombing. No I won't.

*slightly paraphrased.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Diapers and Liquid Plumber

True story; After a visit to my grandparents, we ran to Target to pick up diapers for Autumn and Liquid Plumber for our kitchen sink. "What an odd combination," I thought to myself. Then I found that the man in front of me at the checkout had the exact same combination, the only difference being the brand of diapers. The man and I got a good laugh...

Today was Autumn's first birthday party, and it went incredibly well. Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends came to celebrate. I even managed to bake the cake from scratch using Splenda. The only negative reaction I caught was that one person didn't care for the frosting. It was more filling that we had expected. I'm just glad it was edible.
Somewhere along the line, before the party, one of our kitchen sinks got ridiculously clogged. I mean, really, really clogged. I had half of a bottle of Liquid Plumber already in the house, but to no avail. Good ol' plunger? Nothing. Oy...
The party was filled with adorable moments, not enough of which were caught on camera. My friend Amanda, whose daughter Gabby is only six days younger than Autumn, stopped by for a few minutes. Autumn approached Gabby and gave her a big bear hug. Unfortunately, the roaring "awwww" thereafter scared Gabby a bit and made her fuss. Another baby, Reilly (seven month-old son of my good friend Robyn) got another one of Autumn's famous hugs, and he took it quite well. There was ripped paper, laughter, happy noises, and all kinds of things that baby memories are made of.
I also got the perfect "cake shot". You know, the one every mother needs to get of their kid on their first birthday after they've wreaked havoc on the frosting. As you can see, there was lots of blue.
My grandparents, who live in Sheboygan Falls, chose not to come to the party due to the snowy weather. The weather really wasn't too bad but my grandmother has a hard time moving around and just didn't want to risk falling. So we brought a party to their house. We had a wonderful visit, just Aaron, Autumn and myself.
Which brings us to Target, purchasing diapers and Liquid Plumber.
Meanwhile, I skipped out on the Y this week, and I feel like absolute crap for it. Of course it doesn't help when it's closed two days of the week due to insanely cold temperatures.
Thursday Autumn had her one-year portraits taken at Sears, which took all of fifteen minutes. The kid's a rock star. Yesterday was her doctor's appointment, where the poor girl was a human pin cushion; three vaccinations plus having blood drawn for a lead screening. She didn't bounce back from the shots as quickly as she usually does. It broke my heart, as usual.
I'm really hoping the weather starts to get back into shape. I hate having to re-arrange my schedule because of it. I need to get back to the Y and get my usual shtick back in order.
I have so much more to say, but I'm just too tired to type any m

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Babes in Toyboxes

Today I got a video of Autumn, who had already crawled into her toybox, hang out, throw a few toys out of said box, and crawl out. It doesn't sound extraordinary, but it was cute as hell.

I haven't changed the ticker yet, but I'm up to losing five pounds! I slacked so horribly during the two weeks of Christmas and New Years. It didn't help that the Y kept closing down for snow days for a while, either. I'm back on track, now. Of course I say this as my husband is currently out picking up a McDonald's supper. Sigh. More time on the treadmill tomorrow.

I'm working on putting Autumn's 1st birthday party together...which is next week!! Why do I constantly talk about having to clean the house for the next get-together on this blog????

That's it for now. Just thought I'd post since it's been over a week. Laterz.