Archive for November, 2011


Today after my workout I stopped at the grocery store to pick up one thing only to leave having spent about $40.

While I was at the grocery store spending my $40, I spotted a woman with a tiny cart and a scanner strapped to her wrist. It really was a slick device, reminiscent of a futuristic accessory one might see on Dr. Who or Torchwood. She was scanning a bag of potato chips with the wrist scanner and and jotting notes in her notebook.

I imagine she was some sort of independent representative or supplier taking inventory of stock because the next time I saw her she was scanning a 2-liter bottle of soda.

I found myself envying her a little.

Sometimes I wish I had a job in which I was a little more independent. I’d love to shuffle around the store scanning crap with a futuristic Captain Jack Harkness doodad strapped to my wrist.  I’d love being able to set my own pace and essentially have a list of crap to scan and make notes in my little notebook.

I’m sure there’s more to her job and I’m sure she has to deal with administrative and bureaucratic bullshit just as much as anyone else.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she would hear about the job I have and wish for the great pay, security and benefits it offers.  Maybe being on her feet is starting to wear on her and she’d love a job in which she gets to sit all day.

Then there’s my hairdresser, the lovely Nancy who thankfully has not retired. Nancy now works solely out of her cute little home salon and when she clocks out for the day she just has to walk the ten or twenty feet from the salon to her house proper. I was there until 10 pm last Wednesday trying to make myself not look almost 40 and Nancy told me she sometimes will work up to 11:00 because it’s just so convenient to do so.

I envied Nancy, too, especially since I know she loves what she does.

Even though these two ladies have completely different professions, there’s something about each of them that spoke to me and made me wish I wasn’t parked in front of a desk all day. When thoughts like that start creeping into my head, I have to remind myself that I’ve thus far not been completely happy in any one of the jobs I’ve held and would probably not be happy in theirs.

And so…at nearly 40 years old, I’m still searching for what I want to be when I grow up.


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Hello, November

A couple of weeks ago I emailed my friend Julie through Facebook and was all, “Hey, did you know November is National Novel Writing Month? Let’s jump into the crazy and write ourselves some novels!”

Or something like that.

I’ve been on this planet for, oh, nearly 40 years now and it seems every year I forget how much of a shit storm of stress November is. It seems most of the adults in my family and Nathan’s family thought February and March were excellent months to get down and do the nasty, the end result being that 88% of our family has birthdays between November 16 and December 17. And of course there are a couple of other high-stress holidays packed in there as well.

Let’s also add that Autumn has been talking of nothing but a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party for months. I didn’t want to do a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. Nathan didn’t want to do a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. We’ve had something far classier planned as a birthday surprise ever since we heard The Wizard of Oz would be opening at The Civic Theater the weekend after Autumn’s birthday.

But the girl just would not shut up about Chuck E. Cheese, so Nathan and I decided that we’d invite our friends to join us there to celebrate Autumn’s birthday, opting to buy everyone pizza rather than book a formal party.

However…there was a miscommunication between husband and wife and the husband went all rouge and attempted to alter the social calendar without first checking with the wife, which made the wife lose her shit and stress the hell out even more.

Translation: we are now booking a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party.

And that brings us to the cake dilemma. As you may know, or not since I seemed to have forgotten this year actually had an October in it, I just concluded eight weeks of cake decorating classes. For eight weeks my life was all about cake and frosting because I wanted to make Autumn an excellent cake that would not cripple my hand from piping hundreds of little stars (see exhibit E from 2007).

But now we’re doing this Chuck E. Cheese birthday party after Autumn’s birthday, which has me stressing about whether she’s going to want a cake on her actual birthday. First world problem, I know, and if I had more than one child I’d probably drop a Twinkie on a plate, cover it with Reddi Whip and call it good. However, both of my grandmothers are still alive and hoping to celebrate with their great-granddaughter. Having warned them away from Chuck E. Cheese, I sort of implied there would be a celebration at my house on Autumn’s birthday.

Thankfully I do not have to work that day, but my GOD I have a kid in kindergarten who’s also expecting treats for 26 classmates minus the one kid with food issues.

So you can imagine how I felt when I saw November 1st approacheth on the calendar and decided to completely shut down. Halloween night, while Nathan was out trick-or-treating with Autumn, I logged onto Hulu, watched back-to-back episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ate back-to-back bars of Peanut Butter Snickers, which I discovered I may love more than Reeses peanut butter cups. I actually love them too much and had to ignore the last few groups of trick-or-treaters because I ran out of candy.

That being said, with the exception of a five page office orientation document I drafted for work last week, these words are the most I’ve written since my last blog post in September.

Julie has dutifully emailed me progress reports on her writing and I have dutifully replied with flaky responses about how busy I am (who’s not, right?). She has kicked out over seven thousand words to my zero words and I’m so very proud of her because this whole writing thing is very hard when you’re not whining about how life has you by the balls.

So here’s what I decided about the whole birthday thing. As 88% of my family knows, a birthday in the vicinity of either Thanksgiving or Christmas means your birthday celebration can be readily postponed until Thanksgiving or Christmas. The great-grandmas can wait until Thanksgiving, pumpkin and/or apple pie can stand in as a birthday confection and I’m only going to worry about busting out one fabulous cake and 26 treats minus the one I don’t have to make for the kid with food issues.

Happy November, everyone!

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