Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wanderlust

Sometimes we hear news and we have a reaction that surprises us. My dad is 70 years old and was recently laid off. In a perfect world, he would be retired already and staying home to drive my mother nuts. Instead, their financial situation kept him working and the lay off scared my parents. I know that he started looking for work immediately and even met with a bunch of recruiters just to get his resume out to as many places as quickly as possible.

My dad called me tonight which is unusual. He only calls when there’s bad news or if he wants to bitch that he hasn’t seen his granddaughters enough. Knowing that he spent time with them on Saturday and Sunday, I knew that couldn’t be the purpose of his call. I was in the middle of putting the girls to bed when he called so I called him back. He asked if the girls were in bed then told me to sit down. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be good.

My dad found a job. This job will take him to Afghanistan for a year, working on computer systems on an American military base. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he would take a job like that, one that would require him to wear a uniform even. He was in the Air Force for over 20 years and even though he’s been retired for decades, I’m certain he’s missed that life every single day.

My dad joined the military at 17. I don’t know all that he did in the military, but I know that he was in Viet Nam and later was part of a Special Ops group that flew C-130s around the world. We were stationed in Germany for the better part of my childhood and I remember many TDYs where he’d be gone for weeks at a time, but never long enough for a permanent change of station. Wherever he went, he brought home wonderful gifts and never arrived on time. This is where the “hurry up and wait” expression comes from. Thankfully, C-130s are so freakin’ loud, we always knew when he was close. I remember going to meet his plane after he had been gone forever. They were supposed to arrive at some crazy time in the middle of the night. My mom was smart and knew better. She brought things for us to do and blankets for us to snuggle up with. Hours later, we heard the plane arrive and jumped out of the car. We looked and looked for my dad, but couldn’t find him. I remember being on the sidewalk leading to their squadron and turning all the way around, wondering where he was. There was a thin man in a flight suit with a mustache laughing his ass off at us. He had been gone so long, he had grown a mustache and started running so he lost a ton of weight. Since that day, he has worn a mustache.

His last job in the military was flying on a security detail for President Reagan. He retired in the early 1980’s then went to college and worked in the computer industry. There were some hard times financially and we finally moved halfway across the country when I was 15. Since that time, he’s had multiple jobs, some of which have involved travel, mostly within the United States. Last year he did spend a bit of time in Qatar doing something similar to what he will do in Afghanistan.

My reaction should be that I am scared for my dad, going to such a dangerous part of the world. Instead, I am jealous. I am jealous because I never had an opportunity to do something like this. To take a job that would let me see more of the world. I never wanted to be in the military, nor did I want to travel to dangerous areas. When I was in high school, I wanted to become a teacher and work in areas of the country where there weren’t a lot of teachers. I had Appalachia and Indian reservations specifically in mind. Obviously, I never got that teaching degree so those dreams were never realized.

Instead I got married and had babies. I’ve only recently achieved my goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree. This degree is in business and I’ve done a little research, if only to dream, looking at jobs that would take me around the world. I found an interesting position with the FBI that required a year working in Dubai. L’Oreal offers internships to students in a variety of degree programs to learn their business at their various facilities in Europe.

I don’t for a single instant regret the path my life has taken. I have an amazing family and live in a beautiful home. I earned my degree as an adult, which made me appreciate the education more than I would have as a teenager/young adult. Every once in a while though, I can’t help daydreaming about the places I could see and the jobs that I could have if only I had gotten a degree immediately after graduating from high school.

I complain about my dad, but I am very much like him. He can be arrogant, condescending and rude. He is opinionated and is always right. I have many of those traits as well, but I try to keep those behaviors under wraps and use my “inside voice.” This blog is an outlet for some of those things. There is one trait that I have that is from my dad that I’m not ashamed of: the wanderlust to see the world and do things that many others wouldn’t think of doing. He started his travels at the age of 17 and his choices gave my sister and me the opportunity to travel around and see things that many others haven’t seen.

At 70 he continues to feed his “wanderlust.” Perhaps that can be my goal… I’ll start traveling the world as a crotchety old woman of 70. Imagine that. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sissy

Some people would move the earth for you. Some people wouldn’t pee on you if you were ablaze. We all know people like this and as you read that sentence, you might have come up with your own prime examples under each category. How do you deal with people in the second category when they are related to you? Or worse, when you marry someone who has relatives like that? When it’s your own family, you have the option of delivering a much-deserved bitch slap and hopefully moving on right after.

I have admitted many times in this blog that my own family drives me batshit crazy, but they’re still my family. I try to do right by them and always make sure to bring the kids around a lot as I feel that it’s important for them to know their grandparents, aunts and uncles. EN has also gotten into the habit of stopping at his mother’s with the girls once a week for a visit. I’m sure that as the weather gets warmer, this might be more challenging as the girls will want to be home swimming or playing with their friends.

EN’s sister is the opposite. She will not help family. She will not visit family. The only time that she’s available is if there’s a possibility that she will get a gift from someone. I could fill pages, telling stories about the things she’s done but in the grand scheme of things I’ll end up looking like a liar. No one on earth could really be that selfish and self centered, right?

It’s become a long-standing family joke at this point that you could invite Sissy, her husband and son to anything with tons of notice and they’ll find an excuse not to attend. Their cars aren’t running. The baby has a runny nose It's too windy where they live. Her husband’s back is hurt. It might snow four days from now and she needs to stay home in anticipation of the Next Great Blizzard.

Frankly, her way of being has never bothered me because I can’t stand being around her. I’m almost always delighted that she cannot attend different events. Not only is she unwilling to participate in family functions, but she complains that she is not included and she’s always the odd man out. I’m sorry honeybunch, but you just can’t have it both ways. You either take part in things or you stop bitching about it. Period. No exceptions, we’ve all had enough.

This week EN Senior gets to make a somewhat painful trip to visit his own dad. EN Senior and his siblings will be getting together to discuss Great Grandpa’s living situation and assisted living options. Even before talks have begun, it’s obvious this will not be an easy trip to make.

As always, EN Senior prepares well in advance. We’ve known for quite some time that he’d be flying up and staying two hours away. He got in touch with both EN and Sissy yesterday to remind them that he’d be around and offered to “meet in the middle” for dinner and a visit with his kids and grandkids. He and EN started discussing different options while Sissy offered up a bunch of excuses all at once as to why she couldn’t drive ONE HOUR to visit her father.

I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised. Her own mother now lives 45 minutes away and she never bothers to visit with her. God forbid someone ask her to drive an HOUR ALONE with a BABY in the car. I guess I could see her point if we were, let’s say, Amish and she needed to traverse snow-covered fields for hours in a horse-drawn carriage. But no, this is the girl that is constantly bragging about all the cars and motorcycles they have.  

Instead of whining and complaining about her car not running right, perhaps they should sell the five or six they own, and some of the 47 motorcycles they claim to have and buy one or two reliable cars? If she’s not willing to do that, then I just might be willing to smack her in the mouth the next time she complains that Sugar and Spice don’t seem to know her as well as they know my sister.

I wrote this to stop myself from calling her and telling her what a douchebag she really is. It’s killing me to keep my mouth shut.  

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Last Dance

Saturday EN and Sugar attended the annual Father Daughter Dance together. This event is held at Sugar’s school. In September she will be heading off to middle school so this was their last event. Neither one said much about being sad that it was their last dance, but it was bittersweet for me. It means my girl is growing up.

Preparations began several weeks ago when we bought the dress. It was a pale pink strappy number that Sugar loved. In years past, we’ve had much drama during this process as well so I was relieved that we found something we liked our first time out. We looked for shoes in quite a few stores but didn’t find the right pair until Friday night. I think the pressure was on!

EN had his suit cleaned and ordered the corsage. I picked everything up Saturday morning while they were at skating lessons. Saturday afternoon was dedicated to getting ready for the big event. I curled Sugar’s hair and painted her nails.

Of course preparations are not without drama. The back of her hair wasn’t curly enough and her bangs weren’t doing the “side-swept straight” thing quite right. Her (non) boobs were hanging out of the dress that she swore fit properly in the store. And the mama is left feeling that nothing she does is good enough. Spice added to the drama by putting Lola in her doll crib and running back and forth through the upstairs hallway with it. While I stood there, armed with hot curlers, a curling iron and a straightening iron, all I could picture was a two-pound puppy tumbling down the stairs.

After a few tense moments (which felt like hours), Sugar found a little pink jacket that she had worn the year before and put it on. It matched the new dress perfectly yet hid the boob issue. I’m still not entirely sure that she was happy with her hair though. I did my best, but maybe it’s worth paying the money to have a professional do it right.

We went into the family room and took a few pictures. I noted that as the years have gone on, we’ve taken fewer and fewer pictures. At least I remembered to take the dead plants off the mantle before they posed!

The happy couple left for the big dance and I was stuck with a scowling, sobbing Spice who was clutching, none to gently, a terrified puppy. Spice was tired and I’m sure unhappy to see her sister all dolled up while she had to stay home with a mama who was grumpy by this point.

We spent our evening making brownies and playing Hi Ho Cherry-O. Statistically, I cannot figure out how she kept landing on all the right numbers, while I landed on all the wrong ones. She graciously celebrated her many wins with fist pumps, butt shakes and “woo hoooos.” I drowned my sorrows in the batch of brownies.

Our evening was periodically interrupted with texts from EN asking the names of various fathers. It’s beyond me how after four years he can’t remember a single name, while I know them all off the top of my head. Thank God for the technology we are armed with so that I could help him. The best text came towards the end of the night when EN texted, “Would you let your kid wear an ass-cheek miniskirt, black nylons, knee high boots and a garter?!”

Their enchanted evening passed without drama. Sugar and her friends all played nicely and danced up a storm. EN socialized with the other dads that were left behind under the basketball hoop. EN and Sugar seemed to have met in the middle a few times to dance together.

They returned with big smiles and Sugar said, “The last one was the best one.” I guess the crappy hairdo didn’t matter so much after all.

EN has a year off as Spice will only be in kindergarten next year, which is a separate school. I can only imagine the drama she will bring to dress shopping, preparations and attendance of this event. Remind me then that I said I am no longer on the hair committee. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thoughts on a Friday Night

Earlier this week I blogged about the lecture on domestic violence that I heard in my mediation training on Wednesday night. I said something about having had a boyfriend throw me against a wall and dumping him the next day. I feel like my comment may have trivialized this problem in our society. I realize that the problem becomes so much more difficult to solve when there is a marriage and children involved. My comment was not meant to offend, and if it did, I sincerely apologize. Getting out of a situation like that is certainly not as simple as dumping a boyfriend.

I wrote about wanting to get involved to somehow help the victims of domestic violence. I’m happy to say that I started researching different opportunities available and sent an email to the shelter closest to my home. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but I certainly hope I do so that I can find a way to become more involved in my local community.

I also found some information about a charity walk called Missy’s Hope. This event will occur on October 15, 2011. It’s a 5K Walk/Run that I plan on taking part in, providing that the wedding I’m attending that day is later in the evening. I’m likely to bring a daughter or two and a puppy or three and would love to have friends join us (you know this fat ass will be walking, not running!). As the event gets closer, I’ll definitely send out information via the blog and Facebook.

Several months ago I wrote about a tragic murder that occurred locally. One of the criminals was convicted back in November. I’m thrilled beyond belief that the second participant in these hideous crimes was convicted today. His attorneys tried to prove that he was insane at the time of the crime. The jury did not buy his story and found him to be legally sane. I’m happy they will spend their lives behind bars, but part of me is angry about this. They planned this crime and bragged about it afterwards, seemingly without remorse. I am remorseful that my tax dollars will pay for them to have three hots and a cot. There’s certainly a quicker, cheaper way to punish these bastards.

The husband of the victim and the daughter that survived the attack were in the courtroom to hear the sentencing. The husband spoke beautifully of his wife and the life that was tragically taken too soon. Their daughter did not speak, but I was overwhelmed to see her in the courtroom. I think it took incredible courage for her to be there and face her attacker. She survived his attack by playing dead until the criminals left the house and she displayed that same strength today.

I think her mother would be proud.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Here It Is, Cupcakes!

I will start this post with the note that much of this may seem petty and not worth worrying about to many of you. But then, many of you are mothers and you will understand how much the small stuff matters to young girls. And when something matters to my girls, and that matter hurts them… Well, it brings out the Mama Bear in me.

I have already spent so much time ranting about these people involved in Sugar’s Girl Scout troop that I feel like I should stop complaining. Then something new happens and gets me fired up all over again.

At the end of February, Sugar’s BFFL told her that C couldn’t stand her. This girl happens to be in the same Girl Scout troop. It seems to me that BFFL is in cohoots with this other girl and since she told Sugar of C’s dislike, C has become more public about it. I have seen them interact twice since then, and I notice that C is charming and sweet when her mother is nearby, but when she’s out of sight, she specifically excludes Sugar. When Sugar approaches, she pulls the other girls away. Yes, this is life, not everyone has to like you, but it’s so hurtful when you see this happen to your own child.

I am not sure if this occurs in every household, but when it’s our turn to bring snack for any meeting or party, it’s a big deal. A HUGE deal, in fact. We start planning in advance, discussing our options, different recipes, what everyone else has already brought and what everyone likes. This was our week to provide a snack for the Girl Scout meeting and we decided on cupcakes.

Sugar was at school on Monday and discussed this with BFFL. C was listening in and said, “You aren’t bringing snack, it’s my turn.” That night, Sugar told me about it and I said I knew it was our week. She got really worked up about it so I agreed to email the leader to confirm. I got a response back from the leader that said she had heard from C’s mom that day and she’s always “on top of things” and didn’t mention a snack. Part of me wonders if there's and inference that I’m not “on top of things” by reconfirming snack, but whatever.

When I returned from training last night, I asked Sugar how her meeting went and if everyone liked her cupcakes. She said they did, then said “And C brought a snack too!” This is huge drama with the 10-year-old set. It’s like C invaded her territory and she was PISSED. How dare she? I am sure that I didn’t help things by getting mad myself. Seeing my girls hurt brings out the worst in me. I may have used my outside voice and said something like “C is an asshole.”

As I’ve already said, I don’t know if snack is a huge deal everywhere, but it is at my house and apparently it is at the C's house. I just don’t understand why this mom that is so “on top of things” would bring a snack when it wasn’t her turn? I’m sure C went home and mentioned that Sugar was planning a snack, right??

In a month or perhaps even a few days, this issue will be a non-issue, I’m sure. But today my girl is sad and she feels she’s not being treated nicely. I reminded her again that NO ONE has the right to hurt her EVER. If she’s that bothered by the behavior, I fully support her if she’d like to quit going to the Girl Scout meetings. Extra-curricular activities are supposed to be fun times with friends. If she’s not having fun, it’s not worth the trouble.

The annual Father Daughter Dance is this weekend and EN will be attending with Sugar. Last night I made him aware of the situation and he told me that he’s not surprised. In fact, he can’t stand C’s father… “Every time I see that guy he says, ‘How’s it going, Pal?’ I’m not his damn PAL!” I was surprised by EN’s reaction because nothing bothers him and he typically gets along with everyone.

I asked him to please keep an eye on the interactions between the girls. If C gets out of line, he’s got direct orders to trip the little bitch.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Eye Opener

One house.
Two house.
Three house.
Domestic Violence.

That was the focus of Mediation Training tonight, domestic violence and how prevalent it is in our society. Some of the statistics were staggering, but the gist of the presentation was that it happens in 25% of “couple” relationships, whether they are gay or straight. Some of the material was so disturbing that I felt tears in my eyes for most of the evening. It’ll be a long time before I get over the things I heard and saw. My heart breaks for these people, but I still can’t wrap my head around the most obvious of questions:

Why don’t they just leave?

I once had a boyfriend that threw me against a wall and my arm slammed on the outside corner of the wall. It hurt, but it was a wake up call. The next day, that guy was no longer my boyfriend. There are just some things I won’t put up with and physical violence is one of those things.

There are many programs for people in this situation to turn to, but sadly most don’t have adequate funding to offer full-time services. In fact, in my state only one of 12 crisis centers has the funds available to run 24/7. The rest are only open during regular business hours.

This brings me to one of my favorite pet peeves that I like to jump on my soap box about: why are American citizens always so quick to rush to the aid of human beings around the world, but we are stingy when it comes to helping our fellow Americans? We do this as a country. We send military forces around the world to aid the governments' of other countries. We do this as households. We send a check to help the poor in other nations, but when was the last time we sent a check to the local homeless or crisis center?

I’m a big fan of helping the underdog and I feel inspired to do something. I don’t know how or when, but it is my goal to do something to help this population. Whether it’s getting the training necessary to work on a crisis hotline or actually donating time in a center on a regular basis, I will do something. And now that I’ve blogged about it, there’s no backing down. It’s a goal that I put in writing and I will stick to it. I’ve blogged before about not being thrilled with the touchy feely aspect of mediation, but maybe I was meant to take this training to open my eyes to other issues…

The end result of tonight’s training was that mediators need to screen for domestic violence and if they feel that there is something going on, mediation is likely not a good way for this couple to work through a divorce. An abuser exerts control over the victim, and the victim may want to just give everything up to the abuser just to be free of the relationship. The point of mediation is to come to an equitable solution between two parties. Nothing’s equitable if one is giving up everything and the other is intimidating the victim to do just that. Then there’s the impartiality issue. As a mediator, how do you remain unbiased, knowing that one has been abusive towards the other? 

Certainly a disturbing, eye-opening evening. I was lucky to have my parents take care of the girls and all went well. Of course I was greeted with further Girl Scout drama when I walked in the door. It doesn't feel right to include that vent on this post, so that will be blogged about tomorrow. Yes, that's right, more Girl Scout bullshit that I know you don't really want to hear. Suck it up Cupcakes! It's coming your way!

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The New Girl

I got the call around 4:15 on Friday that our baby was ready to come home. I knew she had an appointment at 3:00 pm and the vet would do some testing to see if the puppies needed to be dewormed, which would have delayed homecoming until Sunday.

I picked up the girls from their respective schools and told them that I had to go pick up a book from one of my classmates. When we got to the breeder’s, we were let in before she walked out of the living room holding our sweet girl. She was the last one left from the litter. The girls looked at her in astonishment, never before had they seen a puppy so tiny. The girls oohed and aahed about how cute she was and before she could stop herself, Sugar said, “Can we bring her ho… I mean, she’s really cute and I’d love to have her!” She apparently was trying to be on her best behavior and remember that she’s not supposed to ask for endless amounts of crap every time we go anywhere.

The girls’ eyes went wide with disbelief when I said, “Do you think we should take her home?” Between the hooting and hollering, I tried to talk with the breeder about feeding times, potty training, etc. Before long, we were on our way home. I had to be fair and told the girls that they’d each get to hold the puppy for half the ride home. They were so in love that they couldn’t be bothered to argue.

The Name Game started at this point. Spice suggested Sparkles, Sprinkles and Twinkles and Sugar seemed quite set with the name we had chosen in our hypothetical discussion several weeks back. The ride home was filled with commentary about how smart their new puppy was. “Look Mama, she moved her head. Look Mama she stretched.” This puppy is the most wonderful, the smartest, the cutest, they adored this little girl.

Once or twice *ahem* in the past, I have brought home new pets and I’ve learned (maybe I read it somewhere?) that it’s best to introduce the pack on neutral territory. When we got home the girls stayed in the car while I went in to get Bella Boo and Indy. We introduced them in the driveway. The puppy squealed and the older two looked at her like, “What the hell is that? Is it a guinea pig?!” Bella loves everyone, so she didn’t seem to care much. I expected Indy to be furious but he was much mellower than I thought he would be.

The night continued on as it had begun on the ride home: everything this puppy did was marvelous and magical. I forced the girls to take turns with the puppy and the older two. Everyone needed to feel a little love. Spice burst into tears multiple times saying she was crying because she “loved the new puppy so much.”

I expected bedtime to be rough and the puppy cried a little right before I tucked her in. I put her in a teensy dog bed next to me and Sugar heard the commotion and came in with a sleeping bag to sleep next to her. Bella spent the night pacing from her bed to the puppy’s to make sure she was OK. Indy curled up under the covers of my bed and pouted.

It wasn’t the easiest weekend. There were endless fights over whose turn with the puppy were longer, whose turn was next, etc. Indy still seems slightly miffed, but I’ve caught him loving her up a few times when she’s been asleep.

Then there’s the name game. We had one chosen, but the name seemed too big for a two pounder. We went through endless names over the weekend with friends and family sending suggestions as well.

Gingersnap. Pom Pom. Mimi. Coco. Snooki. Sabrina. Skittles. Bear. Poco. Morgan. Bitsy. Princess. Puppy. Baby. Mimosa. Hops. Hoppy. Ginger. Killer. I’m sure I’ve left out half of the suggestions.

This morning, the girls broke into song when they saw the puppy. When a word causes a household to break into song together, that’s the name you should choose.

Welcome to our house, Lola… We think you’re gonna like it here!



xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bitch Slap Hero

For those of you interested in the continuation of yesterday’s lunch saga: I would like you to know that the person that offered up $5.00 and said he’d pay the rest later has never given me a dime for his lunch. Nothing. So the measly salad I had yesterday personally cost me $22.00.

Meanwhile, I’m attempting to still collect from a couple of my coworkers for their Girl Scout Cookie purchases. I’m trying to hold out hope that at least one will give up the money. He’s a good guy and I’ve never really reminded him until today, so perhaps he forgot. The other guy that owes is playing hard to get, I think. I think he wants to see if I will shake him down. I threaten to kick the shit out of him on a regular basis anyway (or at least mess up his hair), so maybe that’s what he’s waiting for. What pisses me off the most is that I had $91.00 to collect from my high-falutin’ coworkers. Tiny Mike had $220 to collect from his coworkers, who are largely blue collar. Tiny Mike collected everything in about one hour. I’ve had two weeks and I’m still not there. WTF?

I also just got an email about participating in Cookie Booth to sell more cookies. OK, let me think about this... no. Not happening. No way. I already went out and sold 180 boxes, I helped with the pick up and sorting of cookies, I'm not doing any more. Frankly, I fucking resent being asked to do any more. Enough already. I am going to hand you people a check for $630.00 next week, my work here is done. 

Earlier this week, I put up a silly post on Facebook about being cc’d on a bitch slap delivered via email. Snorting Girl piped up and said that we should come up with a parody to the tune of Jukebox Hero. What’s most interesting is that Jukebox Hero is one of Spice’s all time favorite songs. She rocks out like nobody’s business any time it comes on the radio.  The next morning I sent the real lyrics to both her and Tiny Mike and asked them if they wanted to come up with their own versions of Bitch Slap Hero. Both parodies are impressively creative, and both were done in less than an hour.

I copied these lyrics to Juke Box Hero by Foreigner at lyricsfreak.com

Standing in the rain, with his head hung low
Couldn't get a ticket, it was a sold out show
Heard the roar of the crowd, he could picture the scene
Put his ear to the wall, then like a distant scream
He heard one guitar, just blew him away
He saw stars in his eyes, and the very next day

Bought a beat up six string, in a secondhand store
Didn't know how to play it, but he knew for sure
That one guitar, felt good in his hands, didn't take long, to understand
Just one guitar, slung way down low
Was a one way ticket, only one way to go
So he started rockin', ain't never gonna stop
Gotta keep on rockin', someday gonna make it to the top

And be a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes, he's a juke box hero
He took one guitar, juke box hero, stars in his eyes
Juke box hero, (stars in his eyes) He'll come alive tonight

In a town without a name, in a heavy downpour
Thought he passed his own shadow, by the backstage door
Like a trip through the past, to that day in the rain
And that one guitar, made his whole life change
Now he needs to keep on rockin', he just can't stop
Gotta keep on rockin', that boy has got to stay on top

And be a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
He's a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
Yeah, juke box hero, stars in his eyes
With that one guitar, (stars in his eyes)
He'll come alive, come alive tonight...Woah

Yeah, he's gotta keep on rockin', just can't stop
Gotta keep on rockin', that boy has got to stay on top

And be a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
He's a juke box hero, got stars in his eyes
(Just one guitar) juke box hero, (aah aah aaah) got stars in his eyes
He's just a juke box hero, aah aah aaah
Juke box (stars) hero, (stars, stars) juke box hero, (stars, stars)
He's got stars in his eyes, stars in his eyes

Here is Snorting Girl’s version:

Standing at my desk, with my head about to explode
Couldn't get respect, because I work with a$$holes
Heard the voice come through loud and clear
I listened for a moment and knew what would come next
It would definitely be a descriptive email, not a lame text
My eyes bulged out and I got antsy in my seat I saw the words as clear as day

So I started to type and the insults poured out
I thought I might publish some of my awesome quotes
The last line of was clear and I knew they would understand
I was just a few words away from making their head hang low
My co-worker stood beside me cheering “way to go”
I couldn’t stop now, ain’t never gonna stop
Gotta keep typin’ cuz my co-worker said “you rock”

She said that I’m a bitch slap hero and wants to be like me
She took my keyboard and held it close, I’m a bitch slap hero
A bitch slap hero (with hate in my eyes) I’ll virtual slap you back to zero…
And here is Tiny Mike’s version:

Sittin at my desk, with my volume down low
My boss snuck up, hes such an a$$hole.
He heard the typing on my board, and he wanted to see
What it was about, it was about he
He claimed none of it was true, but I disagree.
I said walk away, before I break your knee

My boss stormed away, and then slammed his door.
Hes not so nice, actually mean to the core.
He picked up his phone, and then called me in
I was a little nervous, but kept a high chin
He told me smarten up, my productions too low
I told him shuddup, I go with the flow.

His head started shaking, I didn’t think it would stop
His head started shaking, I reached right over and gave it 2 quick pops.
Im a bitch slap hero, he has two black eyes
Im a bitch slap hero, everyone was surprised

Hilarious, right? If you aren’t laughing perhaps you need to look three lines up, “…gave it two quick pops…” That line has been going through my head for days and I laugh every time… though it doesn’t make playing “Collections Agent” any easier.

If you are feeling creative and want to write your own version, send it to me and I’ll post it! 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cheap People Annoy Me

I work at an office where I am the lowest-paid person by far. Quite possibly, I am the only person in this office not earning six figures a year. I am not complaining about it, I’m paid very well actually. What I am complaining about is the cheap sonsabitches I work with.

I am the girl that takes the lunch orders and phones in for delivery. Occasionally I’ll feel generous and will even go pick up lunch for everyone if we decide to order from a place that doesn’t deliver. I never offer to pick up Chinese food though. First, it’s too heavy, even for a big strapping gal like myself. Second, it makes my car stinky. A dirty car I can deal with, stinky, not so much.

Back to the topic at hand: cheap people. Today I felt outrageously hungry and knew that the little crackers I grabbed before I flew out the door wouldn’t cut it. I sent an email to the usual suspects asking if they wanted to order in and two people did. I phoned in the order and paid for my own over the phone with my money card. I sent an email to the other two that said, “Lunch has been ordered and will be delivered shortly. I have attached the menu so you know how much to contribute. Don’t forget 9% tax and tip!” Seriously, could I have been any nicer?! (See, this mediation training IS working!)

I immediately heard back from one person. He was on a conference call and only had $5 and would pay up later if that was ok. The other person completely ignored the email. As a matter of fact, I had to go to his office when the lunch arrived and ask for the money directly. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Lunch is here. Yours is $6.50. (I had sent him the fucking menu, right?!)
Him: Look!!! I have exact change. He hands me $6.50.
Me: Um… there’s also 9% tax and tip.
Him: Oh!!! How much do you want?

And with that, I yank the one remaining dollar bill from his clutched fist. His white knuckles were oozing cheapness and that dollar bill was begging for mercy. Oh my effing God, seriously?! You make a gazillion dollars a year and you want me to kick in for your lunch? Or to screw the minimum-wage earning delivery driver out of a tip? What is the matter with people?

I run into this outside of work as well. I’m sure many others do too. There are some friends that I flat-out refuse to go to dinner with. Their buffoonery and hemming and hawing about how much of a tip to leave infuriates me. You know that if they were at the table alone, they’d probably leave a dollar. If that.

One of my favorite people in the world was cheap like that. As a matter of fact, before the days of handy cell phone apps, he would carry a “tip chart” in his wallet. This was a little plastic card that he could just look at and figure out what the proper bare minimum was and leave that for a tip. I loved the man dearly, but I hated going out to eat with him!

Sometimes one catches on to a poor tip by peeking. EN and I were once invited to dinner by a friend to thank me for visiting his douchebag girlfriend while she was in prison (I’ll delight you with those details in another post). The bill came out to more than $100 and our friend tipped $10. This was a restaurant that EN and I used to go to a lot and we were pretty friendly with most of the waitstaff. The waitress that night was wonderful and provided us with awesome service. The only reason we knew about the tip was because EN peeked while our friend was cashing out.

We did the only thing we could think of… We said goodbye to our friends outside and told them we needed to wait for the motorcycle to warm up. After they pulled out, we raced to the convenience store next door and hit the money machine. When I walked into the restaurant, the waitress said, “Was there something wrong with your service tonight?!” I reassured her that our friend was just an idiot and I gave her some extra money.

Think of it this way the next time you eat at a restaurant: The waitress is earning approximately $3/hour from her employer. While you are sitting at one of her tables, she is working for you. If she provides you with good service, reward her financially. Your charming conversation with her isn’t your payment. And you probably have broccoli stuck between your teeth anyway.

If you want to claim that you are an idiot at math, here’s an easy way to figure out a tip. If the bill is in the double digits make sure to tip at least 1 ½ times the first number.  If the bill is in the triple digits, tip 1 ½ of the first two numbers. Still confused? Check this out:

The bill for dinner is $50.00. Your tip should be at least $7.50 (5 + 2.50).
The bill for dinner is $100.00. Your tip should be at least $15.00 (10 + 5)

Or, you could just go for the gusto and *gasp* tip MORE than 15%... this is even easier to figure out: take the first number or two and double it for a 20% tip. Easy peasy, right? Now there’s no halfsies to worry about even!

And if you are kicking in for a take-out order, always make sure your contribution is enough to cover your meal and any extras. I warn you that if you don’t, the next time the chick calls in the order yours will be fucked up. Guaranteed.  

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Still Learning...

My brain has been too full of mediation stuff to blog. I’ve been through 16+ hours so I’m a third of the way done. Our next class is tomorrow night and I’m only about half done with the homework. My Child Support Worksheet is done, my mediator responses half done, but I haven’t even given thought to the Parenting Plan. I’ll whip it all together tomorrow.

I really do like the law part of this. I found the formula used to figure out child support to be very interesting. There are lots of things taken into consideration that I didn’t know about, like health insurance, day care costs, etc. I’ve also learned a few things about laws in this state that confirmed my earlier belief that Persons X and Z are full of shit. Things they have told me about the process didn’t make sense when they told me. Now I know the law doesn’t back up their story either. Yes, as a matter of fact I do consider myself an expert now after 16 hours of training (sarcasm font needed here).

What I am still not crazy about is the touchy-feely responses that I’m supposed to give to people. Also, I can never “suggest” a solution, even if there’s a common sense one that is painfully obvious. That’s especially annoying because I always know better and I love telling people what to do. I do hope that I can figure out a way to incorporate my more blunt style into this. I can’t imagine asking people day after day, “How does that make you feel?”

A benefit that I hadn’t really taken into consideration before starting this training was how this training might impact my professional life. Perhaps I will learn to give more thought and be more sensitive to people before responding to their request, demand or whine. I would like to take the mediation part of the training and perhaps incorporate it into a Human Resources type of job.

I worked in HR for a while before coming here and doing “nothing marketable” for eight years. I truly did enjoy HR at the first company I was at. I enjoyed it so much that I started going to school for and HR Certification program… but then I got a B+ from some assish professor and there went that. My second job with an HR focus was at a car dealership. HR and car dealerships are polar opposites and should be kept from one another. You know that greasy, crappy feeling you get when you go in to buy a car? Well, the owners make the employees feel that way too. The only HR-ing they wanted me to do there was send out COBRA information timely so they would be in compliance with the law. Anyway, I think it would be interesting to bring mediation more into the business world and perhaps work with employees in conflict. Given all the staffing cuts, I’m sure there are loads of companies out there looking for someone like that (again, where is that damn sarcasm font?!).

This training may be helpful in my personal life too. Maybe I’ll be able to start interacting with EN, Sugar and Spice in a nicer fashion. So instead of our conversations going like this:

Spice: Mama, I think you like Sugar better than me.
Me: No. I really don’t like either one of you.

It could go like this:

Spice: Mama, I think you like Sugar better than me.
Me: How does that make you feel?

Um, seriously… no. If I said that to Spice I could potentially be in danger of her wrath. On the other hand, my first response was met with uproarious laughter, the laugh-til-you-cry type, actually.

That’s the choice I make as a mother. I’d rather just diffuse the whinefest with a comment that really is fucking hilarious. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, March 11, 2011

Learning My Style

Today was very long. It started with a trip to the gym with Skinny Bitch. I opted not to carry her around as I said I would, but she did her part and followed me at times. We were both overjoyed to be back working out together again, even though it was only one day. Time on the treadmill goes faster and the weights don’t seem quite as heavy.

This is what I love about Skinny Bitch and the other friends that faithfully read the blog: they get me. They take me as I am and I don’t have to make excuses for being the person I am. I can be real, there’s no fa├žade. It’s not often that you truly get to be yourself. When you find the friends that let you do that, embrace them. Which brings me to the second part of my day…

Today was the first day of Family Mediation Training. The day was long, beginning at noon and ending at 8:30. I spent the day with two instructors, both attorneys and mediators, and seven classmates. Five were attorneys, one was a retired sheriff and the other was a regular gal like me. Besides being overwhelmed by the brain power in the room, I truly did like my classmates and the instructors. The course materials are also overwhelming: a full three-inch binder and a softcover text. We will cover all of that material in the training.

Here’s my issue with the training: it’s flowery and touchy-feely. I am neither of those things. I am real, blunt and a straight shooter. I don’t know if I can comfortably wear those flowery shoes. We watched several video clips and listened to the instructors and I find myself having difficulty molding my way of thinking and being into theirs.

The point of mediation is to help two parties resolve conflict. A mediator does not offer their thoughts or opinions, but guides the two parties down the right road. A mediator does not take the place of an attorney or a therapist. As a matter of fact, a mediator will recommend that the parties take their agreement to an attorney to ensure that the law is followed and the agreement is fair. I can comprehend why a mediator is useful, but can I sell that to potential clients? What makes recommending an attorney a bit easier to swallow, is that I learned that many attorneys now offer “bundled services.” Basically meaning that an attorney will set fees for things like reviewing documentation instead of representing a client for an entire divorce.

I find myself a bit mystified by the new language used in family court. No longer do we use words like custody, child support or alimony. Those things now comprise something called a “parenting plan.”  It’s no longer “separating” it’s called “being apart.” Take the shit, harsh words out of it, but the situation remains the same. I either need to bend my mind and my vocabulary to what is proper today or use my own methods to fit into this field.

I come home tonight to the Fighting Sisters. Both were overtired and pissed that their routine had been interrupted, even though they had advance warning. The final throwdown was about which light to leave on upstairs. Spice wanted the hall light off, Sugar wanted it on. I tried compromising (see, I learned something!) and turned the bathroom light on in lieu of the hall light. That was not good enough for Sugar. I came downstairs and heard her go into Spice’s room and bitch about how mean and selfish she was. I did the only thing I could force my tired self to do. I went upstairs and turned on all the lights and told them to shut up and go to sleep.

Conflict resolution Ice Princess style.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Part Deux

We have made plans to return to the scene of the crime… If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, see http://bucketofice.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-choosing-friends.html. That’s right... back to Dueling Pianos… Tiny Mike will  be there and Snorting Girl and Facebook Poker are definite maybes.

Sadly, Fabulous Hair thinks this evening out doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, even though Skinny Bitch really wants to go. Sooo, Fabulous Hair will be stripped of his nickname if he doesn’t come out to play!! We’ll start calling him his less-flattering nickname, Killjoy. Never again will his fabulous hair be spoken of on the blog.

This is an open invite to my favorite people. Want to know more details, shoot me an email and perhaps you can join the party!

xoxo
Ice Princess

PS: If EN even attempts to play tambourine again, it will be wrapped around his neck. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Li'l Shout Out

I tried to be particularly humorous yesterday because I knew two faithful readers were having a rough few days. I wanted to give them something to laugh at even though they are guilty of doing the same thing Skinny Bitch does. Both of these women have either texted, emailed or posted on my Facebook wall, “Um, it’s been 3 days and 22 minutes since you last blogged. Have you got a brain cramp?”

The first gal is Baby D. She lives down south and is actually EN’s stepmother. Even if she wasn’t, I would choose her to be my friend. We email regularly and have even taken a girls weekend together. How many of you can boast to having done that with someone who is essentially your mother-in-law?

EN’s dad was diagnosed with throat cancer about a year and a half ago. He’s since had procedures, surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. Through it all, Baby D was by his side supporting him and offering comfort. She even learned how to give fluids intravenously so he could get nutrition when he was too sick or in too much pain to eat.

EN Senior has been going for regular follow up visits with his doctor and they found a bit of gook in his abdomen recently. They had final testing today and found out that he is again cancer free. I’m sure Baby D is breathing a huge sigh of relief tonight. I applaud her for being his rock in what was surely a terrible storm. She deserves every bit of praise that I’m sure not many threw her way. Plenty of spouses would have become frustrated and run for the hills. EN Senior needs to buy this woman the biggest diamond ever. She always dealt with him with patience and grace. When she hit a rough spot, she had some caring people to lean on herself. Makes me wonder, does anyone ever remember to care for the caregiver?

The second person is the female version of Fabulous Hair, but since that nickname is kind of long, we’ll just call her Michelle. She’s actually Follower #1!! Since I became friendly with her, I heard many stories about Nana, her 101 year old grandmother. The stories were hysterical and we often rolled our eyes at the things she would say. Let’s face it, when you hit triple digits, you say and do things that drive others a little crazy. Through it all, Michelle always visited with Nana, spending holidays and vacation time with her.

Nana stayed relatively healthy until recently. Michelle was kind enough to keep us all posted via Facebook. We knew how bad it was when she told us that it looked like Nana wouldn’t be coming home. Over the following week, Michelle added many more pictures of Nana to her Facebook profile, even though Nana was already quite the star.

The photos were a hoot. Nana was the type of lady that was very matchy-matchy. One friend even referred to her as Fancy Nancy. She was always beautifully dressed, with makeup and jewelry matching her clothing. And she absolutely did not look her age.

Sadly, Nana passed away at the end of last week. I’m sure that Michelle and her family will feel the emptiness for a long while. It’s not often that you hear of a family that spends so much time with their older relatives. Michelle and her husband have certainly taught their children well, to love and appreciate family while we have them. Michelle, know that you and your family are in our thoughts. Our hearts and condolences go out to you.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stripper Bear, Pinky Tuscadaro and Skinny Bitch

Last night as I went to tuck in the girls, I noticed one of Spice’s new bears lying on the floor naked but for a pair of silver lame sandals. “Well hello there, Stripper Bear!” popped into my head. And I wonder where my kids inappropriate comments come from. I’ll have you know that I didn’t say it out loud and even if I did, no one was awake to hear it.

This day started off with a dose of hilarity that I think can only be found in our house. We raced around getting ourselves ready to leave and I kept looking out for Bella Boo. We had put her outside on the run but I couldn’t see her. I was getting frustrated and yelling for her to come back. I heard Sugar gasp next to me and she said, “Mama, look up! She’s ON the pool!” Sure enough, that dog had climbed a snowbank and was doing her post-poop prance around the top of the frozen, covered pool. Upon further examination, we noted that this must have been the second time Bella chose to do her business on the pool. Surely EN was not going to be happy.

After an uneventful day at the office, I raced from place to place picking up the girls. I was delighted to run into Mrs. N at the daycare. I rarely get to see her and was happy to hear her account of the trip to Build a Bear with Spice. She laughed and said that Spice seemed a little worried on the way back, “Mama told me not to buy anything!” She assured Spice, “You didn’t buy anything. I did.” Ok, semantics… she wins.

Who didn't love Pinky?!
While we chatted, I decided to tell her about something that I had shown the girls last week. We had been talking about Mrs. N and it occurred to me that I had seen vibrant red hair like that before. It didn’t take me long to place it, Pinky Tuscadaro from Happy Days! That’s Mrs. N!!! So sorry, we have to dispose of the proper nickname and go with Pinky for the blog. If it’ll make you feel better, talk to Roger and ask if he’d like to be The Fonz. We promise we’ll never call him Arthur. ;o)

I’ll admit to having loved Pinky when I watched the show. She was gorgeous, she was cool and she rode her own motorcycle. Ladies, lets admit it, we all secretly wanted to be the bad girls. Just like Sandy in “Grease.” None of us wanted to be Straight Sandy, we all wanted to be the leathered-up tramp she was at the end of the movie. If you disagree, leave the blog.

Sadly, I had to break down and share the secret trip with the girls. They are out of their minds at the thought of going to Myrtle Beach with their cousins. I showed them lots of pictures of the beach and the tourist attractions. I’m sure we’ll have a blast. I know you are wondering why I told the girls, after yesterday’s post… Well, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Sugar’s best friends mother called me tonight. She was a little confused as her daughters told them that Sugar had invited them over for a birthday party. She wasn’t clear on the date. I’m glad she called before sending her kids over, because at this time, we haven’t started planning a party! Sugar thought her party should be held during school vacation week, so I had to share with them that we wouldn’t be home. Just imagine a slew of 10-year-olds showing up here while EN is enjoying his week of bachelorhood.  

And big news… we have Follower #6 and it is none other than Skinny Bitch! Yay! So, so happy! I believe that as a follower, she’ll receive some sort of notification when I post a new blog entry. That way she can stop texting me her “WTF! It’s been three days, where’s a new post?” I am joking, it really is flattering.

We are going to the gym together on Friday morning. In celebration of her becoming an official follower, I am going to allow her to follow me from machine to machine as we work out. Then she can be a real follower, not just a virtual one. Of course I’m not going to do that. I’m so pleased to have her back on the neighboring treadmill that I might offer to carry her around the place!

A final note on this wacky Monday, Sugar and I shared her favorite dinner tonight: Tuna Casserole. Spice opted out and asked for yesterday’s leftovers instead. I’m OK with that. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Anticipation

I am the type of mother that lies to her kids. But in a sense, we all lie, don’t we? We tell them there’s a Santa Claus and a Tooth Fairy. I go a step further and lie or omit details about BIG stuff. The two times we went to Disney, the girls didn’t know in advance. The last time we went, Sugar was 7 and Spice was almost three. We told them we were going to visit their grandpa in Alabama for Thanksgiving. We flew to Orlando, we walked through the Disney themed airport and they still didn’t know. I finally told Sugar I was concerned that she was missing some school and she should read the signs on the highway. Once they figured it out, immediate freak out. Spice cried and said, “Does that mean we get to be on TV?” Sugar was concerned that she wasn’t going to see her grandpa… thankfully they joined us in Orlando.

I do this for several reasons, both pretty selfish. First, I hate the endless nagging about when we’re leaving, are we there yet… It goes on and on. Second, I love surprising them. The expressions on their faces in Florida were priceless. What’s even better is that everyone knew where we were going and no one let the cat out of the bag. There's also a teensy part of me that worries that things will not work out in the end, and that I will have disappointed my girls. 

I have a few surprises cooking for them right now and it started nagging at the back of my mind today that I might be stealing something from them. I don’t let them anticipate a fun event… they don’t have the build-up that comes before a fun vacation or a dream come true.

I have a vacation planned for them at the end of April. We will be going to Myrtle Beach with my sister and her kids. They have absolutely no idea we’re going anywhere. EN has to deal with the union for vacation picks and he’s still “low man” even after ten years. That means he never gets time off when they are out of school. When my sister mentioned that she was considering Myrtle Beach I thought it would be a great opportunity to get away with the girls while having another adult along. They love my sister and their cousins so I know they will have a blast. And a week in a sunny place right on a beach?! Who wouldn’t adore that?

The second surprise is the puppy. Yes, I went and looked at her Friday and fell madly in love instantly. She snuggled up, buried her face in my shirt and went to sleep. OF COURSE I BOUGHT HER! I have a picture on Facebook and I showed it to the girls. I told them a friend of mine has puppies, call it “testing the water.” Immediately, they too fell in love with that sweet face and started begging for a new dog. I told them only crazy people have three dogs, what would we do with another dog? Sugar simply said, “We would love her.”

And that’s just it. For all the faults of any one of us in this crazy house, we all love and trust. We adore our families, teachers, friends, pets. We accept what is told to us and we believe whole-heartedly until we are proven otherwise. All four of us have a rose-colored view of the world. In many instances, this can lead to heartbreak and disappointment, but we always bounce back and go back to thinking the best of everyone.

We believe in ourselves and we believe in each other. Am I setting them up for disappointment when they get out into this great big world? Will they grow up always hoping that there’s a surprise coming? Am I stealing a piece of their childhoods by not letting them experience the growing excitement we feel before something big happens?

I am questioning the method to my madness.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Full Saturday

Today was basically an exercise in coordination and lots of driving. But through all that, I dealt with many different people. Some I like, some I would throw to the wolves without a second thought.

The morning started bright and early with cookie pick up. I volunteered to help knowing that Sugar sold a lot and her load of cookies was going to be a burden. I walked into the warehouse and there were piles of cookies everywhere. One of the three others that were due to meet was there, so we got to work right away. The process went something like this: find your troop sheet, pile the correct number of boxes in front of it, have the cookie police verify that you are about to leave with the proper cookies, then load into cars. Then we all drive to the Cookie Mom’s house and we unload the cookies. We sort them, then we reload them. Seriously, my workout for the day was done.

These were some of the same women that attended the karate ceremony. Since I was there to help and worked my ass off, they couldn’t very well ignore me. Ignored I was not, but conversation was very light. I began to have second thoughts about the gal that I ranted about last week, the one that signs her emails “HUGS.” I noticed that while she didn’t talk much to me, she didn’t talk to anyone else either. Maybe it’s not me, maybe it’s her? I felt really bad when she left and drove past me, waving madly. Perhaps she’s as uncomfortable in these situations as I am? Perhaps she is most comfortable interacting when there is a barrier (our rolled up windows) between us? I left a bit later feeling tremendously guilty for having made fun of her last week.

I hit the gym, came home and showered and took Spice on her play date. We met up with two of her long-time buds and they seemed to enjoy themselves at the indoor playground. I sat and socialized with the mamas. Oh wow, here’s different… I’m with mothers of children that my kids are friends with and I’m being treated like I’m a normal human being?! Say it ain’t so!!! We had a lot of laughs and talked about a bunch of things. There was something that pissed me off though. Both are cute freckle-faced ladies. Have you ever noticed that freckled women do not age? So there I was, sitting on my old-looking fat ass with a couple of chicks that look like they’re twelve. How is that fair and how does that happen?

What I liked best about these gals was that we were comfortable enough with each other to dish out a little shit to one another. Honestly, that is my favorite… being with people that laugh at you and you laugh at yourself. It’s not just anyone that can tease me about not wanting to camp and being grossed out by boogers and spit. There was nothing malicious about their teasing and I didn’t feel like I was going to get raked over the coals after our get together. It’s almost laughable how different I am from them. They both camp, one raises chickens and pigs and both admitted to spitting in a napkin to clean their kids faces. Bleck, bleck and bleck.

We got home in time for me to practically run right back out and bring Sugar to her Girl Scout Lock In. It was held at the local YMCA and they got to swim, dance, play sports, and climb the rock-climbing wall. Again, I saw some of the same mothers I saw this morning and was largely ignored. Even HUGS didn’t want to give me the time of day. I’m in the process of finding big girl pants to pull on and say (and mean it!) that their behavior doesn’t bother me at all. I’d rather hang with freckle-faced chicks that spit on their kids than with a bunch of bitches that can’t even smile at someone who smiles at them. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No Limit to My Insanity

This week at work has been agonizingly slow. The following is an example of what I do with my time:

Text exchange between EN and I:
Me: Can I get a Chihuahua?
EN: What?
Me: Seriously!
EN: You want to get a dog?
Me: Why not?
EN: We are going to be the freaky family with ten dogs, aren’t we?
Me: *sniff* I think ten is a bit excessive.
EN: Go ahead.

Mind you, before I had even texted EN I had contacted the woman who placed the ad on Craigslist… because that’s what I do. I surf the pet ads on Craigslist looking for someone giving up a pet that I just have to have. Because I don’t have enough drama or responsibility in my life.

The day is young and I have more online surfing to do. I stumble across websites like glamourdog.com and doggievogue.com and see that there are endless accessories I can buy for a precious little pooch.

More texting:
Me: Can I get a canopy bed and jewelry?
EN: For who?
Me: The dog.
EN: Jewelry for the dog too?
Me: Ok, maybe that’s a little much. How about a tutu and a leather coat that says “Born to Ride”?
EN: Deal.

I occupied myself in the late afternoon with Internet searches of cute names for a girl dog. Oh yeah, call me certifiable. I’ve narrowed it down to three or four. I am in charge of naming anything because EN will choose something like Harley; Sugar would choose a cutesy name like Babycakes and Spice would insist on Buttcrack or Tuna Casserole.

I also take the time to contact a few friends to get their opinions: Is having three dogs weird? They all assure me that having three dogs is not weird. I know those evil bitches are just kicking back to see the show. I’m glad they don’t know each other because I know they’d start coordinating refreshments and seating for the insane floor show that will take over my home.

Between cooking dinner, doing homework and bathing the girls, I am in contact with the owner of the dogs. She has sent me pictures of the puppy, the mother and I have tentative plans to see the puppy tomorrow. Clearly, I am insane and need to find a job that keeps me busier so I don’t have time to surf the Internet for stuff I really don’t need.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unexpected Gifts

I like to think of myself as the type of gal who is willing to “pay it forward” when she can. I’ve done little things like paying a toll for the person behind me and bigger things like surprising my first adopted soldier by paying for her wedding hair appointment. She had no idea until she went to pay and they told her I had called and taken care of it. I don’t do things like that to get some big dramatic thank you or anything and I generally do not tell other people when I do stuff like that. It just makes me feel twinkly inside. So yeah, it is all about that giddy feeling. Call me selfish.

I missed out on a tremendous opportunity to do something nice about a year ago and I’m still bothered that I didn’t seize the opportunity when it came up. We attended a hockey game the night before Easter Sunday, and I realized on the way home that we needed some ingredient (more likely ALL the candy for the Easter Bunny to put out) for the next day. EN stayed in the car with the girls and I was one of ten customers in the store. I brought my stuff to the one open register and waited for the family in front of me. It was obvious they didn’t have a lot of money and they were a little “slow.” I looked at the belt full of items and realized that they were buying everything for their Easter dinner, many of the items were obviously marked down as being day old or damaged.

When it came time to pay for their purchase, the card they were trying to pay with was declined. They all sort of looked at each other helplessly and moved over to the side and the cashier cleared their order and rang up my purchase. That’s where I went wrong. I should have whispered something to the cashier, paid for their order too and beat feet out of there before they knew what I had done. Every once in a while, I think of that family and wonder what they did for Easter dinner. Funny, the shit that bothers me a year later.

I think of that because over the last 24 hours two (count ‘em, TWO) people have done something nice for my family or me… In each case, the ‘something nice’ was unexpected and overwhelmed me just a little bit. The two instances together? Well, I’m a lot goofy today so I don’t cry at my desk. No one wants to witness that mess!

Several weeks ago Spice’s old teacher sent me an email asking if she could bring Spice to Build-A-Bear. She wanted to make a stuffed animal, but didn’t want to do the dance in the store. This is the very same teacher I talked about before, the mother of four grown sons that needs a little “pink” in her world! Yesterday was the big day. Spice dolled herself up in every pink item she owned for this very special trip to the mall. I waited on pins and needles to hear how it went. I got an email saying that they had stopped at the teacher’s house for a snack, but would be back at the daycare shortly. She sounded excited saying, “Wait until you see what we got!” Because I drilled into Spice’s head that she was not to ask for anything, I expected that Spice would come home with a little BABW outfit with the money we gave to her teacher.

When I picked Spice up, she was aglow, dying to tell me how the trip went. I was alarmed to see that she had an entire BABW box and looked inside… Oh my, Mrs. N and Spice had been very busy. They built and clothed several bunnies. Then Spice rode the carouseland they had ice creams… I glowered at my child and asked, “Did you ask her for these things?!” Spice got teary and said, “Oh no Mama! She asked me and I just told her ‘yes, please!’” As much as Mrs. N wanted a taste of girl time, Spice got an outing where she got to be an only child for a change. I’m not sure who was more excited about the time spent together. I was really overwhelmed by the generosity that was shown to my daughter. It was truly unexpected and totally appreciated. I was also terrifically amused to hear that Spice considered naming her new bunnies Sprinkles and Twinkles. It brings to life the things I write about on this blog.

The second something nice occurred at work. I call one of the newer engineers Anti-Ed. His name is Ed, but he reports in to someone named Ed…and they are complete opposites. Anti-Ed communicates well, seems engaged with his employees and is a generally nice guy. We talk occasionally about his teenagers, mostly so he can make me cringe with what I have to look forward to.

Yesterday, he shared that he was taking his daughter out last night to a reading and book signing by Jodi Picoult. I have read most of her books and enjoy them, despite a few qualities that bug me. And what book nerd wouldn’t jump at the chance at hearing an author discuss her work? Seriously?! I told him I was insanely jealous because I knew she had a new book coming out yesterday that had piqued my interest.

I didn’t notice Anti-Ed walking towards my office this morning until he was standing right in front of me, holding an autographed copy of “Sing You Home.” For me. I probably come across as the most ungracious person in the world when someone does something nice for me. I get choked up and start to cry a little, my words come out jumbled and don’t make any sense. I think he got the point though.

Oh God, now that I’ve written this, I wonder if he gave me the book and expected me to offer money? Hmmm….

So if you have ever been one of the people that did something nice for me or my family, know that I appreciate it. Whether it was babysitting for my girls when we were scrambling for help, paying for me to get a massage and pedicure… I send out my heartfelt thanks and know that I make every attempt to pay it forward when I see an opportunity. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beware of the Rant!!!

Woo hoo!!! Another follower! We all know how happy this makes me! Skinny Bitch suggested that maybe someday I would be a “Blog of Note.” I said that I need to start writing about something better than dogs eating poop… ha ha ha! Since the husband, children and pets haven’t seen fit to do anything remarkably gross lately, today I am ranting about something(s) that royally piss me off.

A long time ago I got into a rather heated debate with someone who played professional hockey for a while and has since become a sportscaster on a local morning radio show. I won’t be snarky and suggest that perhaps he was hit really hard in the head with a puck and that’s why he’s stupid, let’s just say that I disliked him the moment I saw him. EN was thrilled to meet this bozo, only because he used to play for his favorite team.

Somehow, this ass monkey and I got to talking about teachers and their salaries. I might have said something like, “It’s a sad state of affairs in our country when jackasses make millions to PLAY A GAME, while those that teach our children often have to work a second job to make ends meet.” We went back and forth for a bit before EN dragged me away and told me to be nicer to the fancy retarded hockey player. Rather than play nice, I ignored the dude for the rest of the night.

I am reminded of this incident after Saturday. While we were out to dinner, I thought that one of the waiters looked familiar. I finally placed him when I noticed that a family dining in the restaurant was also familiar. The child of the family dining is in Sugar’s class. He’s a special needs student that Sugar has been in class with for the last three years. And the familiar man waiting tables? That would be the man that works with this child every single day while he’s at school. I won’t lie and say I know what his day is like nor do I have a full understanding of his job description. I have seen him interact with this student and I have seen this man be endlessly patient and kind. It’s obvious to me that he has bonded with this child and his family, as they came to visit him at his second job on a Saturday night. I can imagine his long workday, followed by waiting tables at night.

It’s sadly pathetic and speaks volumes about our country that we have these individuals who are educated to educate our children, we entrust our children to them for hours every day (face it, even stay-at-home moms don’t spend as much time with their kids as their teachers do) and we pay them deplorable starting salary. I don’t argue that a teacher can make a nice salary after years of employment, but I wonder, what young recent college graduates really want to enter this field when they see the starting salary? I should mention here that I am friendly with many teachers, there are even some that read this blog, and they have never complained about their salary to me. This is just ME complaining about something I think isn’t right.

Yet on the other hand, I am also familiar with a handful of examples of people that aren’t currently working for no good reason. They have not applied for jobs, they aren’t looking for jobs. They are sitting around on their fat asses stalking people on Facebook all day long. Some of these people devote so much time and attention to stalking, that they’ve actually been served restraining orders to get them to stop. How do they earn an income? Oh, our government pays for them to sit and do nothing!

One of these people feels that she works for six months a year, so she should be able to collect unemployment for the other six months. After all, her employer contributes to the unemployment fund in her state, so she’s entitled. And how dare they even suggest that she look for a job and interrupt her Facebook time?

And another favorite… This woman is under 40 years old, fully competent to work, but feels that she shouldn’t have to because she doesn’t like to follow orders or play nicely with others. She is an only child after all, shouldn’t she be allowed to do what she wants, when she wants? Shouldn’t she be eligible for any and all assistance only to spend it on  $1,000 handbags?

On one hand, we have educated, smart, caring people that earn a mere pittance, while on the other, we have lazy bitches sitting around collecting because they can. Perhaps it’s time we stop giving to those who can and choose not to, and start giving to those who go out and DO!

xoxo
Ice Princess