September 30, 2012

Housework Rap!

This one goes out to all my fellow housework slackers!  (You know who you are.)

Check my flow.

September 26, 2012

Aw. Hair. No.

If you've been around awhile, you are probably aware that I have an ambivalent relationship with hairstylists.

On the one hand, I am in awe of their skill.  They are wielders of transformative follicular power.  They can make or break a look.

On the other hand, the stylists we see mess up far too often.  It's usually not a skill issue; it's a listening problem. 

While I am iffy about stylists for myself, I have lost all faith in hairdressers when it comes to Nature Boy's hair.  I've tried giving at-length descriptions, bringing photos, pointing to the exact length he wants, hovering, clarifying over and over like the OCD sufferer I am--and none of it works.  They all just do whatever the heck they want anyway. 

Which means every time he gets a professional haircut, Nature Boy ends up with a shortish layered cut and/or Mo bangs. 

I've been cutting his hair myself for almost a year because I'm the only person who doesn't chop it all off.  I do a pretty good job, but the boy has a lot of hair.  Eventually I lose the line of the cut, or he needs a little thinning out, and I don't know how to get it back on track.  So we go to a professional.

And it's always a mistake.

Nature Boy with Shrinky Dink's daughter.
(This is his normal hair length.)

I discovered last week that my long-time stylist, Doris (yes, Doris), moved to another state.  Yikes.  She was a good listener.  A no-frills, get 'er done kind of hairdresser.  My bad haircuts only happened when I went to someone else because Doris was booked.  I'll miss her.

I spent some time yesterday looking at online reviews for local hair salons, and I found a new one to try.  There were a lot of Likes on the salon's Facebook page, and the stylists looked cute and vibrant in their profile pictures.  So I made an appointment and hoped for the best.  I let Nature Boy be the guinea pig.  I selflessly let Nature Boy go first, because he was the most in need of a trim.  (The kid was in danger of inhaling his bangs.  He could snack on them with a flip of his head.)

Thanks to the recommendations of Erin over at Oh Honestly Erin, I was armed with some photos of Zac Efron's hair.  We explained to the stylist that Nature Boy has had several bad experiences with getting all his hair chopped off by hairstylists.  We told her he likes his hair long, but that he needed some shaping.  I gave her two pictures, explaining that Nature Boy wanted the sides and back of the first picture, with the longer bangs of the second one.  I told her we don't want short layers on top because of crazy cowlicks.  She assured us that most of the layering would be at the bottom...

And this is what he got.  (Sorry for the crappy photo quality.  As mad as he was about the haircut, I was just lucky to get a picture at all!)

The Nostril Flare of Pique

It's too short up front and--it's layered all over!  (Elton John would love this haircut.)

Today was all about damage control.  I shorted the sides a bit to reduce the squareness and layered them some to get rid of the poofiness.  And then I funkified it with bleach.  Because the whack job haircut also removed all of Nature Boy's natural summer highlights.  (&^$%$%!)  And in Nature Boy's words, "If I have to have a sucky haircut, I want to make it as funky as possible with highlights." 

Here is the "after-after".  It's cuter since I fixed it, but it's still not what he wanted.

And speaking of whack jobs, bad hairstylists make me wish I had mob connections.

September 20, 2012

Confession: I'm cheap. And clothing-clueless.

I am all about a great deal.  Especially when it comes to clothes and shoes. 

I found a new sleeveless black dress with tiny white polka dots for $7, count 'em, SEVEN dollars last week.

I go sleeveless in tanks in the summer because it's hot, but I prefer to cover my man-arms in cooler weather.  So I went searching the clearance racks for shrugs yesterday. 

(Nature Boy absolutely LOVES when I go shopping during the day.  He is my homeschool hostage!!!!  MWA-HA-HA!)

I found a teal shrug for $2 at a plus size consignment store that I've been wanting to check out.  TWO DOLLARS, people!

I'm so proud.

My mom says teal doesn't go with black and white polka dots.  I saw pshaw!  Who's with me?!

However, pairing the dress with an unconventional color is presenting me with a shoe dilemma.  I have a chunky black pair of Mary Janes, but since my calves are similarly chunky, I don't think they'd work with a dress.  I also have a sexy pair of black Crocs, but somehow I think that pairing would be unwise.  And I don't really want another pair of black shoes.

So I searched all the cheap-folk aisles at several stores until I found these.

 (cue angelic music)

They have memory foam inside!  (OOOH!)

And they're on sale for $27.99!  (AHHH!)

Wait a minute.  $27.99 does not mean "deal" in my vernacular.  (C-H-E-A-P.)

So wise women, weigh in on my kicks conundrum.  Is it crazy to spend $27.99 on shoes to go with a $9 outfit? 

Or is it genius?

P.S.  I'm having an OCD moment.  Do teal shades have to match?   

September 19, 2012


Once upon a time, I had the perfect little texting phone.  Ergonomic.  Convenient.  All the buttons were in the most obvious places.  I didn't have to push 48345345 different things to type a simple sentence with correct grammar and punctuation.

And correct grammar and punctuation is very important to me.

Even though I used improper sentence structure by starting that last sentence with a conjunction, and there is a subject/verb agreement error.

And that last sentence is a fragment.


Neurotic Moment: Correct grammar and punctuation are very important to me when texting or writing.  Blogging is different.  It is more conversational.  My blog "voice" is the same as my speaking voice.  And sometimes I speak in fragments.  <-- Or use improper sentence structure.

Anyhoo, suffice it to say that my relationship with my previous cell phone was a beautiful one.  When it wore out, I went to the US Cellular store to replace it with the same model.

Like all good products, my beloved LG Mystique was discontinued.

RIP LG Mystique
(I would insert a picture here, but stupid Blogger is having server problems.)
When I discovered that it was time to move on to a new cell phone relationship, my cheap ass headed over to the free phones with contract.  There were all of two.  And one was a touch screen. 
Touch screens give me an eye twitch.  I don't have the patience for pushing the same letter over and over before the phone recognizes that my fat, stubby fingers are trying to type the letter P. 
So I got the "old school" Blackberry-esque free phone.  And it sucks.
It's a Samsung.  And therein lies the first problem.  Switching phones isn't as big of a deal if you stay with the same phone manufacturer.  For the most part, all the major functions are laid out the same on each phone the company makes.  Had I switched to another LG (alas, not free), I most likely wouldn't be nearing a cell phone meltdown right now. 
And I am.
Nearing a cell phone meltdown, I mean.
I'll intend to text, "Hey, I found some shoes on clearance for $14!"
And it will end up being, "HEY' I FOUND SOME SHOES ON CLEARANCE FOR YED?"
Or I'll start a new text message by pressing the letters of the contact I want to text.  But the Samsung Freeform defaults with the number and symbol function in the address line, not letters for contact names.  (Unlike my old LG.)  So instead of Shrinky Dink, I'll send the text to -@2~; 4-';.
I spend as much time erasing text and fixing grammar and punctuation as I do actually communicating in words.
Clearly something is not working here.
My options are to come up off some money and buy an LG phone (if they even MAKE non-touch screen phones any more!*) or just give up on being a grammar snob while texting.

I think my cheapness overrides my grammar snobbery in this instance.  At least for now. 

Hear ye!  Hear ye!  I hereby proclaim that while I have this phone, my texts will likely be in lowercase letters and will have no discernible punctuation.  (Gee. I hope I won't lose any of my grammar snob friends over this.)
I'm sorry this post was not profound.  Or funny.  Or informative.  Or relevant.
Goat dingleberries.
*The US Cellular guy told me most phone companies are phasing out all their button phones.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pastor Rap!

This is a rap by actual pastors inviting folks back to church. I love that they did this!  Several different church styles are represented.

Pastor Rap - Back to Church from alegator21 on GodTube.

September 17, 2012

Slacking: it's not a diet; it's a lifestyle

You know those times in your life when you're just completely exhausted?  When it's all you can do to get through the day, bargaining with yourself over what you have to do versus what you can let go?  That's me lately.

I'm dealing with some recurrent health issues, mostly vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by Crohn's disease.  I also have an autoimmune form of arthritis.  (A quarter of folks with Crohn's disease develop it as a secondary issue.)  And I have fibromyalgia.  You know, for those times when none of my other chronic or episodic health problems are flaring up.  Fibromyalgia steps in and is all, "She's feeling good lately.  I got this!"

Stupid fibromyalgia.

Actually, fibro's just a grunt.  The big boss, autoimmunity, is the one pulling the strings.  Autoimmune diseases tend to cluster together, like a group of annoying, gossipy preteen girls.  Being diagnosed with one autoimmune disease magically makes you more likely to be diagnosed with another one.  Or two.  Or five.  Our overzealous immune systems are like, "I AM ALL POWERFUL.  I SHALL VANQUISH MINE ENEMY AND SMITE ALL INTERLOPERS."  Only, it ends up smiting perfectly normal tissue and causing disease.

Both of my parents are also the lucky recipients of autoimmunity.  My mom has hypothyroidism and that sneaky bastard fibromyalgia.  My dad was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  I guess autoimmunity is the downside to my otherwise stellar genetic inheritance.  (Except for, you know, the whole mental illness thing and the tendency to collect belly fat.) 

Anyhoo, my goal in sharing this is not to garner sympathy.  Rather, it is to give an explanation for why I've failed to return to regular blogging now that my summer hiatus is over.

I'd planned to resume my thrice weekly posting schedule this month.  But I'm tired.  And the truth is, I liked just posting when I felt like it.  When I had something to say.  So that's what I'm going to do from here on out.  That means some weeks I'll post 3 or 4 times, and some weeks I won't post at all.  But I won't go away forever without giving you the heads up.  So don't give up on me, y'all. 

And if you haven't already, you might want to subscribe to my blog by email.  That way, all my erratic, unpredictable gems will show up in your inbox as they're published--which you will most definitely not want to miss, as I have a new Afro wig and some fresh raps in the works!

September 05, 2012

Bully Bustin' - A Guest Post

Here's another guest post from my mom.  You know her from such hits as "Shout Out at the Golden Corral". 

I'm a bully buster. I think I always have been but the only vivid memory of a beginning was when I was a first year student at Collinsville High, old campus in Illinois. I don't recall what grade or even who the boys were. What stands clear in my mind was the look on the face of a girl in "the special class" while these assholes kicked her prosthetic arm down the hall.

I punched the place kicker in the face when I bent down to get her leg and he grabbed my shoulder. Even if he hadn't put hands on me, I don't think I would have gotten in any trouble. I can't prove it but I'm pretty sure the principal was glad somebody stepped up. It was a malicious, unthinkably heinous attack.

I have always "had a mouth on me". My mother's label. It's hard to keep it shut in the face of wrong things. Like, how can one be pro life AND pro war?? Seems it should be mutually exclusive. In my life, I have let things go. Some big. Pick your battles. But a bully is gonna go down if they pull their crap around me when no one else will take the reigns. I don't know anybody else personally who has been spit on by a KKK member. That mental picture is a good avatar for my life.

My daughter calls me fearless. That's not entirely true. I'm afraid to lose someone I really love to senseless random death. But in the face of bullying, she is absolutely correct because I think God's got my back with the bully thing. Bullies are literally everywhere anymore it seems.

Some of you have been blessed to be allowed the choice to stay home and raise your kids. I lived life almost completely backwards and had to live a little different life. Mostly one of mitigating wrong choices.

But what I want to say is that we women seem to lack solidarity in the workplace. We've come a long way baby, to coin an advertising slogan, but are still not finishing the race. Mentoring was a big buzzword in the 80s. No job I have worked at since has any kind of mentoring program for women except for licensed nurses and so, we who are out there, need to make a truce. Form a coalition. Just say NO. STOP throwing other women under the bus! It makes you just a sad little wannabe.

I handled a supervisor bully last year.  I went to our practice administrator 3 times about this woman. She only stopped because I let it be known that with the very next event of snooping, spying and condescension I was going full on to Human Resources and was gonna fight it out. I had previously told said supervisor that the multiple initials behind her name only meant she was more educated than I, not more intelligent. After I tried to bridge the breach like a grown-up.

Bullies don't like to get caught in their nonsense and this supervisor had been there before for the same kind of harassment. It stopped. But just in my case. I saw her do it to at least 2 more co-workers, but they are grown-ass women who let it slide for fear of what?? I assume they had reason. Their jobs maybe. The lack of empowerment. I don't know, but it's not gonna happen to me or mine. No matter the consequence.

I always have to ask why more people don't stand up for right and wrong.

This year I left a medical practice I really loved. At 57. Without a job to go to. It was about folks doing wrong to me just because they could. Even when they legally could have been stopped.

I went on FMLA (family medical leave) a year ago to care for my mom while she died of lung cancer. They took me out of my job, and in spite of my asking nicely twice for them to follow Federal law, they refused. I even pointed out the point of law to no avail. I chose not to file action because the practice doctors weren't responsible for the idiocy and I didn't want to cause them drama. I think the aforementioned powers-that-be took that for weakness. They would be wrong.

I sucked it up and did the work I did because I believed in what we were doing in people's lives, but soon, that would not be enough. My immediate supervisor left. A good person. Maybe the last person in management I really trusted. Her nemesis then came to our office. A supervisor who employees had FLED to other offices to get away from. Now our office had 2 fake bullies. I tried to work with her. In less that 2 weeks I knew she was a phony with less than honorable goals. Uh-uh.

I had been watching the environment since it was made known there was a beautiful new facility being built. And limited space as 3 offices become one. There was a fair amount of mean girl bullshit anyway, but it got uglier as women scratched and clawed for a hopeful spot in the future. When I turned my 2 week notice in, the whole atmosphere seemed to be one of crafty manipulations. No one trusted any of the women in charge.

It's sad because most of us aren't power/control freaks. We have bills and families to raise, so we work. It used to be in this country that if you worked hard and proved yourself an honest person, you got a break every now and then and you always got respect.

We are still making less money than men for the same work and the same degrees.  We need to be helping, not hurting each other.

I quit this job because I couldn't reason with unreasonable people. I was seeing grown women playing games that were messing with lives without so much as a thought. I simply couldn't watch them get away with it anymore. I called bullshit and left 2 weeks later because I know my source. I went out like I came in with my head held high.

God knew the truth. I didn't think it would take Him so long to fix it up, but true to His Word, He did it. In the 11th hour rescue mode, He honored it when I stood firm. After a couple of months I could feel depression sinking in. I had hopes after a couple of interviews but crashed soon after. I have needed my best life back for awhile now.

I like to read my Bible like this: One chapter of Old Testament, one from Psalms for praise and remembering, one from Proverbs for wisdom's sake and at least one from the New Testament.
Sometimes when I am really up against the wall, I will ask God to take me to the verse He needs me to know. Like a spiritual fortune cookie, I open the Bible randomly and read.

At the end of the rope, He had me go to Matthew 15:25-28. When I had just let go and was ready to take my punishment for being me because it always looks hopeless in the 11th hour, He got me a good job. At one of the places I had been hopeful for about a month or so before. After not giving up or giving in, and trusting God. Not some employer or shady woman.

And comparing apples to apples, I will lose about 75 cents an hour but trade up to better insurance benefits and working conditions. In the final analysis, my integrity cost me $27.00 a week, but my less costly benefits are making up for it. It's figure I can live with.

I wrote two doctors I had worked closely with and who really knew me and the essence of who I was. Because to them, it appeared I had left abruptly. I waited just to make sure I wasn't coming from the same skeezy place my supervisors were. I just knew that I had respect for them and if it was my business, I'd damn sure wanna know the senseless games going on while I'm trying to help my patients beat cancer. It was well received, and I hear some things are better now. That they know the truth is awesome.

I can live with that too.