Monthly Archives: April 2012

Bartender, Make That A Double

Bartender, Make That A Double

Before you freak out, the answer it NO, I do not intend this to be a Mommy and Me, recipe-sharing, mother-on-anti-anxiety meds site. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…it’s just not how I roll. Except for maybe the meds.

But, in honor of my kids’ birthdays and the approach of Mother’s Day, I just figured I’d leave something behind that I could pull out to humiliate them when they are 16, something that I look forward to with an inordinate and unhealthy amount of glee.

I was late to the table on the whole kid thing. You see, my uterus was becoming a relic but emotionally I was still 25. I’ve always done everything around 5 years after everyone else does so am the definition of a late-bloomer. We needed to make the proverbial “shit or get off the pot” decision. So, we…shat.

We got pregnant startlingly fast, leaving us a bit breathless. Most people who know me, especially ex-boyfriends, would never put money on the fact that my uterus was actually a friendly, welcoming environment rather than desolate and somewhat rude.

So, after the initial shock over the reality of our decision, we started to settle into the idea. We should be comfortable with it any day now….

Who could have possibly guessed exactly how hospitable my uterus really was – my uterus turned out to be the Studio 54 of the reproductive world. Turns out I was popping eggs out like a radioactive chicken. And TWO of them took.

Out the window went my vision of backpacking through Thailand with one, small, low-maintenance kid and in came every horror flick I’ve ever seen about creepy twins.

Here are some interesting and horrible facts about the whole thing.

  • You can’t drink booze – or at least you’re not supposed to. And believe me, there are few times in life when you need a stiff drink more. Evidently, crack and meth are out too. Buzz kill.
  • It’s actually sort of amazing to see your body change and grow exactly in the manner it was intended to. It’s startling to watch and makes you believe in a grand design.
  • It’s intensely scary to go into labor and it is amazingly painful. Who could really help you understand this type of sensation? What could I compare it to so you’d have some line of reference? Have you ever been stabbed in the gut? Jabbed a fork into your eye? Not likely unless you are a very careless and scarred person.
  • You poop in the delivery room. I always thought it was an urban legend. I wouldn’t have apologized so intensely for my utter lack of manners had I known this. So, you poop – let it go – literally and emotionally.
  • It is awe-inspiring how much they cry those first three months or so and what sleep deprivation can do to an otherwise rational adult. It was like being in ‘Nam – I still want to dive under a table whenever I hear the slightest noise at 1:00am.
  • Don’t feel bad if you want to sell your sweet little bundle of joy on eBay. Anything to get the constant loop of crying baby out of your ears and the embedded smell of weird baby-crap and barf out of your nose cavity. Life simply becomes very uncivilized.
  • It’s kind of cool the first time they actually focus on your face or the first time they smile. Yes, it could be gas. Or, it could be they are glad to see you. I guess we don’t really know, but after thinking of selling them on eBay, you want to believe they are glad to see you. It helps their cause a bit.
  • I didn’t expect to like my kids this much. That probably sounds stupid, but it’s true.

So I now live in this bi-polar world of wanting to scream every time they ignore every word out of my mouth as if I were speaking in clicks and grunts but then I think how very weird and cool they are when they choose to dress as Gandhi for Halloween or how they can sing every word of a Cake song and this emotional ping pong is all within 30 seconds of each other and I know this is the worst run-on sentence in the history of run-on sentences.

I need a nap.

Why I Love Talking Monkeys

Why I Love Talking Monkeys

I love any talking monkey. I will watch all the Eddie Murphy Dr. Doolittle movies a million times just for the drunk French monkey. Same goes for that Kevin James zookeeper movie….I love me a chatty monkey! Put clothes on them and I’ll wet myself.

Oddly, I don’t like George Bush though so clearly all talking monkeys are not funny.

Now, my husband is having an aneurism because he is a science geek extraordinaire and, technically, I love talking primates, not monkeys alone, monkeys being a sub-order of primate and blah blah blah blah. So, I’ve given him a resounding whack across the head and told him that I am not Darwin so shut up and make me a lemon drop.

The crowning glory of the talking ape genre (that I just made up) is Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. Why hasn’t some brilliant Hollywood exec (I know, I crack myself up too!) remade this inspired artifact?

For those of you not yet enlightened on the beauty of Lancelot, Mata Hairi, Dragon Woman (where the creators cast an exceptionally politically incorrect Chinese villain), APE (Agency to Prevent Evil) and CHUMP (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan), please do yourself a favor and look at this. You will be a better person for it.

And, because Lancelot had time on his hands after saving the world from CHUMP domination, he put a bitchin’ band together: The Evolution Revolution. It’s fucking epic.

Just watch Mata Hairi shred on that tambourine. Take that Susan Dey, you candy-ass percussionist. Though, why do they feel it’s necessary to put a beard and mustache on a chimpanzee? Seems redundant somehow.

Screw You Hunger Games (or, Why I’m a Filthy Hypocrite)

Screw You Hunger Games (or, Why I’m a Filthy Hypocrite)

I think I’m better than pop culture and yet I have a Rain Man ability to absorb its useless content and even take pride in spewing it out at dinner parties like an annoying tic.

I don’t, as a rule, watch reality TV because I’ve had my fill of seeing people at their worst from years of hitting the Nordstrom half-yearly sale.

I don’t understand the whole Twilight thing so I tried reading a page of it and proceeded to throw it across the room. Then peed on it and started it on fire.

I never read any of the Harry Potters because, well, I’m not 10.

But, for some reason, I occasionally get sucked into the stinking maw of some show, book or movie that holds little or no redeeming value. I don’t even really like reading or watching this stuff, but I simply don’t have the strength to fight it. I know it’s bad for me but I’m a moth to the flame. I’m guessing it’s some sort of substitute for the drug, sex and alcohol abuse that I left behind years ago (strike that last one and get me a drink).

  • I did get sucked into American Idol, especially the first seasons (who am I kidding, I just started to ween off it last season). There, I said it. Spit on me, call me names. I’ve done the same to myself. The demise of that show has forced a modicum of dignity back into my life.
  • The Hunger Games. Fuck you, Katniss Everdeen and your sassy braid for making me wish I were a slave to an evil totalitarian society and that my parents had coughed up archery lessons (yet another misstep in my upbringing).
  • Now, I’ll drag my husband into the muck with me. When we had tiny, mewling, puking, premature twins, we got hooked on both Cheaters and The Anna Nicole Smith Show. I will blame this on program timing since they were on during a scheduled feeding and we had to space out on something. I will also say that nothing made our lives feel just a little less desperate than to watch others walk in front of the train. I am not a better person than that.
  • I used to watch Melrose Place….the original one because, yes, I’m old. Get over it. And I went to high school with Lisa Rinna (go Black Tornadoes).

My saving grace is Downton Abby….or is it? Isn’t it really just Dallas-on-the-Thames? You stick a bustle and an accent on it and suddenly its culture. Don’t forget, these are the same people who gave us Benny Hill.

So, I thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to go through the cultural equivalent of self-flagellation. I feel a little cleaner now as I watch the second Hunger Games book download to my iPad.

Polishing the Turd – My Time at Microsoft Part 1

Polishing the Turd – My Time at Microsoft Part 1

I am thoroughly embarrassed to admit that I have worked, in one capacity or another, for a certain behemoth software company for nearly 22 years. That’s right, I was a child prodigy.

When I was first hired, Microsoft was in its heyday. As I walked around campus I was awestruck by the happy youth wandering the hallowed halls playing hacky sack and wearing inappropriate footwear in February.

I was giddy at the sight of the free drinks served on every hallway. And when Bill Gates showed up at every ship party riding in on a unicorn, well, I couldn’t believe I was actually being paid.

It was a Utopian society swathed in a golden haze where things moved in a soft-focus sort of slow motion and we privileged few were not of this world. We even had our own ultra-hip language – a blend of three-letter-acronyms, grunge slang and a few 1s and 0s. It was both literally and figuratively, Nirvana.

This was my life until I had to work on my first product release and there seemed to be a line- up of emergency vehicles queued up in front of various buildings carting collapsed employees out on stretchers. The young lions were dropping like flies.

In the caste system of Microsoft at that time, I was definitely an untouchable. I was in the User Education department relegated to “Documentation Assistant” which is just as glamorous as it sounds. I basically took a bunch of content that people much smarter than I had written and made it look pretty. Or, as we liked to call it, we polished the turds.

As turd polishers, we were secreted away in dark, inside offices like Morlocks. Many times I emerged at midnight to see my fellow Morlocks, confused and stumbling, in the hallway to make our way to more Mountain Dew and Twizzlers – you see, we had to hunt at night.

The good and bad of Microsoft is that there are constant re-organizations so you either end up losing a wonderful team to turmoil or you get to escape the insanity of a highly dysfunctional team. The latter was far more common than the former.

So, my days with my Morlock brethren were destined to be numbered as I was re-localized to the Localization and Translation group. Somehow I was both moving up and down in my career at the same time. I did get exposure to a lot of different cultural work styles in this time period. The Germans always did impeccable work and were on time though didn’t get most of my jokes. The French didn’t fess up to an issue until it was too late to fix and then they blamed it on the Germans. The Irish could not be found after 3:00PM though you forgave them because they were just so damned fun. So I had a crash course in international studies.

Before you ask: No, I do not speak any foreign languages other than Microsoftian. Though I can say “Click the button” in French. And, I’ve actually gotten to use that in an elevator in Paris one time when I told my husband to “choisissez le bouton” to our floor. I even said it with an affected roll of my eyes to seem appropriately annoyed, just like the locals!

In our next installment, Chapitre Deux – Irene Does Europe.