Archive for February, 2009


*Things That Annoy The Holy Living Shit Out Of Me

Today was recycling day.  Again the guy did not take the empty kitty litter container. 

By damn, one day he will.  Even if I have to go out there in my robe and slippers and MAKE him take it.  And me in my robe and slippers is NOT a pretty sight. 


— Mox

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For Love or Money

I’m in a pickle. 

I keep thinking about the job I quit over a year ago, wondering if I should have stayed with it.  This, I believe, is called regret.  Or maybe it’s a case of grass-is-greener. 

Because, don’t you know, the working atmosphere at that job wasn’t too very great.  In fact, it was a relief for me to be able to go in there and give my notice and walk away.  I mean, I liked my boss, I liked my co-workers.  But there was one person there, whom I had to work with, who was not an employee but a volunteer, who made my life hell. 

I tried really hard to work with this lady, because for my job to be successful, I had to help her organization promote itself.  She wasn’t too cooperative, and didn’t particularly like me.  I think this is because she was old enough to be my mother and didn’t view me as an equal, and also because she had applied for the job and I was hired instead of her.  I got no guidance or backup from my boss, except to be advised to “make nice.” 

Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that “making nice” is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  Stuff pisses me off.  And it makes me less likely to even want to make nice.  I don’t set out to be difficult, and I try to work with people from a standpoint of being understanding, but after a certain amount of time I just get pissed off and that’s the end of it.  Anyone who knows me and my husband knows that I am a patient person.  My husband’s saving grace is in the fact that I love him.  I don’t love other difficult and intense people in the same way. 

When I came back to my other job (that is, when I agreed to working more hours than I did when I split my time between two jobs) I did so because this job is interesting and I enjoy it.  It’ s important to enjoy what it is you do for a living, I think, because you spend so much time there doing it.  If you can’t enjoy it then the best you can hope for is to be able to tolerate it without too much teeth-gritting.  Life is just too short to hate your job. 

The main reason I am ruminating over the job I quit is that, at least, the job paid.  Regularly and on time. 

The job I have now, not so much. 

Which sort of proves to me that I do what I do for love and not for money.  Because I am insane.  And also I don’t know what else to do with myself. 

Tell me, what does a person do when the job pool gets really shallow but the talent pool gets really deep?  Because that’s where I am right now, swimming around with greater talent and wading in a kiddy pool of opportunity.  As tempting as it would be to just go curl up on the couch and draw the blinds and become a recluse, I can’t do that.  I’ve got bills.  I’ve got a kid looking for me to demonstrate how to handle adversity.  I’ve got a wish list of things I want to do.  And I’ve got a lot of years before I can hang it up and go fishing.

I’ve given some consideration to going back to school and getting my master’s degree, because that along with my years of experience would at least allow me to teach, something, to someone, somewhere.  I think.  But they don’t give out those degrees for free, do they?      

This is the sort of thing that takes up a lot of space in my brain these days. 


— Mox

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Giving up.

Today, for those of you either blissfully unaware or willfully ignoring it, is Ash Wednesday.  Go to church, ashes on your forehead, etc. and so on.  It is the beginning of the Lenten season. 

Not all Christian faith traditions participate in Lent in the same way.  You may not know much about it, and so I am here to help.  I am so helpful: 

Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. All churches that have a continuous history extending before AD 1500 observe Lent. The ancient church that wrote, collected, canonized, and propagated the New Testament also observed Lent, believing it to be a commandment from the apostles. (See The Apostolic Constitutions, Book V, Section III.)

(From Ken Collins’ very informative and excellent website.)

I was raised in a faith tradition that did not encourage its’ members to “give up something for Lent” although we did observe Lent.  It has only been in the past decade or so that the church that I was raised in began to encourage fasting as part of the Lenten experience.  Every year I’ve given something up for Lent, and it’s felt like a melding of my Catholic soul with my Protestant body. 

Over the years I have given up things for Lent, and it’s been an opportunity to break a dependence I’ve formed and also a way to reset my circuits.  Things I have given up for Lent in the past include:

  • cokes
  • caffeine
  • coffee
  • chocolate
  • alcohol
  • shopping
  • swearing
  • sweets in general
  • cokes, coffee, alcohol, AND chocolate (I was really ambitious that year) (notice that I did not give up swearing that year)

By far my old standby has been chocolate. It’s a go-to for me, a default setting when I have trouble deciding what to give up.  It’s what I’ve decided to give up this year.  Again. 

There is a candy dish on my desk, right now, as I type this.  It is filled with chocolate.  The temptation is there, folks.  I’ll be a sweating, shaking, quivering mass this time next week. 


— Mox

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A little behind.

So today is Fat Tuesday.  How apropos. 

I have been increasingly in a bad mood since before the holidays, and my depression has been as bad as it’s ever been.  I trace this back to the fact that I have fallen off the workout wagon. 

Back before Thanksgiving, I finally made myself go to the doctor with a knee problem I’d been having.  She put me on some anti-inflammatories and told me to knock off the exercise classes, and confine my walking to a treadmill.  Part of me hated to give up my abs class, but the other part of me, the part that was embarrassed to see my flailing around trying to do kickboxing moves, was relieved.  What really set me on edge was trying to find a free treadmill at the gym.  There were none, at least when I was there.  So I tried one more time to do my walking on the track, and instead of doing my usual four miles in an hour I cut it back to two miles in little more than half an hour.  Guess what.  Didn’t help my knee at all. 

So I quit going to the gym. 

I’m kind of an all-or-nothing sort of person when it comes to working out, so in absence of a viable alternative, I just flat-out quit.  I rationalized that if I gave my knee some time off from everything, it would get better. 

Which has sort of worked.  At least, I don’t have the pain I had before.  What I do have, however, is lots of extra ME. 

Now, I tend to gain weight in the same places my mother gains weight, which is my stomach and butt.  And as much as I love my mother, I cringe at the thought of physically turning into her.  However.  The difference is, I have more willpower than she does.  It’s an outgrowth of my stubborn streak. 

So today is Fat Tuesday and I am living it up on the fat today.  Tomorrow it’s all sackcloth and ashes and a return to the gym and the walking track.  Because my keister, she needs to be smaller. 

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we must diet. 


— Mox

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My burgeoning interest in this great social experiment known as Facebook has shown to me that none of us are ever too far from high school. 

At least, I’m not. 

I graduated from an enormous high school.  Even though I live in Podunk Central, our high school is one of the largest in the state, mainly because we have only one high school to serve the entire county.  It’s long been a bone of contention, the argument that one school serves all equally well.  But that’s a whole other post. 

There were 527 kids in my graduating class.  Because I had no talent for sports, couldn’t turn a cartwheel, was tone deaf, and otherwise had no outstanding features other than being a real straight-arrow, I resided somewhere in the middle of the senior class student body.  Obviously I wasn’t headed to college on a scholarship of any sort, academic or athletic, and I wasn’t headed to vocational school because I had no aptitude for it.  I just surfed along in the middle.  I had my collection of friends, and they were neither the class stars nor the dropouts. 

What I have discovered is that this location in the high school caste system is not actually too bad of a place to have been.  I haven’t had to overcome too many perceptions of me based upon my stupid 18-year-old self.  No one hated me for being pretty or popular or smart, because I was none of those things.  At the time it was painful, but in hindsight I think I did okay. 

I haven’t been to a class reunion since my tenth-year one, and don’t intend to darken the door of another one, ever.  (Ever!)  Facebook has put me back in contact with people who have remembered me in a good way, even though we weren’t necessarily friends back in the day.  But inside I am still 18 and I have been hesitant to friend some people because unlike me, they were pretty or popular or smart, and didn’t have much to do with me back then.  It’s been a knee-jerk reaction for me on responding to some of their friend requests, and what that’s shown me is that I really haven’t grown up all that much.  And, I suspect, a lot of other people haven’t either. 

Do we ever really let go of high school?  Is that where some people peak?  Is it the impetus for others to move on and do well, to bloom late?  And just what have I done?  Peak or bloom late? 



— Mox

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Please hold.

I think Fridays are days for dipping into the “things that annoy the holy living shit out of me” files. 

Today’s case:  call waiting. 

Back some 25 years ago, my parents got call waiting on their phone, which at the time was a great idea considering they had a teenager in the house.  (Me.)  Since they weren’t going to pop for a separate line for the teenager, call waiting was the next best thing, because at least it allowed them contact with the outside world in between phone calls.  They kept it while I was in college, too, so if I needed them in an emergency I could always get through to them without a busy signal. 

I have been out of college (gulp) 20 years now, and still they have the call waiting.  They might be the only people in America who still have it, I don’t know.  But where it once stood as a way to get through my intense and complicated personal life, now it stands as a major annoyance to me. 

Example:  in talking to my mother this morning about the presentation of a bill before our state legislature, I was in the midst of hitting the high points of the bill when I got the “oh, hold on a sec” and click, she was gone. 

Oh, that really burns my butt. 

It seems that more often than not, we’ll be in conversation on something in which points are being made (usually by me) and someone will ring in on the other line.  My mother, she is quite the popular one.  Sometimes I sit for a long time on hold.  Sometimes I just hang up.  But it’s hard for me to build my steam back up on a subject when I’ve been so abruptly clicked off. 

Which may be the point.  I realize this. 

A headshrinker would probably want me to examine this annoyance I feel and discern what it is that’s really going on, I’m sure.  Do I resent my mother’s popularity and long list of friendships?  No.  Do I think I’m really important?  No.  Do I think I’m really UNimportant?  No. 

Do I think it’s rude?  Ding ding ding! 

And you know how I feel about Teh Rood.  Cardinal sin.  Pathway to Hell. 

A lot of times my mom and I just talk about a whole lot of nothing, and even then the call waiting click-in annoys me.  But it really ramps up the annoyance when I’m winding up my sermon on something and have the conversational rug yanked out from under me.  And it annoys me to the point that I can’t resume rational thought on the subject when the time comes.  My brain, it has its’ well-trod paths.  If I get off one of those paths I get lost in the underbrush pretty quick-like. 

My dad, when he’s on the phone, will let the call waiting just ring.  I can call the house and if the phone rings and rings, I can safely assume my dad’s talking to one of his siblings.  And that does not annoy me at all.  Because for one thing, the phone just does not ring and ring at my parents’ house.  My mother keeps those phone lines HOT.  I think it’s something of a victory that my dad gets what amounts to equal time on the phone, even if he’s not the world’s most sparkling conversationalist. 

If I were getting my head shrunk, the shrink might suggest that my annoyance is an outgrowth of my mother not giving me 100% of her attention like she did when I was a kid.  Except my mother has always been one to yak on the phone a lot, so that theory doesn’t really hold.  I just get really hacked off when I’m making a point and I get cut off. 

You ought to see me in meetings.  I’m a joy. 

I’m really good at getting started but not as good at wrapping up.  Maybe that’s the point.  Like this post, which I am going to end here. 


— Mox

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Can y’all stand one more post about me feeling like crap? 

Gah.  I feel like crap. 

Here’s the thing:  apparently I snore.  This in a way really doesn’t surprise me a whole lot, as I come from a long line of champion snorers.  My grandmother sounded like she was holding one handle of a lumberjack hand saw in the Sequoia National Park.  My mother sounds more like the modern version, gas powered.  Me, I don’t know what I sound like, but I have managed to wake myself up a few times cutting some z’s.  That is, if my husband doesn’t wake me up first. 

Good grief, having to fight for each breath through a stopped-up head all day, every day, is tiring.  I’m tired.  So I’m sleeping the other night, and apparently snoring, because my husband, the dear, put his hand in the middle of my back and gave me a little shove.  I woke up, thinking, “huh?” and then went right back to sleep.  Only he shoved me again, and woke me again, and this time I was a little more cognizant because what came to my thoughts was more along the lines of, “buddy, you do that one more time and you are going to lose your hand.” 

Life survival tip, folks:  you do not wake a sleeping bear, a sleeping child, or a sleeping Mox.  I’m just saying. 

Later the next day, my husband said to me, “You might want to go to the doctor about your snoring.  Because it’s getting worse.” 

This was one of those times where my prudent nature made me bite my tongue.  So I settled for a dirty look instead, you know the one.  The one that says “eat shit and die.” 

All right.  Fine.  Forgive me for disturbing your precious slumber with my deviated septum and the ten pints of mucus taking up residence in my sinuses.  I WILL FIX THAT. 

That night I took some cold medicine, which on the box promised to open up my clogged head, and also dry out my sinuses.  And then I used some nasal spray for good measure.  And scrounged around until I found the box of Breathe-Right strips that I had bought for HIM and his snoring once upon a time.  Because, you know, restoring free breathing is really important. 

And that has been my course of action for the past couple of days.  I don’t know that I’ve snored, I kind of think not, but if I have and he’s shoved me over it I’ve been too blissfully drugged out to know.  Makes getting up in the morning something of an adventure. 

A little note on those Breathe-Right strips:  I no longer have any skin left on my nose.  My mother swears to me that she can’t keep those things on her nose, apparently her skin is just too oily for the adhesive to work properly.  I have no such issue.  Those things gom on to my beak and lift my little nasal passages open, but in the morning it’s like ripping off a band-aid.  And it HURTS.  But whatever, I’m all about making sure my Precious can sleep unaccosted. 

Which he will tonight, because he is out of town.  And just in time, because I’m about one Breathe-Right strip away from exposing the cartilage across the bridge of my nose.  He’ll sleep alone, and I’ll sleep alone, and we’ll both actually sleep.  Which will go a long way towards me getting over this crap in the first place, so I can reduce the amount of artifice in my quest for an opened nose and reduced snoring. 

We are the last of the red-hot romantics, no? 


— Mox

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