Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learning to Fly

By Tom Petty

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Ex Scale

You know how doctors office have those cheesy pain scale smiley face charts, which are supposed to unify the levels of pain you're feeling at any one time to be easily referred to and referenced by others?

I think there should be a similar scale, but to cover the social no-no topic of "how are things going with your ex?" and similar probings.

You shouldn't need to give a long detailed ramble about your personal life, you should just able to say things are about a 3 this month and have it immediately understood by all, and subsequently be left alone from further questioning.

  1. You think your ex is just so awesome and love them to pieces in the appropriate-for-being-divorced sort of way and only what the absolute best for them in just everything. Also, your psychiatrist just upped your prescription of Zoloft and you've been popping Vicodin like candy since a root canal last Tuesday. 
  2. You have come to calm collective center accepting the dissolution of you marriage and have found a new inner peace of acceptance. You have also been doing meditative yoga under the tree in your backyard for 3 hours a day and started regularly eating a lunch of dandelion leaves.
  3. Meh, you got your stuff worked out and at least have a mutually distant relationship established. It's not worth the energy to hate them, but you probably wouldn't cry if they got hit by a bus tomorrow either. Biggest goal now is not ending up in a horribly cliche and horribly awkward closed quarters situations, like trapped alone in an elevator together for 29 and a half hours. 
  4. You're considering what would be needed to enter the witness protection program and be moved to another state so your ex would not know where you are, and therefore never be able to contact you. You walk around the house muttering that fucking bastard to yourself, while somewhat regretting not killing them when you had the chance.
  5. You are actively calling hit men to place a bounty on their head. Going to jail for the rest of your life would totally be worth it. 

Side note: it is VERY hard to write anything remotely humorous about divorce after going through it (which is probably why there really isn't much of anything out there). However, I personally feel that being able to laugh about thing sometimes, even the really crummy stuff, is a powerful coping mechanism and stress relief. If you happen to be in a situation where reading this made things feel just a little tiny bit better for you, I would love to hear about it. Please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. And take heart, no matter how shitty things are, a) they can totally get worse and b) this too shall pass.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Short Skirt Hike

I was off of work today, and after the morning I was supposed to spend doing stuff that ended up actually spent napping, I felt far too re-energized to be confined to the house all day and headed out for a few hours of shopping (by which I mean looking at stuff, not buying) and a lunch date with my book (I really do love me some self-absorbed novel time while leisurely munching on french fries).

However, I ended up back in Nederland a little early for picking up Adrianna from preschool, so I went to my usual kill-20-minutes spot in that town, Barker Reservoir.

It's very pretty down there, and almost always a quiet place to go with relaxing views of the water and mountains. Oh, and I get cell phone service right there (just not in most of the rest of the town) and can therefore browse the internet on my still-not-dead-even-though-it's-almost-3-years-old smartphone.

I normally don't even feel so inclined to get out of my car, since the total amount of time is usually short and I really like the little personal bubble being in a car usually provides.

But today I really had to pee, and there was this portapotty right there.....

And after I was physically out of my car, I realized it felt really nice outside right then, so I impulsively decided to walk down the hiking path that runs along the side of the reservoir.

However, I hadn't exactly been anticipated a hike this afternoon, and was wearing a short skirt and capri tights.


No matter, I'm pretty sure I could climb a mountain in a ball gown and heels if I really had to, a flat hike in a skirt shouldn't be a problem in the slightest. 

It was about this time that I also realized I had never walked around this side of the res in my entire life, and felt slightly ashamed about that detail. I quickly resolved to come back and do the whole thing some time. Preferably in jeans and boots, or at the very least sneakers.

I found a neat little unofficial access trail going up the side of mountain, and promptly climbed up there amongst the trees despite my questionable-for-climbing attire.

It was a neat spot, hidden away with some well positioned rocks to sit on.

And some... icky............ underwear...................


Of course, after noticing that particular (and slightly disturbing) detail, I immediately (well, immediately after I got over the gross factor) began analytically considering the spot and it's capacity for secluded outdoor sex.

All in all, it's not a great spot.

Although it feels hidden and isolated when you're up there, it's really still very public. The highway is feet above you, the forest cover is not dense by any means, and as much of the trail you can still easily see would mean people on that trail could just as easily see you.

Admittedly, I doubt there's much foot traffic after dark along there, but still... the isolated feeling is almost entirely an optical illusion within your own head.

And then there's the straight up logistical complications of the sexing itself. I could kinda sorta comfortably perch on a rock up there. I sincerely doubt I could pull off sex on that rock. And there was a VERY small patch of flattened pine needles, that did not look any more promising in my personal opinion.

Clearly the horny teenagers of this town don't have a lot of good options going for them. Or they're just very bad at finding spots.

I, on the other hand, merely have very poor judgement with my outfit choices as I (apparently) wear skirts at all the wrong times.

Ah well, at least the view was nice.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Long Day

Today started at 5:20am, with my alarm going off for me to get up for work after 6 hours of sleep.

I worked 6:30am-2:30pm at Target, and was the only person in the entire grocery section of the store for 7.5 of those hours.

Then I hustled up Boulder Canyon to meet Kristina as she was getting out of school (REAL school, with crazy parent pickup lanes and everything) to take her to soccer practice, which was in the rain.

After soccer practice it was getting her home and getting both girls fed and bathed before my preschool board of directors meeting at 6pm.

And now, at 10pm, I am finally able to be "done", so long as I don't mind putting off the hundred little things that still (always?) need to get done until tomorrow. 

It was a long day.

It wasn't bad, but it has gotten very, very long.

Do most people often have days that feel this long? I wonder about that, whether it's somehow the combination of kids and work and lack of spouse, or whether it's just the normal pace of life as an adult in today's society. 

However, that deep inner pondering is going to wait, because right now there is a hot shower and a soft bed eagerly awaiting my arrival, and I just hate to disappoint such important things as my pillow. 

Good night world, sleep tight.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hellweek Blogger, Take Three

They let me physically put the Qmosed produce et al into the big trash compactor in the backroom today which is how I got expired almond milk all over my shirt so then the always wonderful HR girl Becky gave me my third identical Target branded t-shirt (4th if you count the long sleeve version I also have) to wear. I keep wanting to do something fun with one of them, but am a total wimp when it comes to just go at things with scissors. However if I get a few more, I may decide I need to make a Target quilt or something equally horrible with them just as an excuse to not wear them every single day.

Last night I got totally distracted by Texts from Dog and spent far too long reading through all of them because they are HILARIOUS and then I got distracted plotting a similar theme something or other possibly involving cats or blogging and more plots to take over the world.

I am a horrible parent, because Adrianna was climbing on the back of the couch and when I saw and said "Adrianna get down from there!" it startled her so she fell off and then I just wasn't all that genuinely sympathetic as I soothed her. That whole "Darwinism" thing and life lessons and all...
(WHY are you not allowed to climb on the back of the couch? It's not just because Mommy likes her furniture, it's also because you'll fall off and bump your head)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hellweek Blogger, Take Two

I got to place my first emergency milk order at work today (to get some more in this afternoon, since we were totally out of skim and 1% Market Pantry brand half gallons) which came with a good healthy dose of scolding from our milk distribution center about not properly stockpiling quantities in anticipation of increased demand and a condescending inquiry about whether the regular order that had already been placed for tomorrow would be enough or if I'd be doing this again in 3 days, which led to me over-analyzing the order done by my boss and freaking out for a solid 20 minutes that we would not, in fact, have the correct quantities of milk for the increased demand of all the students showing up but then they made me stop freaking out in the office and go out onto the sales floor to do something (work? yes, I think that was the word mentioned....) so I got distracted by freaking out over the large quantities of people touching me (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T TOUCH THE TARGET EMPLOYEES TO GET THEIR ATTENTION TO ASK WHERE TRASH BAGS ARE JUST POLITELY SAY EXCUSE ME) and never did decide what to do about the milk. Right now I'm hoping my old boss was right and that my new boss was doing this last year and knows what he's doing, and therefore I should stop freaking about it. He also told me to stop freaking out about there being so many people (WHO WERE TOUCHING ME) in the store. I mentioned that retrospectively I'm kinda surprised I lived through last year, and he commented that so was he. Yay Target!

I have three awesome looking brand new books to read and have only made it through the first two chapters of one, a clear indicator of the increased general stress level as seen by my inability so stop spazing out long enough to sit still and read even on my breaks at work. [Insert clever and witty segue here] Check out this adorable comic by Denver artist Grant Snider about books! He posts fun webcomics over at Incidental Comics, and is one of my favorite artistic bloggers to follow.

Adrianna has not been taking well to Kristina going to kindergarten. She throws a huge fit every morning when her sister gleefully trots up to the bus as she gets dragged back to the house to be driven to preschool. It could be a long 3 years....

Hellweek Blogger, Take One

So it's like the longest week ever and I was indoctrinated into small town planning commission meetings tonight which made my 8 hours at work seem not long or hard at all in comparison and tomorrow is dorm opening day for students and a truck delivery and I have to magically guess how much milk to order for the weekend of an internationally renowned bike race also coming through town along with the droves of students who are showing up and I have a dentist appointment which requires driving through that nasty traffic and you readers are all like, don't ask us which type of lame ass cope out blogging you should do, just give us all of it all the time!! 

You should read this adorable story about baby marsupials being best friends, understand that tomorrow at work I will probably not be able to move through the store on account of the sheer volume of human beings be packed in there and that my little Target store in the little city of Boulder almost always sets nation wide company record sales the day the CU freshman dorms open every year, and coo adoringly over this picture of Adrianna giving me flowers.

You're welcome, you greedy unhelpful blog-following bastards.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And Off to School We Go

Today was Kristina's official first day of Kindergarten.

(Cue simultaneous cheering and sobbing... NOW! Oh wait, was that just me?)

She was very excited about the whole thing, and I think it was the longest 45 minutes of her life this morning until it was time for the school bus to come.

Adrianna was very supportive of her big sister, and only threw a couple of fits about not being able to go on the school bus too. Don't worry, Kristina was very mature and only had to point that she was TWO each time it happened, which of course made Adrianna stop crying long enough to argue that she was five too and do that tongue out spitting thing at her sister.

(It is hard to thbbbbbt when you're crying.)

Oh, and I even got Kristina to stop jumping up and down enough to get a decent picture of her ready to go to school.

(This was harder than it sounds.)

After another few eternities of standing at the bus stop (or 10 minutes, that just felt like a few eternities to all parties involved), the infamous school bus finally arrived.

 Kristina ran up onto the bus as soon as it stopped, far more interested in getting in there than saying goodbye to me, but did glance back out the door as she was sitting down in the Kindergarteners Only seats right up in front and gave a little wave with a big grin on her face.

 And then the bus drove away.

I had no idea how profoundly mixed the emotions are behind the first day of kindergarten, but it is a complex moment for the reflective parent as that bus pulls away with your baby inside of it. You have succeeded in raising your child to be ready (so, so ready) for this next stage in her life, but it also marks a turning point of what being a parent means. Her babyhood, with whatever miniscule sliver of it might have been left at this point, is officially gone.

Bring on the school years, Life, Kristina is ready to rock it.

(And I'm sure I will be too. Eventually.....)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Inspirational Survey

I have been really wanting to write something inspirational. You know, the sort of blog post that is so inspiring and universally applicable it will go viral and land me a publishing contract and an appearance on The Daily Show.

Or at least make me feel like my blog might be something kinda sorta cool in it's own right, and not just appealing to those who think I'm hilarious (hahahaha!) and/or like my children (my money's on this one, have you seen how ridiculously cute they can be?).

However, lacking any amazing inspiration, sleep, and a creative state of being you all just get this question to answer for today:

How would you like to me to blog for the next few weeks?

  • A) Whine about how much working at Target during hell week sucks. Be sure to throw in the stories of passive aggressive bosses throwing away your very important papers on purpose, being forced to eat salad, and how you were almost killed by a box of bananas.
  • B) Whine about how much everything else in life is busy and crazy and hard right now. Be sure to include the stories of cleaning poop out of the inside of your daughter's shoes, not sleeping because you're an idiot and try to have friends, and how prohibitively expensive and over-taxed houses are in Boulder County. 
  • C) Whine about how hard it is to be a blogger. Seriously, what sort of creative content mastermind do you think I am? All I got are poop stories half the time, and the other half is dedicated whining about the same stuff every other blogger whines about! Well, not the same stuff, as I'm sure all bloggers don't whine about their children coveting their precious My Little Pony collection, but still, it's just me whining. That is totally not going to make my blog super awesome. Crap, it's like blogging is actual work!
  • D) Post links, copy articles, and pirate pictures to the most random and plausibly amusing stuff I can find. I have no idea what these things will be. Stories of man-eating plants and pictures of small fuzzy animals sitting inside of footwear are strong contenders in the category. It's like the grab bag of Marty's stressed out mind on a reddit high. 

In conclusion, here is a picture of a pink tutu-ed and tiara-ed Darth Vader costume. All that's missing is a purple tutu-ed and fairywing-ed little sister Velociraptor standing next to it, and you would be seeing how my children will probably end up doing Halloween in another few years. Consider it a preview for the sort of randomness blogging option D) will bring you. Awesome, awesome randomness....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Adrianna's Rocky Morning at the Park

A few days ago I took the girls to the little park up here in Nederland.

It was a very casual meet-and-greet sort of deal for the kiddos going off to Kindergarten, and Kristina was more than happy to frolic around the playground with the horde of little boys.

Adrianna was a little more despondent about the whole affair.

She briefly picked some flowers.

And played in the gazebo by herself.

And then laid down on a large rock.

The rest of the morning she alternated between trying out other various rocks to lay on and sprinting away from the playground.

So I spent lots of time watching my child flop around on large rocks, wary of her vanishing act.

It was very exciting, let me tell you what.

Clearly I had NO idea what the fun thing to do at the park is, having previously thought it might involve the swings or climbing up the big rock wall or going down the slides or somehow interacting with any of the other 30+ children also at the playground right then, including a solid half-dozen preschool aged little-siblings-of-kindergarteners just like Adrianna.

I think I might need get her a large laying rock for the next present-obligated calender event, as it clearly is her most favorite thing to do in the world. Well, that and picking wildflowers.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thank God for Over Time

I have not been a big fan of Target's policy regarding employees getting over time in the past.

Or more specifically, the irritatingly strict requirements of how NO employee is to accrue any over time in any situation.

Multiple times thus far in my Target career I have gotten coached (that would be a verbal reprimand by my direct boss) for clocking OT for the week in an amount of less than 5 minutes.

That's right, instead of clocking in at 39:59 hours of work for the week, I clocked in at 40:02.

More than once!!

The horror is shocking to you, I have no doubt. How could I possibly show up on time for every shift, only take my 30 minute minimum lunch, and then not leave right on the dot one day? I am almost certainly single-handedly bankrupting the corporation through my careless time clock usage.

But today, for the very first time, I was genuinely glad Target took hitting the over time mark so seriously.

You see, this weekend officially marks our kick off to the week of hell the return of the CU students.

As I am still rather new to the market area, I have been getting some guidance about how to run that area of the store during this very special (and thankfully, short term) time for the store. And the most resounding piece told to me has been:

Whatever you do, do NOT run out of food. 

Alright. Do NOT run out of food. I can handle that, right?

So then I placed the perishables order for produce and meat on Thursday, knowing that it would be arriving on the kick off to the week of hell today.

And I ordered a LOT of stuff.

In part because of the underrunning "don't run out food, whatever you do just don't run out of food" in my head, but also because of things like how the truck delivery on the day I was placing the order showed only having 3 of the 10 cases of blueberries we put in on it, all of which were sold out within a few hours.

So this last time I placed the order for 35 cases of blueberries.

3 were cut from the order when it was shipped to us, bringing the actual delivery down to 32, and then when the produce was getting backstocked another 3 cases were accidentally knocked over spilling blueberries all over the backroom.

And now it's wait and see.

Wait and see how many of those 29 remaining cases of blueberries have sold by Wednesday. Wait and see if I ordered enough. Or too much. Or even (gasp!) too little.

However, the order was large by other standards.

Like the pallets.

All the food stuff comes in stacked on 5"x5" pallets and wrapped up in saran wrap. These particular pallets were all stacked taller than me, with a total of 931 cases of food stuff on 16 pallets.

It was so much food stuff, we were having serious problems getting all of it physically into the walk-in coolers and freezer in the backroom.

And the Senior Team Lead of market said it was the largest FDC (aka: food truck) delivery he had ever seen at the store.



Yeah, I don't think anyone knows yet whether I did really great or really horrible with the order.  

But because today's delivery was so large, I was busy pushing the stuff from the truck out to the sales floor for most of my shift, including the 45 minutes past when I was supposed to leave, and would have been there for another 5 or 6 hours finishing it up had I not been at my overtime mark for the week.

Oh my God thank you thank you thank you for saying I had to leave!!! And I get an entire... 13 and a half hours.... until I go back there.... and place another perishables order................'s going to be a loooooong week at Target.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Some Nights

By Fun.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Forklift and Me

Today I used the power forklift at work. And I didn't die!

Nor did anyone else, and I only bashed into a support beam kinda hard once!


It wasn't easy.

In fact, it was the longest 30 minutes I've had at that store in a long time.

Some people are natural forklift drivers, effortlessly gliding large pallets piled high with yogurt and watermelons off of the refrigerated freight truck and into the backroom coolers.

And then there is me.

And apparently, I am NOT a natural forklift driver. In fact, I may be the complete opposite of a natural forklift driver, a sort of mechanized machinery arch-nemesis hurricane being released upon the back room.

In my very meager and pitiful defense, until today I haven't ever actually had to use the power forklift since my very brief initial training on operating all of the backroom power equipment over a year ago.

To make my rather pathetic forklift learning process even better, the backroom had quite a few people bustling around in it right then doing all sorts of various behind-the-scenes things that keep the store running.

....................including watching Marty futilely attempt to get un-stuck from the corner she somehow accidentally backed herself into and providing all sorts useful commentary about how she should be doing things completely different when she almost knocked over a very tall produce pallet while pulling it down the loading dock.

Yes, it was very exciting, and my dignity might have even survived the day with a few tiny scrapes still intact.

On the upside, I figure that in like 6 months when I'm totally awesome at unloading the truck I can look back at this experience and be like, see how far I have come? I was horrible at it! And now I'm totally awesome and gots me some mad unloading skillz. Or at least I don't get stuck in corners as much anymore.

Also, I would just like to extend my most sincerest apologies to the truck driver who had to watch this suffering and was ever-so-slightly late for leaving our stores as a direct result of my questionable tuck unloading skills. I swear I'll get better. Or at least convince them that I'm totally incompetent to be unloading the truck by myself, and should never be made allowed to do it again without some seriously capable forklift driving backup assistance.

Yep, just another day living the dream and learning to operate a power forklift through the most egotistically painful ways possible: practice and trial and error.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Landmark Birthday

I remember sitting with little baby Kristina (who was probably screaming inconsolably for the second or third hour in a row in the middle of the night), and thinking how I just had to make it through those first 5 years of her life.

If I could just hold it together and get through those first 5 years, everything would work out ok.

And today marks that goal, as she officially turns 5. 

In many ways, I was right. Kristina as a 5 year old is a completely different ballpark to play in than Kristina as a baby was. She even goes to bed most of the time at this point! She is completely self sufficient for her basic needs, including getting herself a cup of milk and making a peanut butter sandwich (or at least, she can be when she so chooses to be or is otherwise motivated to be). She has moments of gracious kindness towards Adrianna, and has even been known to help her baby sister with things like getting pajamas on.

But the last 5 years have cost a lot for me. And I'm not sure whether I really succeeded in holding it together all that well or not. Clearly I didn't fail epically, as Kristina has grown into a very well adjusted happy little girl who is more than ready to board that bus and go off to Kindergarten in 6 days. And like, she wasn't smothered with a pillow in infancy.


Without a doubt they have been the longest and hardest 5 years of my life, and there were definitely moments where I think the only way we got through them was on sheer personal willpower alone. The willpower not to give up on this child. The willpower to love this child even when there was no love left to give. The willpower to find more patience for her, even when she burned through all the patience to be had hours ago. The willpower to meet her needs even when they contradicted my own. The willpower to accept the unique quirks that make her Kristina, and the willpower to let go of the preconceived ideas of what this child would be when she demonstrated that she clearly was not them. The willpower to laugh every time I wanted to bury my head in my hands and cry.

Happy 5th birthday Kristina, I'm as amazed by where we have come as you are.