The Daunting Task of Gift Giving

I’m sitting here on Cyber Monday trying to figure out what the heck to get for my mother for Christmas. She’s asked for framed pictures of the three of us “kids” and our families, so those will be taken care of (hopefully). But she didn’t really say anything else. Being that I’m without employment, she wants to save me some cash, but I still need to have her open something on Christmas Eve.

I decided to Google search “What should I get my mom for Christmas,” hoping that there was just one cool thing that she doesn’t have. Boy, was I wrong.

The search results show that as a society, we think very little of our moms. Each search I looked at held the same answers: coffee, candles, blankets, small kitchen gadgets everyone already has, and mittens. OMG this was so disappointing. She gets her coffee at Costco, she doesn’t burn candles, she’s got as many kitchen gadgets as she can fit into a condo kitchen, and we live in south Florida, so let’s skip the blankets and mittens.

*Sidebar: Can we stop with the slide shows already? They are so annoying. Put the old fashioned list back into play with the pictures. Citizens of the world will be much happier.

I even took an online quiz that said I should get her earrings. Seriously every question asked about books or jewelry. She loves books and earrings, but she has so many! And I could never top the starfish necklace from Tiffany that I got her almost 11 years ago. She never takes it off.

Is this really all the internet can come up with? iPads? Everyone has some sort of hand held device. There is seriously not a new and interesting idea out there.

Jason’s family was easy to shop for. They told us what they wanted, and boom, that’s what they’re getting.

Jason is not hard to shop for at all, even though he says that he doesn’t want anything because if he really wanted it, he’d buy it himself. He’s very basic in that it is obvious what he likes, so getting those things are easy. Well, it is difficult to decide which one of many to get him. But that’s a good problem to have.

He says that I’m difficult because I took his ideas away from him. I have enough bike/cat related things. I don’t need or want any more of them. I’ve really given him not much else to go on, which doesn’t matter because the dishwasher will be delivered tomorrow! The gift of no more hand washing dishes is VERY exciting!

Why does this have to be so hard? I don’t feel like I have to spend a bundle on anyone. For me, it is a small way of saying how much I appreciate the people closest to me. I could never actually get them the things they deserve, but it is a small start. I do love the gift giving, and my last hope is that Etsy comes through for me. I don’t know why I just didn’t go there first.

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Coins: They’re Not Just For Wishes Anymore.

I wasn’t really sure what to write about today. I’ve been having an issue coming up with something mildly amusing. So I asked Jason to pick a topic for me. So he flipped a quarter. He didn’t tell me what he was thinking, he just flipped the quarter. It landed on the ground, I watched him turn it over, and then he walked away.

I have this thing for picking up loose change. I don’t care if they’re pennies. I just love to pick all of it up. I stopped cycling once on a long ride to pick up a dime in the street. I’m an idiot like that. The kicker is that the coin has to be face up, otherwise it is bad luck and I have to turn it over for the next person to get. This is an old superstition that my mother told me, so it has to be true. I don’t like to mess with the ‘old world curses’ type things. That’s strong juju right there.

This is a dream for me. I knew it when I first saw it! All of the coins would have to be heads up, though, or I would have to punch someone in the face.

This would bring me better luck with my cooking.

This would bring me better luck with my cooking.

I picked up the quarter and put it on the mantle. (I don’t even know if he saw me do it, or if he’ll be surprised that I didn’t take it for the coin jar.) It led me to this topic, but I have to tell you about some really funny times that he’s gotten me with coins. Most recently at the lawyer’s office. We had a bit of a text going back and forth.

“There’s a quarter under the desk. Must resist the urge to pick it up.”

“Noooooooo! I have faith! You have will power! DO NOT PICK IT UP!”

“It’s heads up too! This is killing me. OMG NEED TO PICK IT UP”

“No! Someone will see you. Put your Jew away and step back from the coin.”

He knows me too well. Although, he didn’t complain when I found that $20 in front of the cash register on the floor in Publix. Boom. The coin-picking-up wins me a load of loot! I would pick up coins when we would walk together on our morning break at our old job. Jason made fun of me then, and he still does to this day. But nothing beats the episode a month or so back at the gym.

I think we were doing chest/arms/triceps or something awful that was going to make me look like a weenie next to him. He’s really jacked, but he tells me all the time how good my workout is and how much I’m improving, therefore, I shall keep him. But I digress….(I always get stuck when I think about how puffed up and gorgeous he is).

There was a dime on the floor.

For some people, that’s ten wishes. For me, it was something I needed to keep. I walked over to the shiny little morsel, and lo and behold it was heads up!! How exciting! I wanted to clap loudly and do a stupid dance. Except, people. I stifled the excitement and picked up my new found friend. And then I realized that I had no pockets.

“Babe, can you please hold this for me? You have pockets. I do not.”

“What have you oh God Regina really right now can you not stop with the change hoarding???”

“I don’t hoard. You can easily walk around the house. Stop.”

At this point I was on the verge of making ‘the face.’ I had to stop myself because ‘the face’ is reserved for emergency situations, like if I were to suddenly need a new Louis Vuitton bag, or to go sunbathing in St. Thomas. ‘The face’ is always to be used sparingly. Overuse will ruin the effect.

Because Jason is a beautiful soul, he held onto my precious dime. But not for long, to my dismay. We had finished that particular set, had gone to another area of the gym, finished that set, and then walked back to the free weights to do another exercise. My arms were really sore. I really was doing a good workout! I can do this! I’m really is that another shiny coin on the floor what are the odds???

My excitement was rising again. Jason was just standing back and watching. Holy crap! TWO dimes in one day! This is amazing!

WAIT A MINUTE……

Kanye knows. He doesn't like your sass either.

Kanye knows. He doesn’t like your sass either.

“Seriously, did you just? You put my dime back on the floor? What are you, an animal?”

At this point he is trying to internalize the unbelievable fit of laughter he’s immersed in. Or he’s having a seizure. I was hoping at that point that it was the latter, because if he was messing with me to that degree….about THE DIME!!!

A snort, a girly giggle, and spittle flew out of his mouth. (Right then it was me that needed to walk into the bar.) His face turned pink. I bet it hurt to laugh that hard. With that contorted face; body all scrunched up like that. Hmph. People were starting to look at him. Good. It diverted their attention from how ridiculous it was that I was getting bent over a dime. I turned around to pick up my dime. The plan was to just stick it in my bra like it was my cell phone. I’ll show him. Mess with my dime. Double hmph.

I reached down for my poor little forlorn friend. It was probably so sad that it was put back on the floor. Just sitting waiting to be stepped on. It wondered where it’s new friend was and would she ever find it again and take it home. Well, not this time. Jason put it TAILS UP on the floor. Shit. Now my dime was lost for good. It made me sad. My poor little dime. Sigh. I did the honorable thing and turned it face up. Just how it should be. It was technically mine, so that shouldn’t have mattered, but you know…juju.

We did our last set. It was brutal because my arms were already falling off. I mean, I scraped my knuckle on the ground. The whole set we went back and forth about why he did that to me. Why he pushes the coin buttons. All of his laughing. I was so engrossed in the conversation that I forgot the dime on the floor and didn’t realize it till we got home. That brought about much more laughing, then an I’m sorry, then a hug, and more laughing.

The next day at the gym, my dime was gone. At least it found a new friend and a new home. And I learned my lesson. He can poke fun at me for all of my neuroses all he wants, but I will never again let him hold my coins. I’ve got a bra for that.

Pulling My Creativity Out of the Crapper

I don’t troll the FaceBooks often. When I do look at it, it’s mainly full of cute rat pics from the rat people in the rat forum. Or posts on rat health questions. Or posts on how someone’s fur baby has died, which is always heartbreaking. Frankly, though, there’s only so much of that I can look at, which seems weird knowing the love I have for my fuzz butts. But I came across something today that a friend of mine (fellow rat-person) posted, and it happened to be exactly what I needed.

Kirby and Weasley added for cute factor

Kirby and Weasley added for cute factor

I’m going to preface with I’m happier now than I have been in quite some time.

I’m also quite sad sometimes. And also in physical pain. Depression tends to do that. It’s like I have to slay Dorgon. Lots of people don’t realize that there’s physical pain involved too. I’ve had this pain for over a decade now. Some days it’s fine, but other days I can barely handle it. I know where it stems from, but I’ve also noticed that there are places where it manifests from physically too. I mean, there are some exercises I can’t do at the gym because they exacerbate the pain. This is totally ok with me because I have other options for each exercise I can’t do. (I’m really sad about the one because it’s the only one where I can feel my abs the next day.) I’ve also noticed that my couch is killing me slowly. This is especially sad because I have a really nice couch that’s only about 4 years old. Sitting on it for any period of time actually hurts my neck/shoulders/head. I’m going to try to sit in a new spot on the couch because maybe it’s my butt that’s worn a spot where I always sit. If that doesn’t work, I’ll probably cry.

So I read this post that Ricardo put on his wall. Something hit me that hasn’t really dawned on me ever. I’m not allowing myself to be happy. I’m always happy when I’m with Jason. Something about him is very relaxing to me. I am actually my true self. I’m silly. I’m fun. I’m witty. I’m amazing (his words, not mine). But so much of my day is spent alone. Marnie is at school, then off hanging out or studying with her friends. I easily spend the vast majority of my day alone, which is why I really have to do something. I’ve been lulled into complacency. I’m enjoying the quiet, but I have to get more motivated; more creative. Bodies in motion stay in motion, ones at rest stay there. This is inherently why it is so hard to get motivated.

I start my day wanting to do all kinds of stuff. I’m pumped. I have ambition! I’m going to be productive. Then 8:00am rolls around. Most of that goes out the window. I think I’ll start by making my couch a forbidden place unless someone else is there with me. Look at me go. Right now I’m at my kitchen table, and it doesn’t hurt to sit here!

Part of my problem is that I’ve applied for closing in on 40 jobs, and nothing. So while I’m still doing that, we’ve got a few ideas cooking. These could really wind up being something. I need to get busy with the ideas and putting everything together. Jason works all day, so it is up to me to get the proverbial ball rolling. All I can hope for is that the ball doesn’t turn into a rock, and me into Sisyphus.

I’ve got a weekly list that I go through to feel accomplished. I won’t lie though….three of those items have been on that list for a few weeks. So I’m going to add more to my list. Getting creative is going to be at the top. Cleaning the rat cage is always at the top now, but I’m willing to put myself first and get into a more happy mode. I’ve actually started today by writing this post.

You’ll be kept in the loop as to all of the accomplishments that are going on around here. The T-shirt making, the game creating, the company starting. All of it. Maybe a few pounds will be dropped along the way. Maybe some success will be around the corner.

The sun is shining and it is very beautiful outside. I’m going there now to change-up my routine. I hope that reading this has been cathartic for even one person. It has been to write it. This will be a battle for me every day, but a therapist once told me, “the comfort zone is the dead zone.” I find this to be true especially when it comes to depression. That’s what I mean by comfortable. It’s easy. But it sucks the life out of you. It’s not at all who I want to be. Not who I want Marnie to live with. Not who I want Jason to have to deal with. It’s not fair to them, but it REALLY isn’t fair to me. The first step is the hardest, right?

I’ll be back soon. I have a dragon to slay.

I’m 7 Different Kinds of Judgey

Our Friday date nights usually consist of dinner, and episode of Bojack Horseman, and then either a movie that most likely Jason picked or binge watching some show. He has way more movies he wants me to ‘experience’ than I have for him. We don’t go out a lot. We’re asleep on the toasted marshmallow before 10:30, usually. But the last few Fridays we’ve been out actually doing stuff. This Friday we will go back to normal.

So we were at the House of Blues this past Friday to see New Found Glory and Yellowcard. Jason is a huge NFG fan. He’s seen them live like five times. Maybe more. I had not seen either, nor had I ever been to a concert at an intimate venue before, either. Truth be told, I really enjoyed it! NFG was amazing. I’d only ever heard like two of their songs before, but the whole show was very amped. Yellowcard was….eh. We were pissed at first that NFG went on before Yellowcard, but about three songs in, we decided to leave and were glad we didn’t have to sit through it. Jason’s friend had said she’d seen them live and they were awful. To me, the three songs I heard sounded the same.

But I digress…..

Jason screamed into my hair the whole night. That sounds weird. He’s taller than me by a decent bit. He stood behind me at the railing. He sang every song. Into my hair. I’ve never experienced that before. It was silly enough that I actually liked it.

We decided that up near the bar would be a better place to be than down in the pit. Like I said, I’m kinda short. He was concerned for me because of all of the REALLY tall guys that were packed down there. He said he would like to be there but it wasn’t safe for me. I won’t lie. My mosh pit days are long gone. But we had the best view of the “mayhem.” Let me use that term loosely.

Here’s the sitch, Wade. There was crowd surfing, and there was a mosh pit. I was enthralled to see that my fellow Gen-Xers had created something that was still alive and well today. Well, it was alive, but not really well. We must have sucked all the life out of those two concert-going phenomena. Kind of like when my friend Meredith said, “We had all the fun and now there’s none left for you.”

In my day, (Christ on a cracker I am really saying that) we surfed and moshed like we meant it. There was blood. There were injuries. There were no guys in Oxford shirts with khakis and loafers in either of those scenarios. But there was last Friday! I couldn’t believe it. It was so upsetting. 40 year old me was happy those forms of entertainment are still around. 20 year old me was pissed. Those aren’t for you, yuppie scum! You’re boring. You’re vanilla. You’re at a concert with tattooed and pierced people your age! Full blown mouth-breathing neck beards, too! Why aren’t you at the club with Biff and Mindy? OMG. You can’t mosh dressed like that. It showed, too. That may have been the tamest pit I’ve ever seen. Why didn’t that guy change his clothes at the bank before he left work? Would it have killed him to put on jeans and a t-shirt like the dude with the shirt that said, “Taylor Swift or DIE”? My guess is he doesn’t own t-shirts. Didn’t he have a Noles game to be at the next morning?

There was some crowd surfing, but I think it was the same two guys over and over. Plus khaki dude at the end there. I crowd surfed once. Live and Weezer played in my college gym. I had gone with a few friends. Porkchop tossed me up there. I was having fun, until I got dropped and landed on my hip. Can I tell you it hurt for a solid year! And can you believe that Weezer played in a college gym? At a school with only 2500 kids at it? OMG that was a really long time ago.

Am I turning into the Gen-Xer that’s complaining about the Millenials again? Nah. Just an observation of how some straight-laced people have inner freaks but are afraid to let it show, even in front of those letting it all hang out. Or those trying to bind it all in, like the girl a few people down from us. Holy shit, she was wrapped so tightly in that outfit I thought it was going to explode. I really wish people would wear proper clothing for the occasion. Also, ladies, stop wearing sandals to concerts. I know its Florida, but you’re going to get three toes ripped off by that dude in the combat boots. Or not. At least that would bring blood back to the pit.

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The Jobs Are A Lie

I’ve been unemployed for a bit over a month now. Stop laughing. It’s ok to call me a noob. I don’t have the frustration level that most of you have. I do have to appeal my unemployment denial. I also have to share the lies and scams I’ve come across while job hunting. FYI, I’ve applied for over 25 jobs in that short month.

  1. I have applied for no less than three jobs that have resulted in no interview or no “thanks for your worthless resume,” only to see that those jobs have all been reposted multiple times to the same job boards. These jobs are all in the social services field. Um….isn’t every state way short on case workers? Would you not be happy to have me, or do I need to finish my last two classes for my masters degree first?
  2. I received this gem from a government agency. Convenient, if you ask me.  Also proof that this job never existed.Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.56.33 AM
  3. I also received this little email gem….for the exact job I applied for. Really right now?  Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.59.13 AM
  4. This was another beauty I got. How naive do these people think I am? First of all, quikmail is not the company you’re working for, supposedly, so don’t send me email from there. And no business email comes with the number 40 at the end. You claimed to be with AFLAC, so send me an email from your work email. Stop being so shady. And stop disguising call center positions as anything but that.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 11.03.06 AM

I’ve been noticing these things for a while, and a few of my friends confirmed it. One has been looking for a job for 4 months. She saw the position she applied for but “wouldn’t be a good candidate” that reposted recently. Another friend told me that schools in her area are hiring overqualified people, who then leave after half a year because they were offered better jobs. I also know someone who had SEVEN interviews with one company, only to be told that they were changing the scope of the job and that he should reapply. (Facepalm…..HARD.) Who conducts seven interviews if you’re the preferred candidate? I don’t blame him for telling them where to stick it. Holy crap if that’s not a red flag, then I don’t know what is.

The one that took the cake for me was the friend who said she was out of work for two years and couldn’t even get an interview at Whole Foods as a Juicer. Seriously? I feel like you have to be friendly and quickly learn how to work a juice machine. And try to not run out of fruit. Did they not hire her because they knew it would be temporary? Isn’t that job inherently temporary? Can you work for years as a Juicer and retire from that position?

There are not many things I’m a conspiracy theorist on, but this is certainly one of them. The population of the current city I live in is 101,000 people. Indeed.com has 6575 job postings for that city, not counting the towns surrounding it. So how is it, exactly, that I cannot find a job? I’ll tell you how. The posts are not real. Sure, a some of them are, but how can the economy look better unless all of these jobs are posted? “Look how much growth there is….look at the economy go up!” There’s a really interesting Gallup Poll article that says that 5.6% is a lie. It’s a fast read, so just go for it.

I’m not trying to be a downer. Jason has already discussed that at length with me today. God did I need it. I am trying to let everyone know what’s out there. My friend, the wannabe Juicer, said, “It’s so hard out there. Any time I hear someone squawk about people on public aid being “too lazy” to work I just want to light a match and set their hair on fire.” I just got the Grinch-grin while thinking about all of the scorched, bald congressmen and multi-millionaires out there. It was not nice of me to laugh that hard. It’s not funny. OMG I can’t stop laughing.

So, I’m challenging anyone who has some sort of legit jobs for any of us (mainly me) that we’re qualified for, not over qualified for, contact me and I’ll gladly get you my resume. I’d really like to be proven wrong on this one. I’ll post about how wrong I am, and sing your praises publicly. On many social media outlets.

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Fizzy Water, the Man Who Hates It, and the Icees Who Hate Him

I am a huge fan of “fizzy water.” Club Soda, to the common folk. I can’t help it. I love the carbonation with the flavors. It’s non caloric, unlike pop, and all the alcoholics are drinking it! La Croix and Dasani are my two favorites, but I’ll be honest; when New York Seltzer hits the shelves again, all bets are off, baby! I’m grabbing every case I can find. It’s been since the late 1980s since I’ve had that mess, and I’m jonesing for more of it. Luckily, I’ve heard that they’re coming back!!

Don’t get me wrong. I will absolutely drink regular water that I’ve filtered from my fridge. If I’m really thirsty, I’ll drink my tap water. The line I draw is ordering regular, free water at a restaurant. Granted, there are some that you can get a good water, but Jason and I have a list going of places where the water is not safe to drink. By NSTD, I mean the taste is vile. Beyond vile, really. Lemons can’t even help this atrocity. Water always tastes like whatever is in it. We live in Florida. Fish pee and sharks have sex in the water. Alligators drown deer in it. In some of our lakes, we have brain eating amoebas. Also snakes.

I feel like the tap water at most restaurants isn’t even suitable for dishwashing. Come to think of it, I may be drinking dish water. Sometimes the taste is just disgusting. Other times it smells bad. There’s one place that the water is so full of sulfur, the Winchesters are hunting it. Really at that point, you’re just better off having Kevin Costner filter his pee a dozen or so times because that’s going to be less gross than what comes out of the tap.

So I’ve resorted to the fizzy stuff. The lime is easily my favorite. Jason hates it. We went out to eat recently, and I got a to go drink because we were going to be in the car for about an hour. This drink was the size of my head. I’m glad club soda is free! And I’m glad there were about 5 lime slices in it. But for some reason, even after I had asked, Jason didn’t want to take a drink with him. I found that odd because this is a guy who drinks gallons of water a day and has a titanium reinforced bladder, which is the size of a basketball.

I think we were about halfway to the board game store when he got thirsty. He reached down for my cranium cup of club soda. I’m guessing he forgot that he hates that stuff. There’s no WAY he was that parched. So one sip and it was all over. Again, he made a horrific face. There was gagging. There was coughing. I was laughing.

“OH GOD!!”

“What?” Giggle, giggle.

“Oh God, that’s awful!”

“By awful, do you mean….amazing?”

“No God, that’s awful! How can you drink this? Why did you make me drink this? It’s like I’ve been bad!”

“I didn’t make you drink it.”

“But it’s the only thing in the car. And it’s horrible.”

I offered for us to stop somewhere and get something more palatable for him. He refused. He just kept gagging and making this weird noise. If you didn’t know Jason, you’d think he was overreacting. He wasn’t. He has a very touchy gag reflex. Sometimes I think he’s going to die when he brushes his teeth. It was at that moment that I considered the thought that maybe he shouldn’t be driving the car.

It took us well into the afternoon before he went ahead and got a bottle of water from the gas station. Regular water. Although while he was in there, I did see him staring at the Icee machine. I was pumping gas and almost yelling, “No, no! Step back! Walk away from it! You always get bad Icees!” People were staring, but he walked away! I guess he really shouldn’t have any sort of flavored drinks. They just don’t work for him. Every time he’s had an Icee, it has been disappointing. He’ll get something that he thinks he wants, starts to take a sip of it while walking to the counter to pay, realize he hates it, and then buys it anyhow and is sad the whole way home.

The last time was when we were in Target. He bought a large Icee and walked around the corner to the machine. Of course, they were in the process of making the blue raspberry. Holy shit the disappointment! He stood in front of the machine yelling, “Oh God, why???” The cherry was available, so he decided to suffer with that. We walked over to the little Starbucks bar to get a straw. He set the Icee down, and all of a sudden, it started billowing out of the top of the container all over the counter. Again, he was freaking out, and I was laughing. People were staring, and they were also laughing.

“I just don’t understand! I just wanted an Icee!”

It took us about 2 minutes to clean it up. As we walked past the Icee machine, the little blue light went off on the blue raspberry. It was ready for consumption. Jason looked so dejected.

“Oh God, WHY?? For fuck’s sakes!”

Yeah, I need to keep him away from any sort of flavored drinks.

Halloween, Florida, and the ‘List’

So I’ve taken a few things off of my ‘list’ for the week. I’ve actually done way more than is on said list, but nonetheless, I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. Halloween decorations are up, minus the tablecloth, which is in the wash. The rats have a clean cage (well, it was clean yesterday). I returned the picture frame that was supposed to work according to the size, but was too small for the actual picture that Jason got me for my birthday. So 3. Three things done. There’s now only 6 things left on that list. Of course I didn’t put down the weekly homework or job search. I really should have. Those take a ton of time. Especially the job search. Which as of late is a colossal fail.

Here’s something I don’t get….why exactly to companies post positions available that they will NEVER hire for? The company I used to work for does this a lot. Also, two particular jobs that I’ve applied at least twice for (each) have reposted those jobs a combined total of no less than 4 times in the past two weeks. REALLY RIGHT NOW??? Clearly you’re not hiring for those positions. Stop treating us like we’re stupid. There are so many of us out there who would really like to be hired, but you’re hindering the process. Is it so that the job market looks good? Is it so that you can show the state/investors that you’re “growing?” It’s not cute anymore. I’ve applied for over 20 jobs in the last 4 weeks. How do I know? Because the state of Florida makes me account for all of the jobs that I’ve applied for in order to get unemployment. Interestingly, I have yet to see a check, and they have until Monday to cut me one, as per their rules. Not like I need that money or anything. (pout and huff)

I was in the attic today digging out the Halloween decorations for a good half hour. It’s hot as hell up there. High today was 90! I was sweating and full of insulation and dust. I hated every second of it to the point that I will be paring down all of my holiday decor just so that I can store it all in the garage and avoid that shit show. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I think it’s for the movies and the fun decorations. I’d like to have more, but that stupid money thing just keeps getting in the way of all the things I’d like to do. I’m going to need Florida to stop acting like the shape it is, and figure this mess out before I need to do that last thing on my list, which happens to be Costco. That churro’s not going to eat itself.

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For your Halloween pleasure. Boo!