Tag Archives: people who are phoning it in

I remembered one of my complaints.

I remembered one of my complaints.

I like Louis CK. I like him a lot. I think he’s a funny guy, and his humor hits me just right. I loved the series he had on HBO, with the little kid, and the ballet routine she did to the hilariously inappropriate song about the vagina and the buttcrack, but not before asking fifteen times, “Are you READY for the SHOW?” I like what he’s doing with his new specials, offering them for download on his site at a low price and just asking people not to pirate them, because, hey, here they are for you. I think he’s a smart guy in basically all the ways he needs to be smart as a guy and as an entertainer and as someone I want to entertain me, specifically.

Anyway, he’s a smart, funny guy, which is what I like in a guy. I mean, it’s most of what I like in a guy. I also like an essential Phil-ness in men. Luckily, I found one that was pretty stuffed up on that quality. I don’t know what I feel the need to quickly clarify that I like smart, funny guys that are also my husband. I can just like smart, funny guys and still remain married to my husband. Smart, funny guys can exist independent of the smart, funny (let’s not get into types of funny because you just can’t drill down to specifically into your list of wants or you’ll be alone forever and sometimes you have to settle for the guy who thinks puns are just THE BEST and decide that okay, you’re going to go ahead and CALL that funny because at least, while he does think puns are hilarious, he also recognizes that YOU’RE funny, and that counts for something – a lot of something) guy that I married. OKAY. I LIKE LOUIS CK. GUY’S GOT SOME SMART, FUNNY THINGS TO SAY. AGREE? AGREE.

So recently, I guess on a talk show, Louis CK talked a bit about why he thought cellphones and spending time with faces buried in a screen is bad for kids. It’s an opinion he’s got, the host asked him about it, he talked about it a bit. That’s what these shows are for. You ask celebrities to talk about stuff. Louis CK is a guy who can speak eloquently (or entertainingly, depending on what you consider eloquent, I guess) on a pretty wide array of topics. He’s got kids, he’s talked about them before. He’s also talked about technology before. So for a couple minutes, he talked about both. Okay, fine.

BUT THEN. The next day. All those parenting sites, you know, the stupid ones we never read because they’re totally without editorial supervision (okay, not totally without, but this one time, a column was nearly completely plagiarized and when called on it, the person supposedly in charge said that they have a lot of writers and she can’t possibly be expected to watch over them all, I am not kidding, that is a thing that happened in real life) and full of slideshows about shit no one actually cares 15 clicks worth about? And some other sites. Tons of headlines like (and I’m saying “like” because I don’t recall exactly what and I don’t care to go look because temerity-jane.com just has tons of authors and I can’t be expected to keep track of all of them and hold them to any kind of standards like accuracy and non-assholioacy) “LOUIS CK THINKS OUR CHILDREN SHOULDN’T USE CELL PHONES!” and “FIND OUT WHY LOUIS CK THINKS SMART PHONES ARE BAD FOR KIDS!”

As I said above in a big chunk of about a hundred to a hundred and fifty words like I say everything else, I like the guy, and I think he’s smart and he’s funny. But unless what Louis CK has to say about kids and cell phones or screen time or whatever the hell we’re calling it when we put the little “be quiet for a while” machine in front of our kids is punctuated with the word “fuck” or “fucking” or “motherfucker” or some variation on “shit” or “shitty” or basically any kind of profanity because I think it’s funny when he’s profane, it’s like a cow’s opinion to me, in that I don’t give a fat fistful of gross chewed up and regurgitated wet grass about it.

And it’s not even that I begrudge the guy for having an opinion about kids and cell phones, it’s an issue. He has kids. And I don’t begrudge him for talking about it. He talks about things. That’s what he does. It’s his job. He’s ragged on cell phone addiction before, and it was funny, and I know I’m not the only person in the world to have obnoxiously told someone else to “give it a MINUTE.” So yeah, it’s something he’d talk about. No, no, what’s kind of ridiculous to me is the reprinting and rehashing of it on sites like the aforementioned content pile, on Slate, on Mashable, on the Wall Street Journal’s site! As if I am to sit and ponder the SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS OF LOUIS CK’S OPINION ON CHILDREN AND SMART PHONES and how I might best apply that to my own parenting.

There is already enough pressure and implied shame about limiting screen time from actual sources. We don’t need a literal MADE UP SOURCE brought into it as well. AND I’M NOT SAYING the guy isn’t entitled to his opinions. HE IS. And I am INTERESTED in hearing them. On the television. And then going to bed. And then not discussing them over coffee and a notepad because holy shit. We can silently self-shame just fine without bringing Louis CK into it.

I really, really don’t want to discuss with anyone, now or ever, if your kid has a cell phone or if they’re allowed to use yours, or use an iPad, or for how long each day, or how much television they’re allowed to watch. I don’t want to have that conversation today, where someone says they agree with me that the self-shaming is enough, “and, actually, my kid watches a lot of screen stuff,” and then lists what she thinks is a lot, but someone else feels bad because that doesn’t seem like a lot to her, and someone else thinks that’s WAY too much and lists HER schedule of much, much less, and someone else actually just built a yurt in the woods with her kids, so fuck all the rest of us anyway.

THE POINT OF IT ALL IS, it’s really hard not to raise a shitty kid. It’s especially hard not to raise a shitty kid when other parents are letting their kid be shitty right to your kid’s face. Or, worse, when the ADULT is being shitty right in front of your kid, doing the very things you’re trying to teach your kid not to do in an effort not to raise a shitty kid. On top of it, everyone you know and everything you read carries an opinion on what it is to be shitty or not shitty – both for your kid, and for your efforts and methods in creating your not shitty kid. You spend your whole life picking and sorting through your own ideas, goals, hopes, and gut feelings to cobble together a parenting method that you hope is going to result in the happiest, least shitty, HAPPIEST kid possible. At night, when I settle down after maybe crying in the shower or maybe staring blankly in the steam for half an hour or maybe just rhythmically thudding my head off the wall for a while, and I settle down to be entertained for a bit, I’m not going to sift through all that stuff, too. Because it’s moo.

******

I have seen just enough 30 Rock to think it’s hilarious to say, “You’re not a paht of this, Lemon,” to a dog encroaching on my fish stick and Stovetop preparation space.

*******

Remember how I said registration for PJs at TJ’s was opening on 10/10, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, so for the best and most up to date information, you should join the Facebook group? I hope you took me at my word if you wanted to go and weren’t waiting for more updates here, because it sold out in 30 minutes, which was surprising and awesome. That was a thing that happened that I did not think was going to happen.

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Something, something, here’s Penelope.

Penelope waiting for ham.

Traditional Sunday Waiting for the Ham.

I should explain that caption. See, on Sundays, after church, we go out for lunch, and Penny orders a ham sandwich. Then I take a picture of her, waiting for her ham. I did not need to explain that caption.

******

Here is a thing I am suggesting to you.

wnwcapp

It’s Wet n Wild. I’m real n serious.

So, apparently, while I wasn’t looking, Wet n Wild has been stepping up the quality a lot over the last few years. Tons of beauty bloggers who are actual beauty bloggers have covered that, so I’m not going to, but definitely look up some reviews and swatches of a bunch of the eye shadow trios they have out, for example. They’re still priced very low and they put out a lot of seasonal and limited lines in fun colors, so they can be an inexpensive way to add some out there shades to your collection without spending $10 or $12 on singles from the high end brands.

Now, some stuff is still hit or miss, like you’d expect with a cosmetics line at this price point. When I picked up this powder, I also got a Color Icon Shadow Trio in Spoiled Brat that was just a mess when I tried it. The lid shade had fallout all over my face, the crease shade wouldn’t blend, and the browbone shade… actually, I don’t think that one was so bad, but I just tossed the case aside. More talented makeup people could probably make it work with no issues, but I am not an expert. I’m like Louis CK when he talks about kids. He has some. I have some makeup. Doesn’t mean you should look at me like I know what I’m doing, sitting on top of my hoard and chortling like Scrooge McDuckface. Whatever, it was $2.50 at Wal-Mart and I’ll pass it to someone else at PJs.

THE POWDER, THOUGH. If you’re very fair and have a hard time finding a powder foundation to match your skin, Wet n Wild Coverall pressed powder in 821B just might be your match, and I picked it up at Wal-Mart the other night for $2.43. You can use it with a big, fluffy brush to set all of your makeup in place. You can use it as a powder foundation if that’s the style you prefer. For me, I’ve been using a BB cream instead of foundation lately. I use this powder to set my under eye concealer and brighten that area up just a little bit, and then, since BB cream doesn’t offer full coverage, I use a sponge and press this powder with a kind of rolling motion over my chin and next to my nose where I have some redness. I haven’t been able to use a powder like this before, because until now, I’ve been using (and loving) Rimmel’s Stay Matte powder in translucent. Translucent powder is awesome for the super fair/pale, but a powder that actually matches skin tone has way more utility.

Give it a try. You may have to hunt around a little for the shade, but try Wal-Mart or Walgreens. You can always order online, but that takes a little away from how great the price is.

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Last thing! Just a reminder that I will keep reminding you about just a little bit because Phil and I are a team: he’s participating in the Extra Life marathon for Children’s Miracle Network and it’s coming up. His fundraising page is here, and we’d appreciate anything you can do to help. There are social media buttons on the left hand side of the page, so if you’d share the page to your friends and family and guilt them with our adorable child, that would be swell. This is my part of the team effort, because I’m having no part of the whole “24 hours” thing. Nope.

I thought it was going to be all complaining but it’s just mostly complaining.

I had to take a break for a while, due to some health concerns and the fact that my husband was away for six weeks and a Penelope stops Peneloping for no man or blog. Oh, and also, I watch Korean television, like, ALL THE TIME. But when I talk about it, it’s like I’m talking to Penelope, because no one gives a shit or listens or does what I say and then just draws on the wall even though I am RIGHT THERE and saying STOP IT.

Or, at least, I thought that’s why I took a break, but I just logged in here to make a post and it turns out THIS STUPID POST INTERFACE DIDN’T MAGICALLY FIX ITSELF and I guess I wasn’t posting for a while also because everything is stupid.

Anyway, Phil’s been back for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve gone as far as to open WordPress a couple of times to regale you will all of my thoughts, but I’ve stopped short when I’ve realized that most of my thoughts are more like complaints or complainy observations, and there’s bound to be someone who is all, “geeze, don’t you do ANYTHING but COMPLAIN?” and I will point out to you that I just did several months of nothing, so yes, I complain and I also do nothing. So, I’ve just unmade your point for you right there, hypothetical person I made up in my mind largely as a reason not to make the effort to post.

(At this point in writing this post, I updated WordPress, and some things fixed themselves, but I can’t go back in time to two months ago and do that. Sorry.)

FLYING BATHTUB

Here’s my kid in a flying bathtub.
I went to the Phoenix Children’s Museum while I wasn’t posting.
I also started using Instagram.
It was an eventful time.

So during this whole period, most of what was occurring to me to post was pretty complainy stuff (see: health issues, husband away for a month and a half, general predisposition to narrowed eyes and curmudgeonliness in the face of blank text editors), and it was stacking up. I had piles of small ideas for a blog post, but they nearly all fell in the “general grumbling” category, making me feel as though I couldn’t write a WHOLE POST of general grumbling – though I don’t know why I felt I couldn’t, when I’ve made a pretty solid five year blog career of doing just that.

I was thinking a bit about why it bothered me, and it mostly comes down to the trend of pegging anyone who has anything negative to say as someone who must actually be deeply sad or internally unhappy with herself somehow. Or how someone who finds fault with another person  is actually just jealous. I guess it’s pretty tempting to imagine deep faults in another person when they’re finding fault with you, but we all know that’s just something we say to make ourselves feel better, right? That those are completely empty and likely totally untrue words in most cases?

Desert Ridge Market Place

We also went to a splash pad.
She was reluctant to splash.

Listen, all of this is lead up to say this: you can’t send me an email that says: FREE SHIPPING!! as the subject, and then inside, it says, “with $50 purchase.” That’s not free shipping. I basically expect free shipping with a $50 purchase from most of the places I shop, because I do not buy expensive things. That email subject line is bullshit and I hate it, and fucking stop.

Here’s another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks.

Here is another thing. Phil was gone for six weeks, and then he had a week of leave, and for some reason, since he has to shave for work every day, he feels no obligation to shave when he’s on leave, even if his leave is long enough that the only face I can make at him by the end is a hate face.

The helpful hobo

After church one Sunday, this random helpful bearded hobo offered to buckle my kid into her carseat. Thanks, hobo! Go shave. Because you look like a hobo. Hobo.

Hey, I know I have not been totally on the ball with updates here on this site, but hopefully those who are interested in attending PJs at TJ’s in 2014 have already joined the Facebook group. If you haven’t, you can do that now or follow me on Twitter for updates, but regardless of either of those things, you should know that registration opens at 9am west coast time on October 10th, which is this Thursday. All of the details are in the Facebook group so… I still suggest you go ahead and join it for full information. I can’t tell you if it will sell out or not, because I don’t know, or how quickly it will sell out if it does, but the best way to make sure you get a spot if you want one is to sign up for the Facebook group and register when registration opens on Thursday morning. Like always (the whole entire two past years), PJs is not exclusive. Everyone is welcome. There’s no secret in club or list. You don’t have to know anyone to come. You do have to register and it is first come, first in, and that includes people who have attended in the past or who are my very best pals in the whole wide world, so don’t think you don’t have a shot because I’m going to try to pull some tricky shenanigans so only my friends can come. That would make me a big hypocritical asshole, and while I am several kinds of asshole, I am not that kind.

If you have any questions, leave a comment, email me, message me on Twitter or Facebook, whatever you want. I don’t extend personal invitations, nor do I extend personal exclusions. You, personally, are welcome. That’s it. That’s the best I can do to assure you. I’m assuring you.

Penny on Charlie

LOOK AT MY HORSE, MY HORSE IS AMAZING.

Penny also on Charlie

On further reflection, this horse is just okay.

Let this be a lesson to me, I should have just complained when my complaints were hot, imaginary complaint complainers be damned, because now I can’t remember any of my complaints, except for one, which was kind of specific, in that I can, if pressed, name several people that I have, over the course of ACTUAL YEARS, seen do this specific thing, even though I would not actually be thinking of THEM SPECIFICALLY if I was to complain about it, you know what I mean? Like, for example, if I say, “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right.”

A guy actually did this to us fairly recently, fairly recently meaning I remember it but don’t have any real concept of the time frame. Just walked up and said, “Can I just get my bananas” and set them on the belt and began to go through the whole checkout process as if it was just a given that it was fine, because we had several items in our cart and he had the MOST IMPORTANT BANANAS IN THE WORLD in his hand.

OUT OF THE WAY, LIFE-SAVING BANANAS COMING THROUGH.

And you know, when I have a full cart, I do often let someone with just a couple of items go in front of me. But that’s my call. On this occasion, we had several items in our cart, but by no means a full load. Maybe we were in a hurry, too. Maybe we had exactly enough time for X items, with X being the number of items in our cart. Not X plus NICHOLAS CAGE’S BANANAS (I assume). How arrogant do you have to be to assume that wherever WE have to be is unimportant enough that it can absolutely, definitely and certainly wait for one banana bunch checkout’s length of time in addition to the time we’ve already calculated for our own shopping? How do you assess the shopping lanes to choose? “Oh, those schmucks there can definitely wait a banana length. They’ve got nowhere banana-important to be. Not like me. OUT OF THE WAY, PEONS. INCOMING BANANAS DESTINED FOR THE BREAKFAST OATMEAL OF THE GRANDSON OF SPUDS MACKENZIE.”

Anyway, so sometimes when you pick a specific complaint to make, like the one I had in my head that, when pressed, I could remember some people I do actually like and consider friends and don’t in any way hate AT ALL maybe doing on one or two occasions, one like “I hate people who jump in the checkout line when they only have one thing, as if it’s their right,” you’ve got to be ready for those people to maybe defend it. And I get that, I guess, because I just said I don’t like something you do, and we’re friends, so obviously I actually hate you.

And someone will say, “Well, I’m actually responsible for buying Nicholas Cage’s bananas.” Or tries to explain how it’s actually a courtesy on their part to stop clogging up the lines with just their one bunch of teeny weeny bananas. Or explain how they only did it one time, but they actually did have a really extremely important place to be that time, more important than anyone else in the store could have possibly had to be. And then everyone feels awkward. Because, what? I’m supposed to start giving arrogant banana line rushers the benefit of the doubt? I’m supposed to issue individual pardons so that a line jumper can mentally reconcile the fact that they can both do something that I personally don’t like, yet still somehow remain my friend? I’m supposed to… continue this awkward stare down?

LOOK, YOU AND YOUR BANANAS NEED TO JUST WAIT FOR THE NOD, OKAY?

And that’s why I had to just scrub one whole complaint from the list, but I think the whole banana guy thing worked out pretty well, because THAT GUY, RIGHT? WHAT THE HELL? “Can I just get my bananas?” Can I just rip off your arm and beat you with the wet end?

Here’s something else. I haven’t talked a lot about makeup stuff recently because I haven’t talked a lot about anything recently, but you need to go out and get Gimmie Brow by Benefit right now, and I will demonstrate the reason with an actual picture of my actual face wearing the actual makeup product I am actually talking about, something I have never actually done on this blog, which is kind of amazing, considering how much I talk about makeup. I went and got my eyebrows done by the most amazing eyebrow lady in all the land, and after the waxed my wonky and odd shaped eyebrows, she used only ONE PRODUCT on them, Gimmie Brow, and this is what they looked like, holy shit, go buy it:

Don't care, eyebrow hair.

Far from the most flattering angle of my forehead wrinkles.
Don’t care, eyebrow hair.

Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora, Benefit site, wherever you’re racking up your bonus points for buying all the awesome holiday gift sets that are coming out. Buy Gimmie Brow. Do it.

Anyway. That’s it, I guess. We’ve still got a lot going on right now. Some stuff is up in the air. Still working on some somewhat difficult health issues.

Oh! But Penelope isn’t! In September, she was pronounced completely clear of all kidney and VUR issues by her pediatric urologist and she was completely released from care by her team at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All issues related to her failure to thrive and vesicoureteral reflux have been resolved. We passed my “one year catheter free” goal and hopefully she’ll stay catheter free until she epidurals up for her own kid some day.

Penelope's Last U/S

Pro.

And speaking of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phil is once again participating in the Extra Life marathon fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically playing for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Last year, he was playing when Penelope’s surgery was pretty recent. This year, he’s playing shortly after finding out that we’re completely done with seeing Penny’s team at Phoenix Children’s, but I don’t think we’ll be ending our relationship with them – in terms of support – for a long time.

Children’s Miracle Network raises money for hospitals across the United States and Canada, to fund research and buy equipment, but most importantly to us, to pay for uncompensated care. We are lucky enough to be in a situation that Penelope’s expensive care and surgery didn’t burden us financially. For others, Children’s Miracle Network provides the funds to allow families in less fortunate situations benefit from the same excellent standard of care Penelope has received for literally her entire life from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. PCH has benefited our family in more ways than just the top notch medical care they provided to Penelope, and that needs to be extended to as many children and their parents as possible.

ANYWAY, the Extra Life Marathon is coming up! Here’s Phil’s fundraising page. If you’d like to donate, we’d appreciate it very much. If you could share the page on your social networks, we’d appreciate that, too. If you’re feeling crazy and want to stay up for 24 hours straight playing video games and want to support Phoenix Children’s while you do it, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Phil and he’ll get you started with joining his team. If you just want to think about joining next year, still let me know. We’ll still be here.

That’s it! Thank you!

HO SHIT GUYS PUMPKINS

Bunshole uses of “Well, that’s what you get.”

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have recently clued in to the fact that I have what I have started calling a “maximum two year old.” You can interpret that however you want, I guess, because I haven’t found a way yet to go into detail in a way that won’t end with me being really irritated. She is a top end child. She is up there. My belief in my own absolute averageness is only strengthened by her existence, because it is top of the range people like Penelope, combined with bottom of the range other babies belonging to parents who should just go right to hell with their smug, unbruised faces, that combine to create the average, middle babies, that an average number of people are walking around with. My maximum two year old is what allows for your “kind of in there, somewhere” two year old to just be in there, somewhere.

I don’t even want to talk about it, because I know that someone had somehow had a worse kid even though I haven’t even detailed mine, or that I should JUST WAIT until she’s a teenager, because THAT’S a fine thing to say to someone trying to LAUNCH THEIR CHILD into a fan (I HAVE VAULTED CEILINGS), and I know everyone has a bunch of solutions, which leads to rounds upon rounds of “you can do it my way!,” leaving me as the huge, impossible asshole who isn’t even TRYING.

Look, I will tell you what happens, and I will use Swistle as an example, because she can’t stop me. Yesterday, she tweeted that she was looking for a watch with the following specific qualities: multiple alarms, not huge and terrible, not manly. So I looked for one, and I found a Casio watch that wasn’t very expensive, came in a couple blue colors, kept dual times, and was a noted ladies’ watch. I presented it to Swistle, TAA DAAA. I have solved your problem.

Except no! I hadn’t! Because the watch kept dual time, but didn’t actually have multiple alarms. I pointed that out to Swistle when she was lamenting the loss of a good huff, because I, too, enjoy a good huff and sulk. But! That’s not how it always goes. This is how it could have gone, where I am me, and Swistle is Swistle, except I’m being the type of person who makes things difficult sometimes, and Swistle is playing the me role, except it didn’t actually go this way, so I’m really playing both roles right now, and Swistle is just a placeholder, and you should understand that from this point on, none of this actually happened, so this is really a pretend Swistle, not at all actual Swistle.

Pretend Swistle: Oh, this only has one alarm, and I need three. Oh, well, thanks anyway!
Me, being the problem: Well, you can use the one alarm, then reset it, and then use it again, and then reset it!
Pretend Swistle: I guess I could, but that seems like a lot of trouble when I already have a current three alarm system. I can just keep looking for a multiple alarm watch. Thanks!
Me, being the problem: You could get this watch that I found for you, use the one alarm, and then use two of the current alarms that you are already using!
Pretend Swistle: Well, I’m really looking for a watch with multiple alarms, so that watch with one alarm really won’t work.
Me, being the problem: I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.
Pretend Swistle: … the end to your genetic line.

Look, I’m off track. Let me offer some advice. If your proposed solution to someone’s problem is not sticking, if the person is politely peeling it off each time you stick your tail onto their donkey butt, quit coming back around for a different angle at their rear, no matter how ample it seems and how your tail really seems to perfectly suit it. “Oh, what a lovely tail! I bet that would look really nice on some other donkey! Here, let me gently remove it from my butt and hand it back to you!” That’s a sign that you shouldn’t approach my ass again with the same tail.

Shit! Why does it always go like this? Look, Swistle isn’t a donkey. No one is a donkey. No one has an ass, ample or otherwise. Don’t approach. I mean, if you have the perfect tail, go ahead — NO. NO ONE NEEDS A TAIL. NO ONE NEEDS ASS DECORATION. That was a bad metaphor. You know what I meant. And anyway, of course it was specific people, none of whom are you.

This whole post is bad.

I have a maximum two year old, and I need you to stay away from my ass with anything you might want to pin on it for today. I may turn my ass toward you at another time. For now, I find myself saying, “well, that’s what you get” a lot. As one might expect. Oh, you fell off that teetering pile of foam play form thingers? Well, that’s what you get when you climb on top of a teetering pile of anything. You threw everything you were playing with over the gate and now you’re bewildered that you can’t have it back? Well, that’s what you get when you throw things, all the while bellowing the “NO THROWING!” house rule.

I’m saying, there are a lot of legitimate applications of the phrase, “Well, that’s what you get.” Penelope is probably my main and most valid application. And probably the most apt one for me, as well. “Oh, you had unprotected sex some years ago with the intent of getting pregnant and now you’re struggling with the resulting two year old? Well, that’s what you get.” We wouldn’t be friends anymore after you said such a thing, but it would be a fair, if dicknosey thing to say.

Other legitimate uses:

– Oh, you bought a Groupon for Lasik from a company no one has ever heard of and now you’re blind? Well, that’s kind of what you get.
Oh, you texted your wedding guest to tell her what a shitty gift she gave you and you ended up being a viral news story? Well, that’s what you get.
– I don’t know, I didn’t think this through. That’s what I get.

But! There are two specific uses of “that’s what you get” that I think are unfair, annoying, and kind of smug and superior: the favor situation and the expectation of service situation.

In the favor situation, basically, you ask someone to do you a favor, and because it’s a favor, and you’re imposing, you basically have no real right to expect it to be done the way you’ve asked it to be done, or the way you need it to be done. If it comes out wrong, well, that’s what you get. You CAN’T expect something to be done right, because it’s a FAVOR. I think this is pretty well illustrated in the comments of one of my own settle this posts here. Since the person needing to be woken up has asked a favor of the other person, they basically HAVE to take what they get in terms of their request being followed to the letter. That’s the tone of many of the comments, anyway.

I don’t agree, though. I think an adult can ask another adult for a favor and have a reasonable expectation that their favor needs will be met, if the fav… ee… favee! agrees. Of course, there are exceptions. If you ask a chronically late person (don’t get me started) to take you to the airport and you miss your flight, well, that’s what you get. If you ask a terrible cook to make all the side dishes for Thanksgiving and everyone spends the next day rotating between the two toilets in the house, well, that’s what you get.

But if one reasonable favor asker asks a reasonable favee to perform a task, and the favee indicates that they can indeed perform said task in the way described and then does NOT perform it in the way described, I don’t think the asker is in ANY way deserving of a “well, that’s what you get.” Just because the favee decided to go all rogue and free form doesn’t mean it should be in any way expected just because it was a favor. In fact, as an adult, agreeing to be a favee does kind of obligate you to perform the task as agreed. Not just willy nilly it because, hey, it’s a favor. No big. I’m doing you a favor.

Of course, as the asker, you cut slack and don’t ask too much, and give thanks as appropriate and, you know, follow all the asker/favee rules of behavior. I’m just saying, the mere fact that something is a favor doesn’t mean that the asker has no right to expect it to be performed the way it was requested. In a favor/favee situation, the use of, “well, that’s what you get,” should not be automatic and is often a BUNSHOLE use of “well, that’s what you get.” Eh? Yes? No? Are you automatically obligated to accept whatever you get from a favee, even if you have taken the time to outline your needs and they were understood and accepted upon the time of asking for the favor? Is a “well, that’s what you get” deserved in ALL cases of favor/favee relations?


Uh, no.

SECOND. Expectation of service. There are certain places that, because they have fallen out of public favor – well, they haven’t, not really, just certain segments of public and their favor – it is best just not to mention it if you don’t receive stellar service when you go there because, well, THAT’S WHAT YOU GET.

For the sake of this post, let’s use Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, because those are the two I’m specifically thinking of at the moment, but I’m sure you could add one or two more two the list. Setting aside all “how could you shop/eat there?” comments for whatever reasons people have for making them, I don’t know what any of those reasons have to do with the idea that someone should be expecting or even, judging by tone, expecting poor service if they choose to go to these places.

Because McDonald’s serves unhealthy food that some people don’t eat and could never possibly wrap their minds around why you would eat it, if you do choose to go there and get poor service in exchange for your money, well, that’s what you get. Because Wal-Mart employs business practices that some people don’t agree with, causing them to make the choice not to shop there, if you have a completely-unrelated-to-business-practices poor experience at Wal-Mart, well, that’s what you get.

I don’t know if this one is especially clear, but it was one that I always came across in the comments on The Consumerist, before it became a completely useless website without comments. An article would be posted about, say, Best Buy. A good article, highlighting some consumer-related issue of general interest to the readers of the website. And without fail, there would be some cocksock in the comments saying, “well, that’s what you get for shopping at Best Buy.” As if the simple act of entering a retail store that someone else doesn’t like and expecting goods and services in exchange for the money you earned makes you some kind of backwoods, dumbass, someone needs to hold your hand before you lose it up your own ass schmuck. No!

No, I refuse to accept that. I want to take my money into any place I want, and I don’t care if other people like the place or don’t like the place, I don’t believe it’s an exercise in predetermined insanity to expect it to just… go smoothly. For a place of BUSINESS to conduct their BUSINESS. It should be a SURPRISE when it doesn’t happen properly, not just… WHAT I GET. What I get, because other people don’t like the place because of some totally unrelated whatevers.

Of course there are exceptions, like the one Carl’s Jr. where all the soda from the fountain tastes like cleaner, or everyone has the one coffee place in their town that never gets it right and everyone KNOWS that, or whatever. But in general, you know, if I get on Twitter and I say, “Holy shit, I was checking out at Wal-Mart and the clerk picked up my box of cake mix and DUMPED IT INTO MY BRA,” and someone is like, “Well, you know. Wal-Mart. That’s what you get.” NO. BUNSHOLE. BUNS. HOLE.

YOU DON’T JUST GET CAKE IN THE PANTS!

I welcome your thoughts and opinions on other appropriate and/or bunshole uses of “well, that’s what you get,” even if they contradict my own, because I might contradict you back, and, well, that’s what you get.

So. Clearly I’ve been stewing on this for a while. Feels good, man. Feels good.

Unrelated Penelope.

 

 

Several Different Kinds of Worst Kinds. BONUS POEM.

Worst Kind of Friendly Cashier: The friendly craft store cashier. “You know what you can make with this?” Yep. I do. That’s why I’m buying it. I’ve got a plan. I’m buying it, and I’m going to take it home, and I’m going to execute my plan. When she says, “You know what you can make with this?,” she makes me pretend to consider her idea, like it’s good, and I might do it. But there’s no chance I’m going to do it, because I came in with a plan, which I am going home to execute. And then I am awkward, like, “oh, yeah, uh huh,” OR WORSE? I might feel like I have to tell her what I’m actually going to do, and then she’s judging my idea against hers, and maybe she’s not thinking my idea is very good, and I’m thinking about what she’s thinking, and I’m probably making serious bitch face, and then I am a bitch, and she’s thinking I’m a bitch, even though she is the one who made me be a bitch, by forcing me to pretend like I’m weighing her idea against mine. “CONSIDER MY IDEA. DID YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT? WHY NOT? MY IDEA IS GOOD, TOO. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT’S SO GREAT? IS IT AS GOOD AS MY IDEA? JUSTIFY YOUR PLAN. TELL ME YOUR PLAN.”

Worst Kind of Person on Twitter: The person who puts all of their replies to other people in front of the original tweet. You know what I mean? You’re already limited to 140 characters, but this person crunches their responses even further. Instead of just replying directly to the person, like so,

@Person Thing I think is really brilliant and I am really impressed with myself!

they do something like this,

I’m rly self-impresssed, does every1 see this?!!? @Person Orignal tweet abbreviated down to nonsense.

He can just respond without putting the other person’s tweet in there. If I’m following the other person, too, I’ll see his response, and I’ll have already seen the original tweet. If I’m not following the other person, I won’t have seen the original tweet, and I won’t see theresponse. There’s a reason for that. Twitter is designed that way. It’s so that I don’t have to see the conversations of people I’m not following, or the half-conversations people I am following are having with people I’m not following. If I wanted to be following someone, I would be. By doing what the WORST KIND OF PERSON ON TWITTER is doing, he is deciding for me what I see. I’ve already decided, either by actively choosing not to follow who he is talking to, or by simply not getting to it yet, or not knowing who that person is, or WHATEVER. Whatever the reason, I have chosen either deliberately or by lack of action. I’ve chosen. And now he is overriding my choice, simply to make sure I see whatever he’s saying. He’s decided that whatever he has to say is more important than my choice, than the experience I’ve designed and decided on for myself. Similar to the douche period, it is equally douchey and equally employed by douches.

It’s the equivalent of autoplay music and videos and browser windows that resize themselves. IT IS. Don’t manipulate the Internet experience of other people. It’s RUDE. You don’t have a good reason for it. If you want to bring other people’s attention to a conversation that you’re involved in because you think it’s an important/funny/interesting conversation, find an important/interesting/funny point and retweet it like a normal person, and people can decide to join if they want. Damn. WORST KIND OF PERSON ON TWITTER.

The Worst Kind of Food Police: The “oh, that’s not a REAL ________!” people. Let’s take cheese steaks as an example. I love cheese steaks. And as we all know, Philadelphia has a reputation for cheese steaks. Sometimes, when a person eats a cheese steak, a person – henceforth known as a fartwaft – feels the need to inform the eater that what they are eating is not a REAL cheese steak. Because it’s not from Philadelphia. And also, it has the wrong kind of cheese. And also, did you put ketchup on it? Wait, is that mayonnaise? You don’t need all those vegetables on — look, just give it to me. That’s not even food. That’s not a REAL cheese steak. Let me just throw that in the garbage. IT’S NOT A REAL CHEESE STEAK. YOU’RE NOT EVEN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, ARE YOU? DO YOU HAVE A PERMIT FOR THAT SANDWICH? WHO EVEN SAID IT WAS OKAY FOR YOU TO ORDER A CHEESE STEAK? AM I GOING TO HAVE TO CALL SOMEONE DOWN HERE? DRAW THE LIBERTY BELL FROM MEMORY. I WANT TO SEE AN ACCURATE CRACK, TO SCALE.

Holy shit, shut the fuck up, fartwaft. Cheese + steak = cheese steak. End.

This also happens all the time with the “correct” preparation of ethnic foods, usually phrased as, “My grandmother would DIE TO DEATH if she saw you eating X food in Y way! SHE’D DIE FROM IT. Do you want my DEAD GRANDMOTHER to DIE SOME MORE?”

Yeah, you people – you guys – you’re the fucking worst. Just the worst. What the hell kind of response are you expecting when you do that? Someone’s going to spit the hunk of kielbasa right out of her mouth and back away with her hands in the air, sobbingly confessing to being Canadian all along? NO ONE IS TRYING TO REKILL ANYONE’S DEAD ANCESTORS. THERE’S NO LAW. There’s also no prize. Unless it’s for biggest fartwaft. Stinky.

*****

If I keep going, I am either going to get TOO MAD, or offend someone (OH: WORST KIND OF ENTITLED PERSON – “I’m offended by the fact that you don’t like something I do.” EXPECTANT LOOK. Where I am supposed to respond to the expectant look by assuring the person that they’re the special exception.), so I will just stop. But I suppose it would be okay if you maybe knew a worst kind of person or two. Like the kind of person who doesn’t update for weeks and then expects you to provide the content YOU CAN’T USE THAT ONE I JUST CALLED DIBS.

*****

This is Penelope.
She’s almost two.
I didn’t crop out the mess.
Try to make me give a poo.

Desert baby bested by grass, mother unmoved, unhip, big hipped.

Let’s all just agree now that we won’t expect much from each other on the weekends.

Mine involved a lot of spitting (Penelope), a lot of “I don’t want to touch you,” (me, to various family members – some covered with wet food, some covered in stinky fur), and a lot of sighs of various tones (Phil – there were two trips to Target and an unfruitful hunt for a red cardigan that I think he knew that I knew was going to be unfruitful from the start. I did know. Sighs accepted.)

Oh, and we also went to dinner with The West Coast Aunts!

I would say that you could look forward to meeting the West Coast Aunts at PJs at TJ’s, but if you’ll look to your right, you’ll notice that registration is closed. I don’t really have anything more to say about that. I went into this paragraph thinking I was going to offer some consoling words, or say something about a wait list or whatever, but eh, if you were going to register, you would have done it by now.

Tomorrow, I have big plans – BIG PLANS. I’ve got to mail out some diapers I sold – did I tell you I’ve been selling my diapers? It took a while. When the first one sold, I had to lay down on the floor for a minute. Then I laughed and counted the $48 it sold for. I auctioned one yesterday, one that wasn’t even brand new and unworn like that first one, for $45.

It’s been getting easier.

After that, Pen and I will stop at JoAnn Fabrics for supplies for my much hipper hobby of counted cross stitch. My sister and I have begun collaborating on our own somewhat inappropriate patterns that will be available for purchase around probably never, or Christmas, depending on how action packed my month long trip to Pennsylvania is.

In other news, I’ve been participating in the Biggest Blogging Loser competition, and between that and a little work I’ve done on my own before it, I’ve lost 20 lbs, bringing me down to weighing… well, 20 lbs less than my prepregnancy weight and wearing one size larger than my prepregnancy size, and looking exactly zero percent different than I did three weeks after I had the baby, because I have giant boobs and a c-section pooch.

But hey, it’s about the health, right? I mean, twenty pounds! That’s something! I can be proud of that! So what if none of my old clothes fit! So what if I actually have to buy all new, BIGGER things to fit my twenty pounds lighter self! It’s not about APPEARANCE. It’s about — oh, go fuck yourself, me.

(There’s a video in this post. You don’t see it if you’re reading this in Google Reader. I’m not saying you have to click through, or even that it’s worth a click through. I’m just saying that I want credit for more content than you’re actually seeing. I want you to mentally tally up more content points for me than you would give me if I hadn’t made this note. Thanks.)

I’m doing that tilty hand motion to show I get that it’s iffy.

I was better today, in a small way. You know that space I talked about yesterday, the one that’s there, waiting for me to fill in, waiting for me to look at all of these areas where I can improve and just… go ahead and improve something already?

Well, I did.

EXCUSE ME THIS TEDDY BEAR HUGS TOO LONG.

I typed a whole big justification for My Baby Is On A Leash And Here Is Why My Baby Is On A Leash Let’s Discuss Our Feelings About My Leashed Baby And Get It All Out In The Open here, but ah, fuck it. I’m not the bridge between the leashers and the leash… nots. You stay on your side of the line, I’ll stay on mine.

I started with boats, and somehow got eggs. Keeheehee.

Every night for the last… I’m actually not sure how many nights. I’ve lost count. That’s a lie. I wasn’t counting. Every night for the last significant while, I’ve gone to bed with the firm intent to be better in the morning, in almost every single area of my life. Seriously. Almost all of them. It’s very tempting right now to try to think of some obscure life area in which I am already perfect, but that feels too hard right now, since I’m really struggling lately with this headache thing – remember when I was in the hospital and accused you of not caring, but I really didn’t carry the joke off well, so it didn’t actually come across at all that I really WAS in the hospital? Yeah, well, it was for a headache thing, and it’s just no good. You don’t have to concern yourself. I mean, a moment of passing concern is fine, because I’m sure you’re a compassionate person on some level, but we don’t really know each other and it’s not a tumor or anything and there’s no real risk to my health, I’m just in a lot of discomfort, and I took one of every pill on the bedside table already tonight, so I can’t really think of anything clever — HEY. Pill taking, completeness of. NAILED IT.

Anyway, two hundred words down, all garbage, starting over. So I’m going to bed with the intent of just doing better at all of it tomorrow, and not in the “go GET ’em, slugger” kind of way, where I’m pep talking myself, but more in the resigned, heavy sigh, tomorrow’s another day, just… try again kind of way. And I wouldn’t even call it best intentions, or even good intentions. Is must intentions a thing? Can you must an intention? I don’t know. I’m not looking that up. I don’t even know how to look that up. I don’t have to look that up. It’s not a thing. You’ve been reading here long enough to know I play kind of fast and loose with whether or not a thing is a thing. That is not an area in which I intend to improve. When a boat needs to be bailed out, we do not paint the trim. Besides, I like the trim. Up yours. Up yours is part of the trim, by the way. Have a seat. Help yourself to snacks. Put your feet up. The water is getting a mite high.

I regret using the sinking ship analogy. It’s too dramatic. I am not a dramatic person. Unless it suits my purposes. It did there, for a minute, but now it doesn’t, so forget that whole thing, except the bit about the trim, because I liked that part.

So, right, going to bed with the must intention of being better in just about every area possible. And it’s just not long at all into that next day before I’m ticking off “not so goods” on my list of areas. I’m super impatient with Penny, I don’t get any laundry done, 3pm comes and I have no dinner plans, “do you want to watch a show” turns into three episodes of the Fresh Beat Band. And, I don’t know, a whole crap load of other stuff I’m not stupid enough to put on the Internet. What am I, new? (I’m not new.) And then the weird thing is, the night rolls around, and I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how these things happened. Especially being impatient with Penny. Because she is sleeping and adorable, and how could I POSSIBLY make an angry face at sleeping adorable Penny? But THEN it is DAYTIME again, and I cannot imagine how I am supposed to NOT be impatient with Penny, because HONEST TO SUPERMAN, if you could see this kid in action.

I’m saving this post for tomorrow.

Okay, it’s tomorrow, and the baby is napping, and I still feel the same way, but I vented it out a little bit on Twitter this morning (summary: it’s a terrible age, they seem like people but they’re just large babies, basically feral with lots of spitting), and I guess I wasted my boner for this blog post. I just feel bad a lot. And it turns out it’s common. There’s just this space between her terrible behavior and my knowledge that look, she’s not even two and being terrible is part of learning how to function as a whole person, and I’m the person she has to be terrible AT. And in that in between space is a whole lot of room for me to act like the worst person ever. And I do. Over and over.

I feel like it’s a lot to explain, yet somehow I crammed it into just a couple of 140 character tweets this morning, and that’s my excuse for not wanting to do it again right now? Honestly, Internet, you should demand better. Hence the theme, right?

It’s like a domino effect of badness, though. When I was in Weight Watchers in high school, back before you could do it online and tell your computer screen, “Oh, I’m wearing heavy earrings today,” like it believes you any more than that lady ever did, the leader had all these annoying sayings that were only annoying because they were so fucking true, like about BLTs – bites, licks, and tastes. All the shit you put in your mouth when you’re making a lunch or cooking dinner, it doesn’t have zero calories, it all counts, and now that I’ve said “BLTs” to you and explained it? Yeah, enjoy the rest of your miserable life, because that’s never leaving your head. And there was this other one that stuck with me. If you’re carrying a dozen eggs and you drop one, you don’t throw the other eleven on the ground. It’s supposed to be an argument against “starting the diet over on Monday” if you have a bad day, or even against starting over in the morning if you have a heavy lunch or whatever. And it makes sense, right? In a really fucking annoying way, because you really want to eat pizza all weekend, because there’s leftovers in the fridge. But it’s in your head, and it makes sense.

BUT LATELY, I swear, even though I go to bed all resigned to carry all my eggs in a more carefully crafted container (we all did that “experiment” in middle school, my egg survived, I’m basically a pro) in the morning, not twenty minutes into the day, not only have I dropped an egg, I’m standing on top of the furniture, flinging eggs at the walls, and then SEEKING OUT MORE DOZENS OF EGGS TO THROW AT OTHER UN-BE-EGGED THINGS.

Have I gone too far into this? I started this post last night and didn’t skim the top before I started up again. I know I started with boats, and now I’m at eggs. I feel like I’ve gone too dire again. I don’t feel like it’s SO dire. I just feel like it’s life. And I feel like maybe I’m focusing too much on Penelope. I mean, she’s the head egg, to be sure. And she’s always the first egg I crack. But this kid, she is BEGGING TO BE AN OMELETTE.

It’s not just her. It’s not. I don’t want you to think I’m just messing up my kid and calling it a day, I’m messing up everything. No, that’s not really true, because that makes it sound like I’m taking an active part. There’s some passive failures, too. But then, the word “failure” is also too much. You know, this whole blog post is just making a lot out of nothing. There’s just a lot of nothing. That’s a good way to put it. There’s a big open space, and that space is an area that is available for me, an area that is open for me to make improvements. And it’s hanging there, empty. There is a LOT OF ROOM for me to work. No one is in my way, nothing is stopping me. Opportunity is there, and I’m not taking it.

Is this making sense? I’m trying to put this in a way that doesn’t make it sound like there’s a dramatic ANYTHING going on over here, because there’s not. There’s life, being lived, not so entirely to my satisfaction, but I’m not sending up flares and asking you to share feelings with me, okay? This is not that blog. I’m just telling you how it’s going, and as is my way, I’m using a lot of words and not getting it done. Look, it’s a metaphor, or whatever. Here’s my blog space, a lot of space, and I’m using it ineffectively to do things wrong and fuck shit up and look, I’m just going to throw my last couple eggs here on the floor. For fuck’s sake. You know what, I’m not deleting any of this. Screw you. IT’S NOT LIKE I’VE MADE IT SEEM WITH ALL THESE WORDS. Just… GUESS at what I’m trying to say.

NaBloPoMo! Another opportunity to throw a bunch of damn eggs onto the damn floor! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOAT. I SWEAR THERE WAS A BOAT.

Look, can I just tell you some good things about my kid?

She was a dragon for Halloween.

She is 18 months old now. She needs to be actively engaged just about every second of every day, or she will devise some new way to be evil. Some of them are actually kind of insanely genius, in ways that you just wouldn’t think a kid her age could come up with. Unless you have a kid her age already. In which case, you could have warned me.

She’s doing pretty good with talking. She was a little slow with words for a while, then it just blew up. She’s putting together sentences and will actually hold a mini conversation, if your expectations of conversations aren’t high, and if you’re okay with only talking about what Penelope is interested in. For a week or two, she was picking up one new word every few days, taking a day or two to perfect it, and then sticking it into her little conversations. Then it was a new word a day. Now she’s picking up several new words a day. We stopped counting. A couple of days ago, she found some tights and called them “shoe pants.” I didn’t even know she knew the word pants.

She finally calls me mama, after a really long time of dada being just about the only word she knew. The best part about it is not that she’s stopped calling me dada or just yelling for my attention. She actually still just yells for my attention. No, the best part is that she often calls Phil mama, and she does it specifically because it annoys him. She thinks it’s funny. I think it’s funny, too. I think it’s really funny.

She tries to jump (she learned it from an episode of the Fresh Beats), but can’t, and her failures are hilarious and enjoyable, but not at her expense, because she thinks she is jumping, and loves it. She’s started to take an interest in other kids, and will lean around me and yell, “HI!” at any small size person she sees. We’re going to spend a month in Pennsylvania, just me and her (if anyone has dragged a Marathon car seat on a plane, first hand stories are welcome – and “you don’t need to, you can check it!” is also welcome, but will be politely passed over, because I know that I don’t need to legally, but I do need to sanity-ly, so I am and it’s already decided), and I’m looking forward to her enjoying some play time with her cousins of the same age.

One of the absolutely best things about Penny is how much she loves the video for Put Down the Duckie. She does these deep swinging arm claps, like an aerobics instructor, which is adorable all on its own, but the best thing – the BEST THING – is that she calls Ernie by his laugh. I don’t know how to better explain that. You know how Ernie laughs, right? That keeheehee sound? That’s what she calls him. And that’s how she asks to watch the video. She asks for Ernie, but she doesn’t call him Ernie. She calls him his laugh. And that is how we will survive, for now.

Keeheehee.