Thursday, December 29, 2011

Six (or so) Easy Steps to Taming Your Feral Child

In doing some research for my blog and it's new direction, I came across a whole bunch of blogs written by Moms.  However, most blogs are written by happy stay-at-hom moms with small children and talk about crafts and their latest trip to Disney and poopy diapers.  That ain't me.  I'm past that phase.  I'm worrying about my kids applying to colleges and staying away from kids who steal their parent's liquor at the moment.

Oh, I know how that world is, I was there once, sans the Disney trips.  You think you're the first one to ever have cute little kids and enjoy being a happy family, and you think we are all eager to hear about your kids... endlessly.  Oh, no offense to those moms, I've just been there, you want to share your joy.  But I just wanted to say that sometimes in reading about all the cutsie wootsie stories you tell of all the adorable things that little McKenzie did... I think, I would have booted the kid across the room.

And then the mommies even make jokes about being at their wits end with said adorable child.  Oh honey, I feel like that everyday, but it's not from having annoying kids it's from having busy kids.  Oh my children aren't perfect, I just figured out how to nip bad behavior in the bud.  I'll still get cranky kid attitude steered my way once in a while, but I don't get disrespect.  Want to know how?

Well, buy my book!

No, just kidding.  That's how the pitch usually goes... brings you right to the brink, and then chops you off at the knees, just like a girl in a short skirt.

Well, I'll tell you how, because I'm nice like that. (donations accepted, though)  Parents... stay in control.  Ain't no child ever paid attention to or respected a screaming, cussing parent.  Did you when you were a kid?  When my Mother went off, I just thought she was crazy, and as I got older... embarrassing.  But when she just stopped and looked me in the eye, oh I had the fear of God in me.  Oh and the worst was when she was just quiet and told me I had dissappointed her.  OH!  Stab stab stab in the heart!

Easy Steps for when your child talks back or has a tantrum:

1.  Physically get down to eye to eye level with them.
2.  Talk to them calmly, yet firmly, maintain direct eye contact.  (you can't sound like Mr. Rogers, you must   be firm)  If they look away, say "you need to look at me".
3.  State with authority that that behavior is not acceptable and we do not do that in this house.
4.  Ask them if they heard you and to repeat it.
5.  Tell them when they can act in a civil manner, you will discuss it or continue whatever.
6.  Stand up and continue what you were doing.  (unless there's blood to clean up or something)

If a problem is more involved you may need to discuss it with them.  For instance, "Would you like it if I threw a Matchbox Car at you?"  Or "Why would you deliberately take the paints out after I told you no?".  Sometimes "No, because I said so" isn't the best answer.  Kids need to learn logic and reason.  Explain to them "We don't have enough time to paint, becuase we are having guests for dinner and I need the table".

Adults, do you feel better after someone explains why they said no, rather than just saying no?  I rest my case.  "Can I have a raise?"  "No."  My first thought is "I suck".  But after they tell me they lost money in the 4th Q and just can't, then I accept it.

I won't lie, it takes a great deal of patience on the parent's part.  Oh and , some kids may still flip out, it's not a cure all.  But if you remain calm and CONSISTENT, I can almost guarantee you'll see the behavior improve over time.  It needs to start as soon as they start talking though.  Just laughing off that behavior because they are "little" only creates monsters. (Have we not all learned anything from Toddlers and Tiaras?)  It's never too early to start expecting respectable behavior from a child.  Most important thing is, don't stoop to their level!  Yea, I know we all have our limits, but even if you do have a flip out, apologize to the child and use it as a lesson that we all get stressed out, you know how the child feels.  Keep the faith and have a cocktail after they go to bed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chill Out, it's Just Christmas Not a Death Penalty Trial

I've seen so many Facebook and Twitter posts lately that state how stressed out people are with the holidays.  I was about to call the suicide prevention hotline for one woman, she seemed so on edge.  I also saw another post that was so smug about how far ahead she was of the game with all her shopping and wrapping, I wanted to throw a shoe at her.

For the record, I would just like to state...


Notice, I didn't say holidays?  I just said Christmas.  Ya' know why?  Because I've never heard any of my Jewish friends stress out about Hannukah!  Ok, I've only heard one Jewish friend complain but it was just mostly about having to get on a plane to see her older parents who like to eat the early bird at Howard Johnson's.  Which, is usually purely for comedic value. However, she never complained about buying presents and decorating.  Jewish folks make it simple, no tree, no decorations, one simple light fixture, eight days of presents so in case you forget something the first few nights... no pressure.

Kwanzaa, I admit I hardly know anything about and I don't know anyone personally who celebrates it.  And most things I've read about it, anyone who does celebrate it, they celebrate Christmas too, it's not like it's an exclusive thing.  I also believe it focuses on virtues and stuff like that, so again the principal is not about sweating stocking stuffers.

So, in the spirit of this being an adult survival guide, my advice to you is... chillax.  What gets done, will get done.  No one will notice that you forgot to put out your Wayne Newton dressed as Santa statuette.  No one will notice that you only made a batch of sugar cookies and not peanut butter cookies.  The kids won't care if you wrapped their stocking stuffers or didn't wrap their stocking stuffers.  Just try to enjoy the spirit of Christmas, family and friends. (yes, even if you hate your family)

And you might even say, "What about the kids?  It's important for the kids."  Guess what?  The kids will get over it.  I believe you might be teaching your kids a far more valuable lesson in life if they don't get everything they want this year.  I kid you not, there were years my kids got construction paper or earrings or mittens from the Dollar Store.  I cried and cried.  Yes, I feel terrible that I can't give my children everything I want, but my children have learned that life isn't fair and to be thankful for what they do get.  I'd like to think I won't be raising a bunch of spoiled ingrates.  Oh believe me many times in my heart I wish I could raise spoiled ingrates just so they have nice things, but I realize the life lesson is ok too, and will last a lifetime, unlike an iPod.

Hey, didn't that Christmas angel say, "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men"?  THAT's what it's about!  Please everyone, spread peace and good will to others, and accept peace yourself.  That's really the key, peace within yourself, and it's uncanny how it spreads to others.  Take a deep breath and relish the simple joys.  And remember, you will not be put to death by lethal injection if the silverware isn't polished or the stuffing is dry.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Happy Kwanzaa to all and to all a good night!  Peace!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let the New Blog and Life Begin...

So, I'm on a mission.  I think I've figured this out.  The last couple of years I have been floundering with this blog.  Wondering how to still be funny but with less raunch, more purpose.  I have been trying to decide which direction to take, what focus I'd like to have.  In essence I've been wanting to re-brand myself.

My Myspace blog years ago, to which I had a rather large following, (over 800 followers) was focused mostly on my dating and parenting life post divorce.  That was pretty easy since I hadn't been in a relationship for years.  But really, how long can you write about that?  It gets old after a while. Besides, my kids are teens now, I don't want them reading my dating exploits, and I'm sure it would be a major creep factor for them. 

Think, think, think.  What else do I know about?  Well, it kind of hit me today... I know about survival.  For those of you who know me, know that I have had quite a struggle over the past eleven years, well ok 20 years.  For those of you who don't, here's a not entirely brief synopsis:

I thought I married a really nice, well educated, successful engineer and ex Div. I hockey player.  But in 2000, I got out of a marriage to an eventual verbally abusive, alcoholic man, who had an affair on me while I was pregnant with our third child.  Well back up a little, after a job transfer moved us from NY to Denver in 2000, where I didn't know a soul and had three children ages 6, 3, and 14 months. we divorced and he quickly moves in with the girl he had an affair with.  He buys them a home and starts spending all his money on them.  I'm stuck to find whatever rental I can afford.  I had to keep finding jobs where I could take care of my children 90% of the time because he always traveled with his job.  I had been a stay at home mom for 5 years, I could only get crap jobs, I was in radio and TV before that.  I kept having to quit before I got fired because I'd have childcare problems.   In 2004 he moved back East, leaving me in Denver to raise them alone, making monthly visits, which towards the end were cut short with kids calling me crying.

I was a realtor at the time and the bust hit Denver in 2006.  I could no longer afford to live there and I was losing my mind raising the children alone.  So I moved back to Rochester at the end of 2006 with the promise from my ex that there would be all kinds of help from him and his parents.  I started over, trying to find jobs, etc.  Things were looking up after about a year, I decided to go back to school while working a decent job, then my ex went off the deep end.  He sunk deep into his alcoholism and disappeared, skipped town, stopped paying support, stopped talking to the kids and me.  The children were devastated.  He did have his moments of being a good Dad, and they missed that.

That was over 2 years ago.  I had to quit a job because it was a half hour drive and couldn't be that far from my kids with no other help, and they weren't happy with me because I was a mess.  I was having a nervous breakdown. First I lost half my income with losing child support, then I was jobless, I was left with a pile of extra bills he was supposed to be paying (braces, sports, etc.) got evicted, had to apply for foodstamps, medicaid, free lunch at school, and clean friend's toilets to get gas money.  There was even a point where I had absolutely no income before I got approved for aid, that was a complete nightmare. But I did lose 20 lbs from not being able to afford food!  Hollah!  (Important Tip: always look for silver lining)

Blah, blah, blah, there were many years before that of having to rescue my kids from torturous behavior by their Dad that I won't even go into.  Eventually I collected myself, got a few part-time jobs, then after a couple years re-directed myself into resuming my marketing career, and worked my way up to finding a full-time contract job (no benefits).  My kids are thriving, they are all A students, and active in sports and music/theater.  My oldest is a senior and has applied to some of the best colleges in the country.  I got financial aid all by myself for my kids to go to 2 of the best schools in the area, because they had the grades and drive to go.  And amazingly we've talked our way through this and stuck together and have all remained well grounded.  Nobody has started acting out, not even me.  Ok, well I couldn't have gotten through this without cocktails now and then, but I'm an adult, I'm allowed.  And most importantly friends and family, couldn't have made it through without them either.  Oh and one other thing, I didn't seek out a man to save me.  Although, a few years and pounds ago, that stripper pole was looking like it could be a way to eat.

So, why the long story?  (what's sad is that I left a whole bunch of stuff out, oy)  To give you background on what I know.  How to survive.  My blog will be about how to survive adulthood.  I will touch on all the adult subjects: financial, emotional, parenting, dating/relationships, jobs.  I don't have all the answers, but I can share my experiences and tips for making it through some tough spots, all with a little laughter.  Because really humor makes it all bearable.  At the very least, let my life and this blog serve as an example of what mistakes not to make.  :)  Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Culture of the Attention Whore

**This blog recently appeared on Mike Danger of 98.9 The Buzz's blog as a Guest Blogger Friday feature.

 "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."  I know its become cliche and everyone has said it, but yea, Andy Warhol was right.  Then some dude named David Weinberger said, "On the Web, everyone will be famous to fifteen people".  That's more like it.

With so many different ways to communicate instantly and so many different media venues, and recording devices at our fingertips, fame has become an epidemic.  On smaller levels, I don't even know if it's fame... just attention.  I had no freakin' idea there were so many people in this world that didn't get enough hugs as a child.  There are a whole bunch of people in this world that make strippers (those most in need of attention) look like reclusive loners that think Ted Kaczynski was a social butterfly.

Case in point, our latest non-celebrity attention whore, Mariah Yeater.  Sister-girl goes and files suit that little ole Justin Bieber fathered her child.  My guess is, she just wants her 15 minutes (and a little walking around money) anyway she can get it.  Even if it's making herself look like a trollop.  Have you seen her pics?  Ew.  If it were true, I certainly hoped he'd have better taste than that.  But I guess some guys get a thrill out of slummin' it, too.    

This may be a dated reference but it's an excellent case study in attention whoreism, that idiot Balloon boy Dad.  He doesn't even merit a name mention.  Who orchestrates that nonsense and tells your kids to lie just to get his rejected-actor-ass on TV?  He should be renamed "Dbag Dad".  

How hungry for attention have we become as a society?  Is it because there are more chances for fame and money?  Is it because people have become less loving?  Do we all just need a group hug and a Snuggi?  Is it because life has become so stressful and expensive that we have "quick buck envy"?   We figure if Snooki can make money, so can we?  Oh Christ, if she can, I should be a skajillionaire with my drunk-ass shenanigans.  So, I'm 20 years older than her, and my cans are a cup size smaller, it could still happen.  

I admit sometimes I find myself in attention whore mode.  I wrote an almost daily blog for years with hundreds of readers and hundreds of comments each day.  That can certainly be addicting.  But I stopped.  I don't know why.  Got writer's block, got tired, started getting haters, whatever.  A couple years have gone by and I find myself dipping my toe into the attention waters from time to time.  Posting statuses on Facebook, witty retorts on Twitter, guestblogs for the fabulous Mike Danger...  And sometimes when no one responds to my witty retorts... I post a pic with cleavage.  There, I said it!  Ya' got me!  I'm a closet attention whore!  I need hugs!  Forgive me Father for I have sinned...

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.  I'm Madge, and I'm an Attention Whore.  (slinks away weeping)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How Not to Have Your Obituary Read: "She Was a Pain in the Ass"

I've done a lot of reflecting in the past 2 days.  Ya' see, one of my best friends from childhood died on Sunday from breast cancer at the age of 46.  We first met in kindergarten at St. Mary's School.  We made First Communion together and later double dated to proms together in HS and drank in bars together in college.  We weren't as close as I would have liked in our adult lives but she lived in South Carolina and I lived in Denver and now NY state.  But we did keep in touch.

Anyway, she was awesome.  She was always the prettiest and smartest girl in the class. The boys used to follow her around drooling, but she was never vain and she was always nice to everyone.  She even befriended the less desirables.  She wasn't perfect, she had some trials in her adult life, but everyone still regarded her as a very kind, loving woman.

Which brings me to the point to which I arrived.  I was reading her Facebook page and a condolence book attached to her obituary.  Many people were writing tributes to her.  All of them stated what a warm, kind, loving, caring person she was.  That made me think... what do I want to be remembered for?

I know a lot of people who would want to be remembered as a great athlete, great leader, business mogul, mover and shaker, great tan, big schlong... whatever it may be.  Without much hesitation, my decision was that I want to be remembered for being a loving person and making people laugh.  Not in a vain way, but because all people should laugh and be happy.  I want to spread the fun and joy.  Let's all have a laugh, it makes the world a better place.  I bet all my old time readers didn't think I was such a softie, eh?  Yea, bite me...

 And the loving part?  I'll give you the shirt off my back, but I want us all to respect each other and ourselves too.  I love everyone, but a key part of love is respect.  That's why Wendy and I were friends, we didn't look down upon others, we wanted to include everyone.  We weren't perfect, we still made fun of someone's outfit in high school, but we would usually try to befriend them and eventually give them fashion pointers. lol  The point is, we didn't ostracize people.  We weren't perfect but we weren't haters or bullyers.  I still am not, and I teach my children the same principles.

Oh, and I also want to be remembered for being reasonable and fair.  I hope people would think, "That Madge always made sense and told it to you straight".  I don't know if it would be tasteful for me to have "Madge says: Get your head out of your ass" on my gravestone, but it would be appropriate.

I know it sounds dorky but I always wanted to have "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?" by Elvis Costello played at my funeral.  Seriously.  I also want "Danny Boy" on the bagpipes and Dennis Leary's "I'm an Asshole" to be played.  Is that weird?  I'm just about love, fun, and family.  Elvis song = love, Dennis song = fun, Danny Boy = family (the Irish thing).  And there better be lots of food, booze, and people laughing and sharing stories there.

Take a look at your life, do you want to be remembered as "she never missed the Kardashians show", or "He was the most hated man in Rochester because he slept with every woman in town and never called", or  "She never left a tip in her life", or worst of all "I don't know what he did, slept and watched porn a lot, I guess"?  Don't be that guy or girl.

So, you... yea you!  How do you want to be remembered?  What traits do you want to be remembered for?  I suggest you start living it today, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.  I say lovingly and laughingly to you, get your head out of your ass and live your legacy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Your Glass is Half Full... of Paranoia.

I read something the other day that I really like.  It said...

One may think, "The glass is half full"

One may think, "The glass is half empty"

Then also one may think, "The glass is at 50% of it's capacity"

I tend to be in the school of thought of the last choice.  No longer pessimistic, not blindly optimistic, but realistic.  I'm hopeful, but also factual.  Thankful for no longer being pessimistic.

I'd like to think I'm even-keeled, grounded.  Yea, I get a little opinionated and animated, but I'm usually crusading for common sense when I do it.  So, shut it!

Unlike... some people.

Yes, I'm thankful for my rational thought.  I've seen so many people over the past several years that live in pessimism, paranoia, fear and anger.  (My ex-in-laws, anyone?)  I feel really sorry for those people.  Everyone is out to get them, everything is a conspiracy, everyone wants to fool us.  Yet, strangely a lot of times they believe strongly and blindly in God.  They have this euphoric love and trust, almost lust for Jesus Christ.  Hmmm, what's wrong with this picture?

I'm not going to bash Christians.  After all, I am technically a Christian being a practicing Catholic.  Yes, I know some of you scoff at that, but yes, we Catholics do have that whole Christ thing going on in our church.  I just don't consider myself "born again" or "saved" or whatever the catch phrase of the day is.  I have deep faith.  That's between me and God...and Jesus and Mary and St. Jude, and St. Bridget and whoever else I pray to for guidance. 

What bothers me is that perpetual paranoia.  For example, I just read a post on a friend's Facebook page, that railed on vaccinations.  It wasn't my friend that said it, it was his friend commeting on his post.  This woman  launched into how evil vaccines are and it's all a conspiracy by whoever is paying the scientists to tell us to buy the vaccines to control us and take over the world or something.

*heavy sigh*

Really?  How sad. 

I also got the jist (I could be wrong) that she also believes the media is one big vast liberal conspiracy.  She probably home schools her kids, because, ya' know, schools are one big brain washing factory for liberals, sex peddlers and gays.  Ok, the part about her home schooling was pure speculation and mean of me to assume but come on, I'm trying to paint a picture.  Or maybe I just watched to many episodes of The Duggers, hey that's why they home school their kids!

*heavy sigh*

That must be so limiting not to trust anyone.  Like I said before, how sad.  Also... how tiring.  To waste all that energy on fear and anxiety and paranoia and hate.  My stomach is in nots just thinking about it.  I certainly don't mean to be a Pollyanna, I know there are bad people out there.  But to make such broad generalizations about things in such a hysterical manner is... well first it's laughable and then it's... again, sad.

I just have to say I'm really glad that I believe the glass is at 50% of capacity and not that everytime I turn my head the glass is being filled with poison additives by the government to control my mind and make me succumb to the gay agenda...  what?  That doesn't even make sense to me, but sadly it makes perfect sense to somebody else out there.  :(

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Desperately Seeking Inspiration...

I was in Target with my kids today fetching various items.  The place was crawling with college students picking up supplies for their tiny, bland dorm rooms, or tiny sh*thole apartments.  (Remember how excited we were back in those days to buy our first dish rack or hamper?  Oy, now I want to dump all that stuff on the curb and live in a hotel and have people clean up after me all day.)

We are standing there and a very prissy, snooty girl and an obviously flaming gay kid (not that there's anything wrong with that, but he made Kurt from Glee look butch) are discussing the need to cut back on Starbucks this semester.  I mimicked the girl's faux Valley Girl accent, and my son made some other desparaging remark, then proclaimed, "I love being a cynical a-hole".  I said, "You get it from your Mother" and gave him a high five. 

But honestly, in the past 2 years I've come to love my cynical asshole side less.  Don't get me wrong, I still love me some good derision, but I also seek joyfulness in my heart.  Sound cheesy?  Well, F-you, I want some God damn joyfulness!!!!

Here's what I mean by joyfulness, or just joy for short.  It's that feeling when you encounter something that just sends your senses soaring.  I guess you could call it a rush.  Inspiration.  I'm seeking that right now.  I feel really uninspired.  Well, it's really only in my work life.  I mean, I love my boyfriend and I feel joy when I go to my kids' school and feel all of their success and friendships there.  There are just good people at those schools, and I can feel my kids happiness.  That is like freakin' crack to me.  But work... meh.

With work... I've been searching.  I have had various jobs over the past few years.  And that's all they were, jobs.  I have been trying to find that thing that I love to do.  Writing does that, but any writing jobs I've had haven't neccessarily put me on Easy Street, if you know what I mean.  I did have an interview at a an ad agency for a copywriting job several months ago that gave me a mental "schwing!".  I'm serious.  I walked into the place and felt the energy instantly, I was in Heaven.  The interview was with a friend of mine, but unfortunately I found out about it a little too late, they were already in negotiations with some kid that already had agency experience.  I was actually sad that I didn't get the job.

I started a job this week doing internet advertising analysis.  Basically SEO and Adwords campaign stuff.  It's interesting, I'm just getting started, we'll see.  But what I am hopeful about is, after a two year hiatus, I'm headed back to school in a couple of weeks.  I will be taking a feature writing course, and a graphic design course.  Just thinking about the subject matter gets me all tingly.  Maybe I'll have more direction and experience after I take those courses.

I ran into a guy this past week bartending at a place I don't frequent often, but stopped in to see my friend's artwork that was being exhibited.  I hadn't seen the guy since about 1987.  I knew him back in my punk days, first met round about 1983, he was known as Mohawk Mike, just an acquaintance.  He was uber punk, had like a foot high mohawk, always wore combat boots, leather jacket, studded collar, flannel shirt tied around his waist.  Anyway, I see him at this bar... looks exactly the same except with no hair at all.  He's in his late 40s and hasn't changed.  I talked to him a bit, he says he's been doing the same stuff for the past 25+ years.  He is the alternative, nightlife scene.  Never married, no kids.

His exact words to me were, "I never grew up".  He's happy.  I don't know, he hangs around what inspires him, music, creative punk fashion, art, nightlife... is that grown up or not grown up?  Does it matter?  It just made me think.  I didn't think I was any better or worse than him, nor he any better or worse than me.  A little part of me was jealous, to be able to come and go in that scene whenever you want... cool!  But for me, I also knew I needed to be a Mom, to create something larger than myself.

So, inspiration comes in many forms.  I have it in parts of my life, but I want that thing that makes me really happy to get up every morning.  There is just something missing.  I mean, I'm happy, generally, but well going to work shouldn't be something you dread.  But I also want to feel good about being able to provide everything my children need with room to spare.  It's a fine line to walk, do what you love or provide for all four of us.  Why couldn't I figure out that I loved being a lawyer 25 years ago.  Unfortunately, I was born creative and not intellectual. Well, you know what I mean.  Hopefully, I'll find joyfulness soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can't Hide Behind the Weave...

Can someone please explain to me the phenomenon of "weaves"?

Yea, I know this is highly intellectual subject matter, so brace yourself.

I just don't get it, why every young girl in the world seems to have one even when they seem to have a perfectly good head of long, luxurious hair.  Perhaps, that is just the illusion of the weave?  No, wait, I've seen the before and after pics.  I just don't get it.

I just Googled "hair weave" and found such complex terms as "remy hair", "weft hair", "single drawn", "double draw"...  what the hell does all this stuff mean?!!!!  And why is this all necessary?  Just wear your hair like the good Lord made ya'!  Or wear a wig like Zsa Zsa...

Who the hell would go through all that trouble?  I heard it takes like hours to sew in.  And who would sign up for that job?!  Standing there for hours, manually sewing hair into someone's head?  Oh, sign me up for that one!

And on a side note... talking about doing intricate things with hair... can someone with ethnic hair experience please tell me, how in the hell you  turn thick, curly, puffy  hair (I mention it, because I have the same sort of red caucasian hair) into those little tiny braids?  Again a process that takes hours.  I'd develop arthritis in the process... oh wait I already have it.

Women have everything fake these days, hair, nails, boobs, tans.  It's really disturbing to me.  I am proud to say I don't have any of the above.  Well, I do have them, but they are all natural.  (I would look kind of strange with no hair, no nails, no boobs, and no pigmentation).  But what I have is mine, and I like it.  Yes, even love it. 

Why do we all have to pretend to be something else?  Why does everyday have to be Halloween?  Do men really like all that stuff or is it just for other women?  And what is up with those gigantic fake nails that look like paint scrapers?  They look ridiculous.  Who thinks this stuff looks good?  I don't, but what do I know?

I just wish people would learn to love themselves, warts and all.  Ok, maybe not warts, but just curly frizzy hair, short nails, small boobs, and pale skin.  It's all beautiful.  What's even more beautiful is self-respect, intelligence, character, life experience, and integrity.  Those are the things that truly make you beautiful.  Cultivate those things.  Judge Judy has always had it right, "Beauty fades, dumb is forever". 

My new motto to young girls in regard to learning to love yourself - "Lose the Weave".

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ATTN Crazy Craigslist people: Life ain't fair!

So I've been trolling around Craigslist a little bit lately. Just curious to see if there are actually any legitimate jobs on there.  And no I'm not just looking at jobs there, that would be ridiculous, but I'm taking a peek everywhere.  Craigslist just happened to be the most entertaining.

And in a few categories, namely ones involving computers (software, web development, graphic design), I see several posts by whiners like this one:  (yes, these are authentic posts, cut and pasted from CL)

RE: Photoshop Designer

This person posted a few days ago...I answered with resume' answer either way.
This person is either very unprofessional or it is a scam...anyway I'd forget he/she
and not answer any of he/she posts.

Or this one…

RE: Photoshop, Easy Job

Do you have any idea how to use photoshop? Any person who has benn educated in the program paid a lot for that education. $20 is a joke to anyone who will do the job right.

64 images- doesn't matter what is being done to them, is time consuming and will take well over 1 hour. Which is generally what you would be looking at for $20... One hour of work.

So you may want to re-think the industry standard for such a job before offering jack shit in compensation for such an "easy job". You're right though. Not a HARD job, but a time consuming one. If you can't afford to pay for talent, buy the program and do it yourself! Maybe then you'll understand that your "Easy Job" is not a "Cheap Job".


(Why do I suddenly have visions of all those skits on SNL about the IT guys that come into offices that are arrogant, sarcastic, condescending, and passive-aggressive?)

Oh my God, people, get a grip! I’ve been in the adult, post-education, job market for almost 25 years. I have one little valuable nugget of wisdom I have learned over the years…

Life ain’t fair!!!!!!

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, that not everyone will give you everything you want on a silver platter and be sickeningly sweet about it. In fact, most of the time, you’ll need to fight for the scraps you do get and still thank someone profusely. …I should deliver a commencement address, eh?

Just, my point is… I can’t believe in this evident age of entitlement these weenies are writing these anonymous rants on Craigslist, railing against the employers like they are some sort of classified ad ethics police. Guess what? CL is filled with fake ads, people who don’t know their a** from a hole in the ground and are just trying to get some cheap help, or people that do have legit ads but it just isn’t their obligation to write everyone who answers the ad with a handwritten perfume-scented monogrammed thank you note.

I must have sent out thousands of resumes and cover letters in the past 25 years, and do you know how many “Thanks, but no thanks” replies I received? Maybe five. An employer doesn’t owe you anything. Its common knowledge that if they want an interview, that’s the only time you’ll hear from them, they’ll call you and that’s about it.

As for what an employer is offering to pay? They’ll offer whatever they can get away with. Simple as that. So, haggle. Submit your resume and give them your idea of what you want for compensation. But no, it’s far more effective to offer a passive-aggressive anonymous rant on Craigslist. No wonder you’re looking for a job.

I unfortunately, replied to one of these rants. HUGE MISTAKE. I was feeling pissy one day and wanted to give someone a piece of my mind. I told him politely that employers aren’t obligated to respond. He launched into an evil nerd attack, saying I was nasty and meddling, and threatening to tell my employer... with every other word spelled wrong. Wow, there are a lot of people feeling entitled with anger issues out there. Someone needs a hug… or an FBI check, because I see a future “shoot up the workplace” contestant there.

Besides, just suck it up and send out the resumes and hope for the best, another lesson learned in all my years of job searching… don’t deal with the crazy ranting people on Craigslist.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Give Me Employment or Give Me Baby Phat!

I'm not gonna' lie... I'm tired.  Being a functioning human being is damn tiresome!

Oh, I could just coast and be a drain on the taxpayer, but I don't suppose that's what I want for myself or my children.  But damnit, it would be a hell of a lot easier and more relaxing!  I could not work and sleep 'til noon everyday!

I got thrown a curveball again.  I need to rethink my business strategy.  Need to fine tune the career path yet again.  Ok, these things happen.  *insert whiny 5 year old voice*  But I'm tirrrrrred...  *stomps feet*

Tangent... All of a  sudden that James Brown song "It's  a Man's World" popped into my head.  It still kind of is, you know?  How is it a man can drop out of sight and not care for his children and it's just considered par for the course?  How is it a man can just snag a job and no one is concerned with whether he'll get pregnant or have kid drama?  How is it a man can readily find employment in the upper ranks, while women still have to "prove" themselves?  Ever watch that show "16 and Pregnant"?  Ninety percent of the Baby-Daddy's bail.  And that's ok?

Now I'm not man-bashing, but it's so hard to be a working single mom.  I didn't sign up for this.  Yea, yea it's my decision to make my family successful, I could just become a cretin.  But would it be so bad to be a cretin?  I could just collect public assistance and not even try to work.  It would be so easy.  I could tell my children that they couldn't go anywhere or do anything because they would be using Mama's valuable drinkin' money!  It would be all Judge shows, all the time!  Don't interrupt my shows! 

Oh then, then, then, then I could get a man who could keep me in all the Baby Phat or NASCAR clothes and shoes, I wanted!  I watched a segment on Dr. Phil last week how a woman specifically targets men to get certain bills paid.  Oh, sign me up for that job!  It's just another sales job, and I'm a hell of a closer!  I could close that deal with plenty of time in the day to go get my acrylic nails with the extra wide tips done!  ...Why would you want your manicure to look like you had a paint scraper on each finger, anyway?  I digress...

Crap, why was I born with integrity?  I could have run away.  I could have run home.  I could have just found some sucker who wanted to foot the bill for me and my kids.  But I choose to try to make a career for myself and support us.  And I make sure my kids are on a path to get in excellent colleges and have great careers and lives  ahead of them.  And I have a guy that makes me clean his house in exchange for being on his country club membership because I can't afford to chip in.  (ok, so I suggested that) Maybe I'm the sucker?  I'm missing out on all that Baby Phat... damn.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Why Don't We Just Bring Back the Lions and the Christians?

All right, I need to interrupt my uber interesting "Adventures in Dating" series to rant about something...

What the hell is wrong with you people today?

This ain't ancient Rome, I thought we were supposed to be civilized?  Is blood lust that deep in our genes?

I mean you, you YouTube type people.  Everywhere I go, people are recording stuff on their phonea when they should be jumping in and helping!  What in God's name is wrong with you?  Is ya' ignant?  Has all the world become a spectator sport?  Has the world become a giant electronic device, it's not real anymore, it's a video game or reality series?  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I'm appalled!

What buzzed up my skirt, you may ask?  I was driving down my street the other day and I saw these kids in front of a house.  I drive up slowly to make sure I think what I think is going on is actually going on.  And yes indeed, it's two approximately 10 year old girls beating the hell out of each other, while one slightly older boy stood and watched as if he were watching the coin toss for a football game, and a slightly older girl recording the fight with her phone.  I pulled over the car and started screaming out the window, "Hey, stop it, stop it, stop it!",  followed by some random things like "What is wrong with you?  You don't do that!  You're not animals!  Where is an adult?".  After the fact I felt like Glady Kravitz on Bewitched, but I didn't care, it was the right thing to do.

The girls stopped and looked at me amazed as if I was wrong.  Then after a second, ran in the house.  I didn't want to get involved much further, because I'd probably have some Hood Mom kick my ass for not minding my own business.  I'm serious, the families on that part of the street are very, well let's call them street.  It's not stereotypical, it's just a fact.  I hear them, I see them, always out, yelling at each other about bustin' caps and beatin' asses.  So, I know enough to not tempt fate.

I was bothered for hours after.  I was appalled by the barbaric behavior of the girls, but horrified by the bystanders.  Has the next generation become that numb?  I lectured my kids forever after that.  I told them if they ever just stood by when something like that was going on, I'd beat them.  No, just kidding.  I said they needed to stand up against violence, but also be very careful to know when to just call or run for help instead as to avoid death.  You never know when someone is gonna' pull a .9 out... or a knife.  Like the kid that just got killed at a fraternity party here at the U. of Rochester, usual drunken college brawl, but a kid pulls a knife.  Boom.  Dead.

Another example, locally a mentally disturbed teenage boy starts stabbing his girlfriend in a Wegmans grocery store.  A couple people stood by and watched,  but two courageous teenage boys jump in and tried to pull the kid off her.  They saved her life.  They wound up with some cuts.  My son said he didn't care, he'd rather die doing the right thing like that.  Wow.  Would you?  Check yourself, are you the type to, A.) videotape, B.) run away, C.) watch, D.) jump in to stop it or call for help? 

This nonsense has got to stop.  Violence and bullying behavior is not a spectator sport.  I know I'm becomming a self-righteous, crotchety, old hen, but you all should be ashamed of yourselves.  "WWGWD", "What Would Grandma Walton Do?".  (Hey, I model my life after 70s TV shows, is that so wrong?)  Or at least do what Spike Lee said, "Do the Right Thing", which doesn't include throwing garbage cans through Sal's Pizzeria, but you know what I mean.

Don't make me come over there...  stop this nonsense right now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Lose a Guy in... Ten Minutes.

As I try to figure out a new direction to take my writing in, it occurred to me, why not write about all of the stuff I couldn't write about before?  Of course I'll need to tailor it to the new PG audience.   The stuff I'm talking about is all of my dating adventures over the past 10 years while I was divorced and dating, ya' know pre-relationship. I couldn't really tell all, since some of the people involved were reading me, and that would have been awkward.   However, the twist is, it won't all be making fun of all the psych ward escapees I encountered, it will be a lot of revelations of things that I did wrong.

Oh yes, Madge was wrong.  Hey, I admit it.  A lot of you that read my blogs on Myspace back in the day, will probably say "We coulda' told ya' you were wrong!".  Yea, yea ok, sometimes it takes some of us a while.  Sometimes people never learn.  I'd rather be wrong and have figured it out than still be convinced I'm right and still be alone and miserable.  Once I became generally unmiserable, my whole life, not just dating changed.  I got back on a career track, and the kids and I started to thrive.

Wait, let me clarify, I wasn't miserable because I was alone, I was just miserable, period.  Now, I could be alone and be happy.  Make sense?  Moving right along...

I used to think I knew it all.  I was convinced that brow beating a man into honesty and forcing his hand was somehow a sure-fire way to attract them to my womanly wiles and fall madly in love with me.

Bah hahahahahaha!!!!

I was so obsessed with honesty after my lie-filled marriage, I became "Date-zilla".  It was all about laying all the cards out at once, and if a man followed-up on our date I would go into interrogation mode about his intentions.  And if they weren't what I wanted, I pouted, and was passive-aggressive, and did the guilt thing.  Oh, I was convinced that I didn't do that... but I did.  At some point I think we should all be videotaped in our lives, because sometimes what we perceive we do, and what others see are two vastly different things.

Oy, I hate to admit it, but it's true.  Of course, it wasn't with everyone, a good number of guys I was trying to ditch because I just wasn't attracted.  I would say 90% of the men I met just weren't interesting to me.  I was very picky.  But there were ones that could have had a chance, had I not blown it.  However, I do think things happen for a reason.

Once I started to learn to be confident, act like I didn't care, and set up boundaries and walk away when the boundaries didn't suite me... things started to go my way.  That was the tough one, walking away after the boundaries were set.  Sometimes you want something so bad, you make a bad decision and say, ok screw it I'll go meet him just this once.  As they used to say on Family Feud, "X".  Wrong answer.  The fact is the guy I'm dating now, my boyfriend (oh that word still seems so silly at my age), didn't start really respecting me until I said no to the nonsensical situation he wanted to have with me. I thought I was being cool saying I was ok with a casual dating thing, but yet being passive-aggressive to him about wanting a relationship and then really being hurt when he went out with someone else. 

Truth be told, I wanted a relationship with him and it was ok to admit it and walk away if he didn't.  I was raised by a pack of angry feminists to believe relationships weren't important (yet the twist was, once you were in it, it was for life).  Yet I finally was shown that it's ok to want love, especially after 10+ years without it.  It's not ok to be addicted to it and be a Liz Taylor.  But I had to accept it was ok to want love, and stop fighting it internally.  That was a lot of what made me angry inside.  However once I accepted it, I needed to keep my standards and boundaries and hold out for the right relationship.  I had to learn patience.  That was like teaching Sid Vicious to "just say no" to heroin.

All right, this is getting long-winded, this could be a book, so I'll cut it short for now.  I'll turn it into a mini-series.  This will be "Roots" for our generation.  Wait, "Roots" was already in our generation.  So it will be the "Roots" of the dating lessons genre.  Nevermind, I'm  going to turn into Star Jones here with all the self-promotion.  Anyway, stay tuned, more dating revelations to come...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Do They Still Make Geritol?

I really hate it when people make aging jokes.  I just think it's stupid.  I groan standing up and somebody says "Easy Grandma!"... I want to say "How about I give you a Grandma
Foot right in the ass?".  Oh wait, keep this clean, right...  Well, that's what I feel like, ok, so sue me!

But there is a time when reality hits.  Or as my eye doctor calls it "natural progress".  I don't feel all old and stuff but I'm just having a hard time accepting that it is "about that time" for certain things.  I hit 46 and it's like the day after the warranty expires, everything goes.  Like getting fat.  My metabolism has just come to a screeching halt.  I've gained 20 lbs in the last year, gradually.  I don't eat any more than I did; I've just stopped processing stuff apparently.  I did have some tests done and my doctor found I was taking to much thyroid medicine so that may have an effect.  She reduced my dosage, so that will take care of it.  But either way, fat or thyroid, I've got old people problems!

I just got bifocals a few weeks ago.  Shut it!

I color my hair to cover the grey.  Meh, ok, who doesn't color their hair these days?

I had to go to the colorectal surgeon today because I've been having issues.  See?!  See?!  Ya' see what I mean?  Guess who all the people in the waiting room were?  That's right, old people!  I was the only person under 70 in there!  And talk about humiliating, oy!  Have you ever been to one of these doctors?  They make you bend over a table!  Everything is ok (minor issue) so far, subject to further probing next month, but damnit...  I'm not ready for this stuff yet!

By the way, who in God's name would choose that specialty?  It's bad enough you have to go spelunking in the waste factory all day, it's usually on decrepit old people or morbidly obese people.  I wonder if when the doctor's working on huge people that nurses have to stand on either side and hold the tent flaps up?  Too much?  Yea, sorry...

Anyway, it's just... in my brain I'm still, um I don't know, about 28.  Ok, a lot of times I feel like that carefree 14 year old I was or even that 6 year old with separation anxiety.  Sometimes I need to look in the mirror for a reality check.  Yea, I know it's "you're only as old as your feel" and all that hype, but no Virgnia, there isn't a Santa Claus and my knees do have an expiration date! 

Yes, yes I will keep up that youthful spirit, as I try to keep the invasive scopes to a minimum, but I am human.  I will get a little teary eyed as I realize I am not invincible.  Hell, my Mother is still trying to remind herself of that at almost 85 as she takes care of a whole house and my barely mobile 89 year old Father.  I hope I can still lug my husband in and out of the shower at 85.  Ok, well I hope he can still lug himself in and out, but if I have to, I hope I can (provided I have a husband then, I don't want to lug strange naked men around).  I guess age really is a state of mind.  Damnit...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Becoming a Functioning Human Being 101

So, I just had  a birthday.  Back in the olden days when TV only had 3 channels, they would have called me "middle aged".  No one uses that term anymore, it's become somewhat of a leper of age classification terminology.

I haven't written a blog in this particular space in a year and a half.  I've written maybe 2 or 3 blogs in that same time frame on another site that nobody gives a rat's tukus about anymore.  None of those blogs were anything interesting anyway, they basically relayed the message that I was still alive.  As I also inform you today, I am still, in fact, alive.

You may (or may not) ask what my birthday and the last blog I've written have in common?  A lot.  My physical life has been in "manager trainee" mode and my writing life has been "closed for remodelling".  The fact of the matter is, I've changed.  I'm not the same person I was 1.5 years ago.  I picked myself up by my bootstraps and became a productive member of society (not that I really wasn't before), and decided to embark on a career and not just a job.  Another factor is that I've gotten into a serious relationship with a man over a year ago.  So, you see I've gone from a cynical, man hating, down on her luck, small child rearing, job hopping broad, to a positve, man loving, working her way up, college bound teen rearing, career minded woman.  ...what the hell am I supposed to do with all that?

Therein lies the problem.  Who am I?  Written words flowed out of me like blood from a jugular when I was miserable.  Words also flow when I'm feeling raunchy and funny, but that's not condusive to being professional.  Oy.  So, how do I write for who I am now and what I want to be?  My rather lame answer to that at the moment is... stay tuned and find out.

Ok, ok, I'm sorry!  Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was Janice Dickinson's face, so we have a bit of a row to hoe (speaking of Janice).  I hope to keep this blog going regularly from here on out with loads of Madge witicisms and tons of my mistakes and triumphs so that my life may serve as an example of how to narrowly avoid ending up like Andy Dick.  Oh yes, stay tuned...