Monday, November 22, 2010

Ten reasons the hamster that lives in my house should cease to exist

1. It's a hamster.

2. It runs in a wheel. All night long. It doesn't have a metal wheel, but a plastic one attached to the side of its cage. You would think that might be better, but it's not. Instead of SQUEEEEK SQUEEKA SCREECH SQUEEEEK all night, you hear THUMP THUMP WHUMP THUMP THU-THUMP. All night.

3. It refuses to learn to do any tricks.

4. The guy who sat with me to "learn the company's computer system" but who I was really "training to replace me" at my old job gave me the hamster (from his own personal hamster stash I'm guessing). Brought it to me. At work. On the day I was fired.

My boss called me into his office and was all like "We don't need your services anymore" and I was all like "Okay. I'll just stop by my desk and get my hamster and be on my way."

5. It openly mocks my non-pet-lover status by being a pet.

6. I got it for the kids. It is nocturnal. The kids are not. (Yes, I was aware of this fact when I got it.)

7. It is a constant reminder of my decision-making skills. (see reason number 6)

8. When I take it out of its cage and hold it for the kids to pet/poke it, the thing shoves its rodent face so far forward it looks like its eyeballs are going to pop out of its head. That's just creepy. And I have no idea what the protocol would be if ever tiny eyeballs suddenly fell on my floor.

9. It bites me when I feed it. That's just bad form.

10. It has chewed nearly all the way through one of the bars on its cage. Metal bars. I fear animals that can both eat metal and hide in a shoe. The potential for some sort of horrifying attack/embarrassing death is simply too high for my comfort level.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A question possibly not worth this much thought

This weekend I walked into the bathroom after the youngest got done using it and immediately yelled for him.

"Get back in here and put the toilet seat down!" I was exasperated. I know I have said these instructions before. I know it's not a hard task to accomplish. To be fair, he is only five, but still....

He came wandering into the bathroom, drawn by my tone rather than the actual instructions I had given. He said "What?" and sounded just as exasperated as I had. "Put the seat down," I told him. He looked at me funny, but complied. And in that look I saw the thought that had hit my brain as I was repeating my command.


My only real answer could have been "Because I said so." Because seriously, why? Why do girls get to have everything all ready for us to (ahem) go? When did girls get so complacent that they cannot look before they sit? One wet derriere and I guarantee it will be lesson learned. And do we do this in other places- just sit all willy-nilly, never looking to see if there is something already parked in our potential butt-space or that will possibly hinder our enjoyment of the whole sitting experience? I know for a fact that at the park, or the movies, or hell, even on my own couch, I definitely check my landing zone.

The truth is that I have a hard time telling my kids to do things for the "I told you so" reason. Unless it's an emergency or dangerous situation. And I can't put a toilet seat in either of those categories. I have a hard time telling them to do things just because that's the way it's always been- some sort of weird tradition. And I wonder if seat-position injuries are really the epidemic we make it out to be.

The only accident I ever remember having happened when I was about five years old. I had woken up in the middle of the night and desperately needed a drink. So I wandered, jammied and sock-footed, into the bathroom and reached for the cup on the counter. And being the dinky person I am, couldn't reach. So I did the logical thing. I used the toilet seat for a step stool. Only the lid was up. And I was bleary-eyed and five. And so I slipped in. In my socks.  But I am almost 62.3% sure that the problem there had nothing to do with seat up or seat down, but more to do with the fact that five year old feet are smaller (in general) than the opening of the bowl. And I wasn't injured except for maybe my pride. Just really soggy.

Maybe it just boils down to simple politeness. A be-nice-to-ladies mentality. But honestly....if this is what chivalry has come to, kill it. Kill it, now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My best argument for why Ohio trumps California

Okay. So I am in the grocery store last week buying a stash of personal-use Halloween candy. I have the youngest Monkey with me, which means that I am spending about a bajillion dollars over my fun-sized budget. It also means that I have spent the entire trip to the store saying things like "don't touch that" and "you don't need a toy" and "quit poking me in the butt." On Repeat. To Infinity.

Needless to say, my conversational skills (and my nerves) are slightly frazzled.

So I get in line to check out.

I totally should have done the self checkout thing. There is some unwritten code in the self checkout part of the store. It goes a little like:

1. Customers shall not speak to one another. Not even if they have to walk in front of one another to grab a Coke from one of those mini-fridge things. Only mumbles and half-nods in the displaced person's general direction will be tolerated.
2. Customers will not acknowledge that fellow customers are purchasing actual items. Even if said items are awesomely awkward together or would possibly create the best binge eating session ever.

But I didn't. I went to a regular line and proceeded to occupy myself with arranging my candy bounty on the belt-thing and corralling my child. I was doing pretty good when I noticed a hand reverently caressing my bag of Kit Kats. It wasn't mine. Mine were occupied in a frantic search for that little card thingy that gives you three cents off your purchase. It wasn't the kid's. His were busy poking all of my body parts he could reach. I turned around and saw what could only be described as Mrs. Troll. What hair she had left on her head was stringy and probably hadn't been washed since her pet dinosaur died. She was wearing about three coats and a pair of sweatpants that were a Pollock painting of everything she had eaten in the past month. She had a tooth. I think.

I gave her what I thought was a scathing look, but what she thought was an invitation for conversation.

"I just moved to Ohio from California," she said. As if this explained her fondling behavior. "I haven't seen my brother in 25 years and he lives in Ohio so I decided to move here. I just had a hysterectomy and I needed a job."

This is the part where I am supposed to ignore her. I am supposed to turn to the cashier and pay and get the hell out of there. I made some grunting noise. Did the half-nod thing. A vague smile. And I tried. I swear I tried to just hand over my cash and leave. But there were questions swirling in my head. Like "Why is your estranged brother the person you turn to for job help?" and "Do they let you keep your uterus? You know. In a jar or something."

She is still talking as the cashier bags my stuff and I am vaguely listening and nodding. And then she says something that totally catches my attention.

"They don't sell Kit Kats in California. There are commercials for them, but they just don't sell them in stores."

NUH. UH. I cannot believe the cruelty of California. It is horrendous to taunt people with commercials of chocolaty-wafery goodness and then not provide. It is unconstitutional to allow people to think they can gain all forms of candy and then snatch away their dreams. California, I weep for thee.


There was nothing I could do at this point but attempt to ease this Troll's pain. I opened the Kit Kats and gave her one. I couldn't help it. It was my civic duty. And I'm all about that. But then I got the hell out of there before I had to possibly compliment her jarred organs. Cuz really, what do you say about a uterus?

*I have no idea what language that might be or if it is foreign-language grammatically correct. I don't care. You get the point.