April 20, 2010


I know for a FACT that the people who worked the night shift at the AM/PM in Rosendale knew I was stoned. I mean, who wasn’t stoned in the late 80’s, early 90’s? Oh…wait…you mean everyone wasn’t stoned? Wow….that would explain a lot.

My friends (who shall remain nameless) and I would religiously stop at the AM/PM, try to remain in control while pushing our paranoia down, and then lose it completely the moment we walked in the door. If that wasn’t a telltale sign, our droopy, half closed, blood shot eyes should have been. The final sign that we were high was the fact that we always bought a random array of crap. Doritos, Coke, Funny Bones, Starburst, a lighter, Hostess Donuts – chocolate, 3 Musketeers, a slice of pizza, Pop Rocks, Marlboro Light 100’s, Swedish Fish and gum. Oh, and this fuzzy pencil, please. Come on!

We’d then spend the next 20 minutes in the parking lot, Guns & Roses blaring, shoving all our munchies into our mouths at once and laughing the entire time.

Every moment of being stoned was fun. I’m not gonna lie. Everything was a good time. Everything caused raucous laughter. Everything tasted awesome. Everything was an adventure. Everything was the greatest idea. I know these stories are probably only funny to me but I don’t care. Those were probably some of the greatest times of my life.

Like when we were climbing out of the boat onto the dock and the dock collapsed. Or the time where we were sitting in the car, in the middle of the dark woods, listening to crazy scary stories and someone knocked on the car window. Or when we were chowing down at McDonalds, decided to smoke and caught the tray on fire. Or the time we went to 4 drive thrus one after the other. KFC for a biscuit, McDonalds for fries, Burger King for a burger and Dunkin Donuts for a donut.

The last makes total sense. Mickey D’s has the best fries, BK has the best burger. We were stoned but we knew what made sense and what tasted great!

Those were the days, my friend. I haven’t been stoned in…20 years. I wonder what would happen if I smoked a joint right now. I’d either piss myself from laughing hysterically or I’d fall asleep. Hmmm…who wants to get high and see what happens? Oh, wait, nevermind. I'm trying to find a new job and with a new job comes drug testing. Sigh.

I have no doubt that Amanda will try getting stoned at some point in her life. No doubt. I come from a long line of pot smokers so it’s pretty much hereditary. It doesn’t necessarily scare me that she will try. I have lived life. I know how it goes. She’ll try smoking weed, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, having sex, kissing a girl. These are all things that happen to most of us growing up. Experimenting. It’s what we do to become who we are.

What does scare me is thinking back to the insane amount of shit I did while ‘experimenting’. I am lucky to be alive and I say that in all honesty. I didn’t really have any parental guidance and was free to go as I pleased. Always alone, always taking care of myself. At least, if nothing else, Amanda has more than that. Much more. She won’t be a wild child like I was. But, I know she’s still going to try. The best thing I can do is continue to be open & honest in our relationship. Tell her the dangers and tell her the fun. I won’t ever be a hypocrite. Ever.

I can’t imagine Amanda doing half the dangerous, stupid, irresponsible things that I did though. I truly hope she doesn’t. I hope that when she tries these things, she will be someplace safe. I hope that she will be with people she trusts and loves. That is the one thing I did have. Still have. Will always have. I was with my true friends and even though we were behaving very poorly, I knew that any of these people would have my back. Even if they tripped, fell and giggled the entire time they were trying to reach my back.

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the US. It’s illegal. Yes, kids, you’re breaking the law while getting high. Sorry to burst your bubble. It might be legal soon though, if you have cancer or some other awful medical problem. Being stoned at that point would be a blessing, I say.

Long term marijuana use can lead to addiction. It can also lead to experimentation & addiction to more hard core drugs, like cocaine & heroine. Smoking weed is smoking. Your lungs are being abused…notice the hacking & coughing when inhaling? Yea…can you say carcinogens?

In 2001 the percentage of 12th graders who smoked weed was 43%. 10th graders? 40%, Wanna try 8th graders? 20% . That’s right, people. We are doobie smokers. 300 million worldwide, 28 million in the US. From Holland’s coffee shops to Oakland’s Cannabis College. How do we become doobie smokers? Our peers. Those friends of your son or daughter. Yay! How’s that for a reality slap? Better be prepared, parents.

Better be prepared. Oh, and make sure your stash is hidden well. Not like my grandfather who hid his in my maxi pad box. Umm....ok? Stoned when you stashed, Pops? teehee


April 14, 2010

What's All The Hullabaloo?

Amanda thinks she belongs in the 1920’s. I’m not sure if it’s because of the fashion, the music or that the role women played began changing. Perhaps it’s because of the Prohibition. Maybe she dumps Mommy’s giggle water down the sink when I’m not looking. Who knows?

The other day she was telling me about the slang used in the 20’s. Her choice example was ‘Struggle Buggy’. Hmm…ok….I had to ask what it meant. Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t around in the 20’s. She told me that it’s the back seat of a car. Ahem. Wonderful. I’m so glad that my 1920’s child chose that lost word to incorporate back into conversation. I mean, she couldn’t have picked ‘Moxie’? Or the ‘Cat’s Meow’? ‘Swanky’ even? Aye yi yi.

Well, of course, I started thinking about lost words and phrases. Because, let’s be honest, isn’t it much cooler to say struggle buggy than back seat? Yea, you know it is. There are some really cool yet obscure words that are now obsolete. Like…betwixt. How can you not smile saying betwixt? Another is methinks. I use this one a lot, again, because it makes me smile. Haberdashery is fun. Nary, whilst, hooligans and comeuppance are all fun ones that I use on occasion. I wonder what makes a word go extinct, especially fun ones. I should find a list and reintroduce a select few back into society. That's it. That’s my new goal starting today.

This week the word is: Hullabaloo. It’s a noun meaning uproar, disturbance, loud and clamorous noise. Check Jane at 2:07.

There will be tons of hullabaloo in my life over the next few weeks. This weekend is my last chance to finish up wedding and prom shopping. Next weekend is the wedding, the weekend after is Disneyland and the weekend after that is prom. Yawn. I’m already exhausted.

Yes, yes, we are going to Disneyland again. I can hear the collective groan now. ‘You guys are ALWAYS at Disney!’ Hey, that’s what you do when you have an Annual Pass and live 4 hours away. Disney is our break. Our mini vacay. Our escape from Vegas. We have specific rules. Once we hit state line, there is no complaining, no talking about work, no negativity, no bitching, nothing bad…only happy. I wish this rule could apply to every day life but I just can’t seem to make it work. So, we step outside of our lives of work, school and every day drama. It’s feels wonderful and it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had.

That’s why it’s sad that this may be our last trip. Our Annual Passes expire on May 22nd. I won’t be renewing them again this year simply because I am holding true to my plan (Seattle). Once my plan (Seattle) goes into effect, I won’t be able to drive 4 hours to Disney. When my plan (Seattle) comes to fruition, I’ll have a plethora of adventures at my fingertips. The moment my plan (Seattle) becomes a reality, I will be happy and won’t have to seek it out constantly. It would be a waste of money for me to buy 2 Annual Passes and only be able to use them once before my plan (Seattle) takes off.

See what I’m doing here? teehee

I’m letting Amanda bring her friend, Breanna, for this final trip. That should make it super fun for her. She’s stressed, too, and I know this. Poor kid busts her arse for school and she works at Retro every Saturday. So, do the math. She really only has Sunday to relax and she never does. She’s too busy doing homework. I have to say, that is one part of being a kid that I do not miss. Psh.


April 7, 2010

Not Laid.....Off.

I should be happy. Shouldn’t I? For over a month I have known that my position was going to be eliminated. Today, I found it was. However, the end result was in no way, shape or form what I had envisioned.

Things I knew for certain were that I was doomed. Like I said, I knew my position was on the chopping block. That I would be given the option of working until June or leaving immediately with pay & benefits until June. Der. I was leaving immediately. Who would stay? That’s just retarded. I also knew that I would be handed a pink slip anywhere between the 7th and 15th.

So, I made plans. I’m a planner. It’s what I do. I went to visit Seattle, my destination of choice. I applied to several jobs in the area. I started packing my desk and putting my computer files on disk. I researched schools, storage, homes, and neighborhoods. I knew what I was going to do with my house. I knew that I had 2 months to pack, make travel arrangements, buy health insurance, get a job and say my goodbyes. I let everyone know that I had a plan but I was just waiting for confirmation. Even my ex-husband knew the plan and was ok with my moving our daughter out of state. I had all of my ducks in a row, sans a couple of ducks. A couple of rogue ducks.

My only concerns were having health insurance and getting rid of my house in this market. I was still trying to wrap my brain around messing up my credit for a short sale or foreclosure. But those concerns weren’t enough to dull the idea that I was finally, FINALLY getting out of Las Vegas! I was headed to greener pastures, literally! I was nervous and scared but I was ready to partake in ‘K & A’s Big Adventure’. I knew that I was going to struggle a bit but I also knew that I would be ok. In fact, even better.

Today was doomsday for 204 employees and only 15 were reassigned. I got the call at about 10:55a. I was calm and ready to go. I walked in to where my Supervisor and an HR rep sat. I shook hands, sat down and said with a grin ‘I was waiting for you.’ I was told my position was being eliminated. I apologized for not being more emotional but that I had known and was ok with the decision. I was then told that I was being reassigned to another department. Whoa. I heard brakes screeching, it was then that I started shaking and my heartbeat increased. I said ‘Excuse me?’ I was then walked through the steps for reassignment based on their management rights.

15 out of 204. I wish I were that lucky at Megabucks. I walked away in shock knowing that someone would be out of a job because of me. That I had a plan and maybe she didn’t. I immediately had survivor guilt. I watched my plan slip into the background, my dream fade slightly, my vision paused. I should be happy because my salary remains the same. My title, benefits, vacation and retirement , stay the same. Only my duties, co-workers and boss would be different. Those were all wonderful things. How dare I be ambivalent when the lives of 204 employees have just been rocked? Hard. By no fault of their own.

So, here I sit riddled with guilt, regret, relief, gratefulness, sadness and joy. I keep trying to tell myself that the Universe just isn’t ready for me to go down that path yet. Yet. That maybe that path will beckon when the market is better, when I have a job to go to, when all of my ducks are in a row. Every single one of them.

In the meantime, I’ll just be hopeful that this new position will be a better fit for me. Maybe I won’t loathe coming to work every morning or try to think of reasons to call in sick every time my alarm goes off. That everything will be ok, that the people will be human and that I will learn new things. I have to think of this as an opportunity not as another rock in my path.

This, perhaps, is the prelude to ‘K & A’s Big Adventure’ and that's just ducky.


April 6, 2010

'K & A's Big Adventure'

I was thinking about my last post on Naturally Sweet and realized that I spend most of my life waiting for something. Waiting to see a doctor, for cawfee, waiting at traffic lights, for apologies, waiting on a friend, for the weekend, for other people, for my next vacation, for a flight, for 6pm, waiting for dinner to be ready, waiting for Mr. Right....oh, wait...I married Mr. Right and it was a colossal disaster. Umm...waiting for Mr. Maybe?

We must spend years of our lives simply waiting. What's even more sad than that is how much time we spend working. With all the waiting and working, I'm surprised anyone is living. Hmmm...something to ponder, ey?

Check out this chart on the use of time in an average work day. Pretty interesting. For more statistics, check out BLS.

So, I usually entertain myself while waiting. The entertainment usually varies between my blueberry, the internet, people watching...anything really because my mind is so very random. For example, Amanda & I were waiting in the airport. I was people watching because my phone was dying. I realized that I make up names for people. Complete strangers. I thought I only made up nicknames for people I know but nope. I do it for strangers, too. Sometimes they are very clever, like 'Kryptonite' or 'The Lollipop Guild'. Sometimes they are not, like 'Neck Beard' or 'Fatty'.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who does this. I Give Strangers Nicknames That is awesomely funny! I may have to join! Amanda, on the other hand, was making up songs. All of the sudden she burst out in song about the suitcases crashing into each other on the carousel. It was so hysterical that both of us just burst out laughing at the baggage claim. I wish I could remember the words to her little ditty because I'd post it and laugh all over again.

Seattle was fantastic, what we saw of it. My cousin told me that we should have stayed longer and she was right. It was beautiful, cool, exciting. I just wish I had more time to explore. I am SO ready to get out of Las Vegas, though. I always have been. But I am also scared, nervous and stressed to leave. I guess that's normal since the most stressful life events are moving, losing your job and divorce. I'm ranking 2 out of 3. Wooo! Did you know the fear of moving actually has a name! It's called Tropophobia. Huh. Well, I don't know that my fear ranks a proper name. I'm just worried. Moving is scary. Not actually moving...der!...but relocating. The unfamiliar, the new, packing, unpacking, finding a place to live, friends, schools, Amanda. Sigh. I know it's stressful for her, too. We have been trying to look at everything as an adventure. I mean, like Helen Keller said 'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.'

Henceforth, this topic shall be called 'K & A's Big Adventure'. We're just like Pee Wee, but better because we don't masturbate in theaters. :D

'K & A's Big Adventure' is just beginning but has actually been taking root for quite some time. I had always planned on leaving Las Vegas as soon as Amanda graduated high school. Amanda has always planned on leaving for college. That's still the plan unless life dictates otherwise. The City has declared it will lay off 203 positions by June 18th. My position is on the list. If I happen to squeeze by unnoticed this round, another lay off round will directly follow where I probably won't be so lucky.

Is it luck, though, really? I am not happy where I am. I do not feel safe or valued where I am. My potential and skills are certainly not being utilized. They never were. I don't know that I want to work in a organization that would choose to lay off people who have children, diseases, homes, & bills rather than taking alternative steps to help with their budget problem. Notice I say 'their' problem. I did not put them into debt. I just accepted a job offer. I firmly believe that they could have charged a portion for benefits, put mandatory furloughs on the board, stopped buying lunches, stopped attending conferences, cut their salary. Gasp! Cut their salary?!?! Heaven forbid.

But, I don't want this to turn into an embittered post about the selfishness and inhumanity of some people. No. Let's go back to 'Is it luck, though, really?' It may be luck that I do get laid off. The Universe may see something that I do not. Like, my wish of leaving granted. A new, fresh, exciting start on life. Beautiful and amazing things on the horizon. Doing something and being somewhere I love. I think we get so stuck in a rut doing the same things day after day after day that we forget how to truly live. I don't want to forget.

Oh, by the way, this goes out to the guy who sat next to me at the airport nomming on a chicken salad plate. You shall forever be known as 'Nose Breather'.