Friday, August 17, 2012

5th or 6th Grade? ...And Why?

Q: Your evil fairy godmother shows up and says, “Listen, missy, you gotta repeat 5th or 6th grade. You get to keep your current brain, but everything else goes in the wayback machine.” Which year do you choose, and why?


Me? Oh, I’m so glad you asked!

A: 5th grade. No question. Ms. Jones’ class. She was a fierce battleax of a 50 something teacher, who appeared to have been torn from a 1940s class photograph. I adored her. I must have known in my heart that being in her class was the closest I would ever come to realizing my lifelong dream of being an actual member of the Von Trapp Family.

She made us stand up straight and walk single file. (Loved It.) No talking. (Even Better.) On class picture day, we dressed per her instructions: coats and ties for the boys, dresses for the girls. She called us Mr. and Miss, and made us step out into the hallway (though she probably called it a corridor) if we needed to do something distasteful like cough or blow our noses.

Her favorite word – which she drilled into our heads at every opportunity – was DECORUM. We were to exhibit this decorum at ALL times or risk inciting her wrath. On one particular day, a boy I’ll call "Jimmy Wilson" did something to set her off, and before any of us were even aware of his transgression, she swooped down on him like a crazed screeching pterodactyl:


My entire urinary tract somehow reversed course at that moment, and for the rest of the day, I peed out of my eyeballs. True story.

OH the glorious terror! So energizing. In the face of her high expectations, I was given no choice but to succeed. Whereas, the laid back, cool, charismatic teachers that everyone loved (including me) were always the kiss of death for me. If they demanded nothing, then I delivered nothing. In spades.

And while I suppose I could go back to 6th grade with my current brain and achieve a fair degree of academic success, I would still have to sit in front of the punk-ass chump who would raise his hand at regular intervals and insist to the teacher that I had farted WHEN I HAD NOT.

I believe he sells insurance now.

And I hope that is punishment enough.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sometimes, kids are the teachers...

“Well, Sheridan, you’ll understand one of these days when you have a child.”

“No… Because I am not going to have any children.”


“Excuse me??? I’m sorry, for a second there it sounded like you don’t plan to make me a grandparent one day. Why would you not want to ever have a child?”

“Maawwwm… Because. I will have a nice home one day, and I don’t want some little person running around making messes the way I do. You have to go and work hard every day. Then you come home, and have to help me with my homework. Then you have to help me clean my room. And make me dinner, and by the time you get to eat, the food is all cold by then. And then you have to make sure I wash my hair real good. Then you have to help me make sure my teeth are brushed good. Then you also have to brush my hair after the bath, and I am always whining when you do it. And you have to wash all my clothes. And then you also have to use your money to buy me things I need. When all of that is over, you look like you are about to fall asleep. And even then, I ask if we can read a story, and you always say YES! IT’S CRAZY! You just don’t ever have any time to just… like… not DO anything. Because of all the things I need. That’s pretty much why. I don’t want to be that busy. But thank you! REALLY! Thank you! You are the best mom I could ever get.”

*wraps her skinny little arms around my neck and kisses
my forehead.*

She says all of this with an articulation, and tone of voice far beyond her 7 years. It’s strange really. When I was her age, I never even stopped to think about the small, daily sacrifices my mother made to make sure I was taken care of. I’m sure she would have loved to flop down into the recliner and watch Oprah, but she didn’t. And I must say, it never occurred to me that any of the myriad ways my life has changed since having Sheridan have been sacrifices, either.
Life changed. It was a shift in gears… People always say that having kids will change your life. And as scared as I was about how she’d change my life, and change me, and generally throw a wrench into everything – none of that mattered anymore. She did change everything; in fact, the shift into my new life was instantaneous, completely radical, and absolutely shocking in its totality. Entire rooms opened up that I didn’t even know were there. No, forget that – galaxies. Entire galaxies, lit with billions of stars. To be honest, I really can’t remember much of what I did before she came along. (You can draw your own conclusions as to the reason…)
She managed to teach me a lesson during our little conversation… The lesson was that I have not gone unappreciated and unnoticed. Sometimes, we feel like we don’t matter much. But when your small child can rattle off a bulleted list of things you do for them, on a daily basis, that you don’t even think about doing, it is quite the humbling experience! And you start to think, “Holy sh*t… Maybe I AM doing something right, after all.”

I do realize that every parent out there is biased toward their own kids… But… hoo-boy… My daughter really is a gift upon this earth. I don’t know a lot of other kids that give so freely asking nothing in return, and have the ability to just enjoy the feeling of performing a purely benevolent act and find enjoyment in simply knowing something they did made someone else happy.

I honestly can’t think of any way to be more proud of this girl!

(Wait, I was wrong: She’s also on the A honor roll! hee hee!)
So, for you, Sheridan:
Rescuer of baby bunnies:
Water Fountain helper to the Short of Stature: (Hi Penny!)

Pap-Pap's Little Martial Arts Enthusiast:

Lake Air Little League Football Cheerleader (Go Cardinals!):

She's F.B.I.! (Fry Bread Indian)

Loves the Girls Days Out:

She's still in love with our ex-weather man. (Sheridan says "Hi", Rudy!):

Lover of her best girl friends:

Proud of her Native background:

That's Sheridan for you. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Your Restaurant Tipping Practices???

Yahoo ran a piece called, Banker's Insulting Waitress Tip Incites Warfare Between The 1% And The 99%.

You can read about it here:

According to one little bit of info I found during a Google frenzy, more than 85% of us have left a lousy tip to punish waiters whose service wasn't up to snuff. I don't necessarily have a problem with that, though I personally won't tip less than 20%. That's my minimum, "man-you-were-having-an-off-day" tip.

I always leave 20% and round up. When I can leave more, I do.

Waiting tables is a HARD gig. It's stressful. It's exhausting. It's too often demeaning. Hunger tends to bring out the worst in people. TIP YOUR SERVERS PROPERLY.

Lately I've heard a lot of grumbling about the practice of tipping. Some people resent the hell out of restaurants for not paying their servers enough to live on, and there's an argument to be made there. But as long as servers get paid $3.00 an hour, I'm going to do my part--and then some--to make up for people like The Wealthy Banker in the story above.

Serenity NOW.

Despite the fact that I have not waited tables in about 13 years, OH MY GOSH HOLY CRAP HOW I WANT TO SPILL SOMETHING ON THIS MAN.

Something hot.


And red.


And then when he asks for extra napkins? I'll say, OH! I'M SO SORRY! WE ARE OUT OF NAPKINS! I can't believe it! Me! Spilling the last of the hot spicy red saucy sauce in your lap and not having a napkin to wipe it up with? Why, I bet you won't even leave me a decent tip now!

Oh wait.

That's right.




That wasn't very charitable of me.

I don't know why I let myself get so riled up about the acts of strangers. (Especially the ones that aren't directed at me.) I should just let it go. The man is clearly misinformed. Not all waiters can just go get a high-paying job if they want to. I assume that's what he means when he refers to "A Real Job."

If we made it the restaurant's responsibility to pay waiters more, the cost of our meals would increase substantially and then these jerks would complain about not being able to eat out anymore. I should just hit the IGNORE button and move on. WHY WHY WHY DOES MY COMPUTER NOT HAVE AN IGNORE BUTTON?

(Get on that, Microsoft.)

There's just something in the banker's tone. Something so ugly and angry and hateful and contrary to what life (in my humble opinion) is all about. Compassion, looking out for each other, being kind... Not acting like a festering ass boil to the people who serve you.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Question Of The Day

Every morning, when Sheridan and I are getting ready to head off to school and work, we normally watch the news in an attempt to stay abreast of the daily goings-on in the area. And one of the things Sher looks forward to is their Question Of The Day. Just a little daily trivia type segment. We never know the answer, but it's fun anyway.

"Alright, now it's time for our question of the day..."

"While most men have done this, approximately 10% have not... What is it?"

Me: "Hmmm... I'm going to say stop and ask for directions when they get lost. What do you think, Sher?"

Sheridan: *Cups her hands around her mouth and whispers* "S - E - X"

For the record, the correct answer was laundry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 Second Rule

Ever since that episode of Mythbusters came on where they tested the 5 second rule, I've used my sister as the authority on this. She used to work in a kitchen, so she's the expert; right?

So once in a while I'll text her with something stupid like,

"Toasted bagel... Cream cheese side up. 5 second rule?"

And she will say, "eat it."

And you know I do; it's a ruling.

Come to think of it... She's never told me to NOT eat something off the floor.

... Goddammit.

Bad News...

I usually listen to Bo and Jim during my morning commute to the office, because I still have yet to purchase a stereo that DOESN'T have a busted ass cd player. Anyway, they were busy rattling off their list of things people should know, but probably don't.

I found #8 especially alarming.

According to the American Cancer Society, if women sit more than six hours a day, we're increasing our chances of dying by 37 percent, despite whether or not we work out, compared with women who sit less than three hours a day.

God, this is horrible news! I woke up this morning foolishly thinking my chances of dying were a measly 100% ... and now? 137%??? It's even worse than I thought!

I need to get a new desk.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Voicemail Etiquette For Dummies

You will not start sputtering out run-on sentences at 90 mph, with no pauses while I frantically try to jot down any discernible piece of information that I can use to decipher who the heck you are and what you need.

OH of course you will! You enjoy imagining me hunched over my desk with a steno pad and pen hitting the repeat button every 3 seconds.


When you tell me your name, S L O W D O W N just a tad so that when I go into our records to search for you, I know whether to hunt for Adele LaVance, or Adela Vance.

Which brings me to my next point: You will calmly, and in a carefully controlled manner, recite your phone number, area code first… TWO TIMES, so that I can accurately transcribe it to my post-it.

… Oh who am I kidding?

No you won’t. You’ll yammer for 7 minutes before dashing through the number only one time so that I can’t possibly make heads or tails of it.

“Heeeeey Erin, How are you? (I never understood asking how someone is on a voicemail). Things are good here. We got some chickens… 4 big leghorns. Also, we got this cat, and it’s orange… He’s a pretty good mouser.. Our dog, Brutus, remember him? Well.. blah blah blah blah … boop boop boop boop.. wah wah wah wah wah wah… *7 minutes later* Well, I have that 200 dollars that I owe you. If you want to get it, call me back. If you call at about 10:30… I should be home. Well, actually… any time after 10:35… But if you wait until 11:00… that may be too late… Aaaaanyway… Call me back. I’m at, 2546??92??1.”


You see? Now I have to restart and go through that entire slow-ass boring message again to TRY to make sense of it.

I hate when people don’t have good phone number rhythm.

“You can call me at 254eight……..teen31.”

“DUDE I already wrote the 8 too close to the dash!”

Another thing some of you enjoy doing in a voicemail: SPELLING OUT YOUR ENTIRE EMAIL ADDRESS WITHOUT SAYING IT.

“Yeah, you can email the documents to me at, J-E-R-K-F-A-C-E-ampersat-E-M-A-I-L-dot-F-A-I-L.”

Extreme ID-10-T error.

Thanks for reading!


Erin Cinek. That’s E-R-I-N, not A-A-R-O-N. (But that’s another story. About an interview I once had with some corporate HR guy who kept applying Carmex with his middle finger in this hideous circular motion. And if I need to tell you what it reminded me of, then you are reading the wrong blog today, my friend.)