Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Surrender your uterus

It's scary to think of how much feces, urine, boogers, slobber and any other imaginable bodily fluid I've accidentally ingested in Violet's lifetime.  I'm a diligent hand washer, but Violet not so much.  She's the type to pee and wipe then come out and dunk her whole hand in my cereal before I get the chance to remind her to wash her hands.  Or scratch her buttcrack then tickle my face (true story).

Young children are offensive to all five senses.  They constantly have that gross overly-sweet fruity sugar smell.  On a volume scale of 1-10 they operate exclusively on levels 6-11.  It's painful to watch them try to sit still anywhere because you just want to yell "STOP FUCKING WAVING YOUR ARMS ARBITRARILY OR I'LL BREAK THEM" but you can't because you'll get investigated (probably rightfully so anyway).  Their hands are always either sticky, drooly, gooey or gritty.  And if god forbid a finger makes it into your mouth, you're going to taste something traumatizing.

And I know it's not my children only dammit.  Your kids are just as disgusting and you don't have to admit it out loud, but we all know they are.

That said, why do I keep spitting these things out?  I never liked babies when I was younger.  I never saw the appeal of just looking at something laying there or changing diapers or listening to that thing wailing for something to suck on.  Little kids were okay on the playground where I expected to get dirty anyway, but any other place and you could count me out from interacting with those things.

Somehow Violet managed to reset that attitude for me though.  She made me really appreciated taking care of a tiny, helpless human no matter how many times she pooped on the floor or if she asked "Do we have bread?" thirty times in a row.

Because you know I love lists so much, here's the top 5 reasons to go against any logical thought in your brain and make (or adopt!) babies tonight!

1. Vanity.  You know what's better than Me?  Lots of Me's!  Having children is the ultimate practice in narcissism.  You create these little people and everyone starts gooing and gahing over how damn good looking they are and how they look just like you, and all you can say "Thanks!" but what you're thinking is "You're right, I am pretty sexy."  And not only do you have your little clones walking around looking like your sexy self, but they're making everyone laugh with that sense of humor you gave them and they're amazing everyone with their badass drum beats they inherited from you.

2. Reliving your childhood.  At work the other day I was saying something like, "I need to buy that Creepy Crawlers oven... for Violet."  Violet doesn't really give a damn about creepy crawlers, but I did!  And I want to again!  I'm forever doing or buying things just because I loved them as a kid, like "rescuing" Violet from certain doom when she gets "stuck" at the top of the tube play place, or riding a model train because "Violet" is into trains, or demonstrating how to properly Sit'n'Spin.

3. Skipping and other previously socially unacceptable things.  One could argue you could still do all those fun things to relive your childhood even without kids, but one could also expect double takes from sane adults and occasionally a citation.  But if you've got a kid with you, you can slide that slide and swing that swing, and talk to yourself in public, and act way more goofy than any respectable adult should.  It's sad really, but that's how it is.

If only he was straddling a child, this wouldn't be so weird.  Ok, maybe kids don't make everything socially acceptable.

4. The chance to shove it in your parents' faces.  My brother always tells the story about how my dad pushed him down an escalator when he was a kid, and to my knowledge my brother never pushed any of his kids down an escalator.  Yet.  When you have kids of your own, you think about all those traumatizing things your parents did to you as a kid, and you swear you'll never do them to your kids, and then when you don't you get to brag about how you're so much better at parenting than your parents and you don't know how you survived your childhood.  Meanwhile, you're so busy over-compensating for the things your parents screwed up that you end up screwing your own kids over in a completely different way, but that's beside the point.

5. Grow a non-dickhead.  Or hell, grow a dickhead if you want!  But hopefully not.  The absolute best part about child rearing is that you get a tiny part in shaping the world of tomorrow.  So not only can you fix what your parents screwed up, but you can attempt to fix the things the rest of society has screwed up.  Bullying is a big issue right now - hate it?  Teach your kids that.  Racism - hate it?  Teach your kids.  Sexism - hate it?  Teach your kids.  Standing up for what's right - love it?  Treating everyone with love and respect - having an open mind - teenage mutant ninja turtles - love them?  Teach your kids!  The best you can.  It's an important job, and a fun one!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I suck at Christmas.

This morning Joe woke up before everyone else and asked me if he needed to go get eggs so we could bake cookies for everyone's Christmas "gift".  Yeah, we make our presents on Christmas morning, problem?

So then I was up and sitting in the living room and for like 5 minutes I was fighting the urge to wake the kids up to open their presents.  I ultimately decided against it since A) Joe wasn't home and B) seriously, why would I wake them up?!

I'm not even sure what I was so excited about anyway.  I really dropped the ball on Christmas this year.  I mean, really.

My tree is just barely decorated with some $2 mini-ornaments I just bought Friday.  I never did bring up the box of decorations from the basement.  I did manage to make 5 whole paper snowflakes though. 

I thought I had spent too much money on presents for the girls, but when I went to gather everything yesterday to wrap it, I found that they barely had anything.  It's not really a big deal that they get a lot of presents from us or anything, but I had to pull things out of their stockings to wrap up so that they'd have something to unwrap. 

I have presents hidden in places still that I couldn't find... because I was too overwhelmed with Violet's birthday and all my failings to do a good rescue search.  If I looked for 5 minutes I could probably find them.

I made the girls' head bows today.  Three hours before we leave for dinner.

I printed out pictures for the grandparents and picked out the most god awfully off center picture I could find.

I can't turn my Bitch button off this morning even though I feel bad.

Oh well, at least the kids are young and won't remember how much I sucked this Christmas!  Must redeem myself next year.  Maybe we'll even put lights up on the house!

Merry Crustmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Violet's Eve!

Tomorrow Violet turns THREE. 

I faintly remember being 3.  Twenty three years ago.

I am SO OLD.

But anyway.  My gut reaction when I saw the PREGNANT on the piss stick was laughter and disbelief.  Three+ years later, she still has that effect on me! 

The kid has a helluva sense of humor and laughs at everything!  And she may or may not have inherited her parents' delight for all things inappropriate.  If you visit my house for more than a few minutes, you will frequently hear her running around saying things "*sniff sniff* smells like penis" and singing "like a butter poopyyyy (life is but a poopy, from Row Row Your Boat)".  I swear I don't teach her these things.

Violet is also a total artsy fartsy kid.  She's got rhythm like a step squad and can keep a beat on the drums at least as well as Meg White.  Her real talent is drawing though!  She drew her first smiley face before most kids her age were even drawing circles, and now she likes to draw family portraits and beach scenes.  Brag time!
She went through a phase of leaving Leela out.  And ripping her drawings.

Daddy is big and hairy.  How accurate!

People on a beach, and that looks like mountains in the background to me! 

A bear!  Which she drew upside down!  Yay, dyslexia!

I'm not positive what this is but I know for sure I like it.

One of many tattooes she's given herself.  This caterpillar was actually kinda cool though, I thought.

This is a tree but I turned it sideways because it looks like a penis, heh.

And of course she's the most adorable little girl to ever live!

Typical Violet face, ink and all.

Violet's current hobbies also include singing somewhat on key, hugging my leg and saying "I love you too" first, mixing up "Mommy" and "Daddy" and calling us "Dammy" and "Moddy", pushing her baby sister then hugging and kissing her immediately after to get out of time out, and saying things over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and being neurotic as shit about everything.

I saw an old friend today that I had only seen once since high school at some club or something.  I told him "I don't get to do fun stuff like that anymore" but immediately after I said that I thought "Shit, I get to go down the slide at the zoo though!  And go to bounce houses!  And 'help Violet get unstuck in the McDonald's playplace'! And visit the swings on a regular basis!"  Yep.  Making Violet certainly changed me and the way I have fun, but she's actually pretty damn awesome and I wouldn't trade her for all the nights out in time.

Happy birthday baby girl!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My children will look at all this Christmas shit whether they like it or not

The cool thing about having kids is I get to drag them to do all the things I loved doing as a kid and force them to like it too.

Every time we pass a Christmas light display, I yell out to Violet, LOOKVIOLETCHRISTMASLIGHTS!  It didn't take long before she was the one yelling WOOKCHRISTMASWIGHTSMOM!

Last night we went to my favoritest display on 34th Street and I died of excitement a few times.  It was Baltimoriffic with Boh and crabs everywhere, as expected.  Also crowded as balls, as expected.

Baltimore is a buncha drunks.

And shit-eaters.

Jeebus Bot v2.0

This is a mini-train garden under someone's porch!  OMG!

Another fun sight in Baltimore this holiday season was the Procession of the Santas.  I still have no idea what this was about, but we apparently were in the right place at the right time to see it and it just happened to simultaneously coincide with my longest orgasm ever.  Mmmm, men in suits.  No, the type of suit does not matter.


A new possible tradition for us this year was taking really shitty quality pictures apparently.  Here's the worst one yet!

Washingtion Monument FIREWORKS.  In DECEMBER.  AH!

On our schedule for the rest of this week are TRAIN GARDENS!  The two absolute best around are in Dundalk and Towson.  Towson's display is free if you can resist the food court pizza that you walk by to get to the trains, and Santa is right upstairs for a little lap-sitting if you so please.   Children are welcome to sit on his lap too.  Dundalk has a required $1 "donation" for entry (so very worth it though!), and you can stop in to check out the fire trucks while you're there too.  Last year Violet was really into "firewoowoos" and couldn't wait to sit in it.  Once we got there though, she changed her mind.  I like to think she was afraid the truck would transform and walk off to kick some Decepticon ass while she was in it.  But more likely she's just a chickenshit.

OH!  Must make cookies in the next 4 days also.  And wrap presents.  And buy presents to wrap.  Yeah, that's probably important to do.

Leela is not amused by Christmas shenanigans.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shark Week

PMS Day 1:  Make chocolate "chip" cookies.  Eat half batch of raw dough.  Complain about them not being good.

PMS Day 2:  Send evil bitch message to husband concluded with the sentence "Fuck you all," referring to himself and his two innocent daughters.

PMS Day 3:  Bitch out co-workers before half of them even clock in, telling them all to "mind your own damn business for fuck's sake" and "stop being such a nosey fuck" and "yeah I do do what I want" (ha,  doodoo).  Eat cheese popcorn and donut for breakfast.

To say the least, having lady parts is an adventure.

Me at Costco at 2am.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chocolate "chip" cookies

I have just not been in the mood to write or think or type lately, but I wanted to update anyway so my blog wouldn't think I had abandoned it and wouldn't go looking for someone else special to stroke its keys.

So, quick PSA. 

Chocolate "chip" cookies, like with actual potato chips.  Sounds amazing, right?  Sweet, sexy, gooey chocolate morsels swimming inside all that crunch, salty, chippy goodness?  Like dipping your french fries in your milk shake only without all the grease and the jaw freeze?  (I can't be the only one who does that.)

I could barely taste the difference.  I tried Pringle and Ruffles, and neither one really did anything special for me except it was pretty satisfying crushing all those chips in sandwich bags.  I pretended I was a giant smooshing a tiny chip village. 

Oh yeah, so PSA:  Don't waste your time.  But if you like wasting your time and also like doing things to spite me, here's the recipe.

Hey baby, next time let ME know when you want a little morsel in your mouth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's the deal with government assistance?

I know about as much about government assistance programs as I know about the logistics of squid sex, but something was brought to my attention the other day and I feel the need to make an uneducated rant about it.
My friend at work was telling me about the house her sister rents.  It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a basement and a fireplace.  It's located within walking distance to freakin Target and Kohl's and Food Lion, and 5 miles to the highway.  Monthly rent is $1400.

For comparison, in Baltimore County, the $1400 townhome is in an okay/up-and-coming area, or you can rent a fully renovated 2 bedroom apartment in a really nice area, or you can rent a whole single home with a yard and a few abandoned cars and kittens in a shitty area.

Section 8 gives you something like $1200 a month toward rent.  $1200.  That's a nice mid-sized apartment in a nice area, a really decent townhouse in a decent area, or a house with room to ride your Big Wheels in a shitty area.  Or you can pay more on top of that $1200 to live in an amazing house or in an amazing area.

The part that bothers me is the part where someone who, for whatever reason, can't support himself is living in a sweet house with The Works for free or damn near next to it while someone like myself, who is not far above the income eligibility for government assistance, is living in an unfinished, leaky house and no money to even put up some walls in our useless upstairs bedroom.

Now, I'm aware that I made the choice to buy this house instead of renting an apartment in an even cheaper area and saving a few hundred dollars a month (if I was lucky).  And I also don't want anyone who needs assistance to have to live in unsafe conditions.  But it seems to me that assistance programs shouldn't give one a lifestyle superior to that of someone barely supporting herself.  Otherwise, where's the incentive to move up in the world and get off assistance?

It's like someone is trying to make their own ice cream, but they don't have any cream.  So then someone comes up and is like "Hey, I see you could use some cream!  How about I give you this whole freezer full of Ben & Jerry's Everything But The instead?  I'll keep giving it to you every day, but only until you can get some cream.  Then you'll have to go back to making your own plain vanilla ice cream."

Fuck vanilla that I have to work for, I want free, delicious Everything But The in me.  (I almost went with Chubby Hubby instead because it would have sounded sooo much funnier, but Everything But The is actually relevant *sob*).

So then the other problem is people figure out how awesome Ben & Jerry's is, and they figure, "I give my fair share of money to the grocery store every 2 weeks, I'm entitled to some of that Ben & Jerry's!"  And they start lying about their income to the government agency people.  I know this because more times than I can remember, if I've been complaining about being poor, I've had people ask me, "Why don't you just lie and say you're single and then only use your income?"

First, I don't even fucking understand how this is possible.  I forgot to pay my AMEX for a few months and it eventually went to collections.  I'm phone-anxious so I ignored all the calls, so they tracked down and called my different-last-named sister in Bumfuck, Montana.  When they finally got a hold of me, without telling them one single bit of information (not even my goddam name, I swear), they knew exactly who I was and where I lived, where I work and how much I make bi-weekly, what bank I use, and all sorts of other creepy mofo information.  You mean to tell me this collection agency knew all that about me, and whenever I'm on a new website it has ads for Baltimore-specific things waiting for me, and the US Army could find Saddam Hussein in a fucking hole in the middle of the dessert, but the welfare line can't take 5 minutes to confirm residency and marital status and income?  Seriously??

Second, have people no pride?  We have at times gotten pretty desperate for money, and I have indeed considered faking a separation with Joe so that I'd be eligible for food stamps.  But then I'd think about how Joe was a smoker, and how we have cable and internet, and I had an iPhone, and all sorts of other insignificant things that add up, and how there are people who are living in legitimate poverty and aren't eating dinner just so their kids won't go hungry, and how I'd feel really guilty taking money that should be going to them.  I just don't get the sense of entitlement people have.  Instead of keeping up with a lifestyle we couldn't afford, Joe ditched the cigarettes (side note: FINALLY!  GO JOE!), I ditched the smart phone, and soon we may ditch cable (but never my beloved internet) and one of our cars.  I can't be dishonest and take government hand outs when that money could be feeding another child or buying a school a textbook.

Anyway, like I said, I don't know how it all works.  Maybe $1200 for housing is a fair amount and I was just living in seriously underpriced rental units my whole renter life.  Probably the part I'm more annoyed by is that people so openly work the system with no qualms about it.  Even more likely, I'm just jealous of that dirt cheap, sweet ass three bathroom house (all the potty trained people in my family could be pooping simultaneously!).

Still, something is wrong when it is not at all difficult to cheat the government out of a significant monthly check.  Or worse, when the government apparently doesn't really give a fuck who they're giving money to or for what (because I noticed the crab shack down the road takes food stamps... if they start giving out gas too, Joe and I are getting "divorced").

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to remove a live mouse from a sticky trip

Tonight we caught a mouse squeaking around our kitchen trash can.

Joe asked if we could keep him as a pet. I said shit no.

Then he suggested we kill him and I started crying and saying "That's somebody's mother!"... or father.  I did not comfirm mouse genitalia type.

Then I released him into a nearby cemetary and giggled at the irony of him almost drowning in vegetable oil 5 minutes prior (note: vegetable oil will lube up mouse fur and destickitize a trap enough for the little guy to wiggle free)(also note: use a spoon or the cap to pour it in, lest you risk drowning him and having that permanent mark on your conscience forever)(also note again: put him in a storage bag or disposable container first because that oily little fucker will never stick to anything ever again after this).

We're dysfuntional people.

This reminds me of another little critter I met once (albeit too late).

RIP Bird Turner and Tina Tamper

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Things to teach my daughters

I was an oopsy baby.

Or a one-third-life crisis.

I could be wrong, my parents haven't ever really hinted at the fact, but my brother is 11 years older than me and my sister is 8 years older than me, so yeah.  I'm pretty sure I wasn't planned, or I was just a last minute thing.

Hey, you feel like making a baby today?  Sure!

As a result, while my brother and sister got cool vacations and fun times at home with mom, I got two full-time working parents and crying at the door when my mom went to night school and playing in my babysitter's creepy ass basement and lots of carry out dinners. 

I'm not bitter or anything!

Ok, really I'm not.  Mine wasn't an extraordinary childhood, but nothing particularly traumatic happened to me (except I swear I accidentally saw my grandmother's boobs once and she was missing a nipple.  Part of me hopes I'm making that up, but another part of me hopes I'm not because what kind of sicko makes up seeing her grandmother's deformed boobs??)


What I am bitter about is that it seems my mom sort of phoned in the guiding-your-daughter-into-womanhood thing.  I don't totally blame her.   As long as I can remember, she was always working a lot, and going to school as well when I was young.  And I'm not exactly an easy person to talk to.  I'm very aware I come off as majorly douchey to most people but really I'm just tragically shy and awkward and my brain just processes human encounters in a strange way.  Sometimes I can't believe people even talk to me a second time.

Anyway.  Mom was busy, I was weird, and I feel like our incompatible existence caused me to miss out on a few basic but essential lessons, and the further I get into "adulthood", the more I'm finding out how clueless I am.

Here's some things I want my girls to learn before I kick them out of my house:

How to feed yourself.   I remember once, before Violet was born, I tried to grill frozen fish fillets.  Like, while they were still frozen.  I still don't have a clue what Joe and I ate before I got pregnant because I know I wasn't successful with a single homemade meal and had no real desire to figure it out either.  Three years later, I still screw up at least one meal a week over something dumb. 

I feel like if I give my girls a basic understanding of thawing and baking or grilling meat, chopping vegetables, and maybe one good casserole and one good sauce, they should be good to go and can figure out the rest on their own.
Baseboards need to be cleaned.  I am half ashamed to admit this, but I didn't even realize baseboards could get dirty until I lived in my third apartment at the age of 23, during my second year of living there.  I was cleaning up around the high chair and caught a glimpse of a furry baseboard.  I was pretty sure it wasn't supposed to be like that, so I wiped it down and history was made - my first time cleaning a baseboard.  I wasn't given chores during my 19 years at home so I never had any reason to think about how things got clean.

I'm still working on learning all there is to housekeeping, but hopefully the girls will know better than I did that cleaning isn't finished after you clear your floor of all the piles of clothes and junk.
How to keep pots and pans clean.  And how to respect all of your eating, cooking, cleaning and living utensils and appliances to extend their time with you.

I'm still clueless on this one too.  And to make matters worse, I have Joe around, who is even worse about taking care of things.   Good thing I've got at least 15 years to figure this out though, right?

Something besides down or a ponytail.  In my mom's defense, I've never been a girly girl.  I was never interested in gettin my hair did or cute clothes or wearing any make up, so there really wasn't any opportunity to teach me these things.  These days though, I really wish I did have a little knowledge of these things, because sometimes I wouldn't mind looking pretty but I just don't know how to do it.  I'm afraid people would judge me for being presentable... how weird is that?

I want my girls to be confident with how they look, with or without make up and a fancy up-do, and I don't want them to be afraid to do whatever it is that would make them feel beautiful and feminine.  If the only time they see a braid in their life is during a MommyVioletLeela slumber party, then so be it, but at
least they'll have that information for later if they ever want to use it.

Imagine Daria teaching two girls to be girly and you'll understand my problem.

Ok, pause.  This list is sounding a little archaic.  Cook this, clean that, suck in your tummy, make me a sammich.  I mean, I would like the girls to grow up to make me grandbabies and be stay-at-home moms to them, but I'd be perfectly ok with them being cat ladies or business wimminz too.  And in any case, they need to keep a clean presentable body in a clean environment right?  You can't keep an office organized if you can't keep yourself organized.  And no one's going to hire you with Hermione hair.  Anyway, back to the list.

Men are not demons.  My parents did not have the most fantastic relationship when I was young, and my mom may have unintentionally slipped in a few less than flattering remarks about my dad and men in general.  And I may have watched a lot of Lifetime movies that elaborated on that subtle message and then beat it to a pulp and then injected itself directly into my cerebral membrane.  And if you watch the news for two minutes today you'll probably hear "Men are dangerous rapist murderers!  And they eat babies!  All from their couch" quite a few times.

So that's yet another thing I can work on!  Nothing but positive words about Dad when the girls are around.  I'll just wait to call him a dumbass after they go to bed! 

How to drive a stick.   Even if only to impress their father.  Or some hottie.  Because it will impress them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Christmas Miracle

Today, after being pee trained for months, Violet finally went on the shitter!  It was the most glorious poop I've ever seen in my life!  

Today is also Joe's birthday.  Maybe she's just been waiting for this opportunity to give him the best and most appropriate gift ever.

Whatever the reason, I don't care.   I want to shout it from the rooftops.


Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm back from my monthly hiatus with a random memory. Also, Happy Thankstaking.

When my grandfather died, I was given the task of taking his bikes to donate to Good Will.

I was a senior in high school at the time, working a shithole mall job making something like $5.12 an hour (I also will never enjoy Christmas music again thanks to that job).  So I didn't have much money of my own, but I also hated asking my parents for money because I'm too proud sometimes.  Needless to say, I became a bit of a second-hand aficionado, and was not in the least impressed by my local Good Will.

I didn't need the bikes myself and didn't know of anyone who did, and Craigslist wasn't around yet to my knowledge, so I gave up and headed to my grandfather's house to pick the bikes up for donation.

But wait!  On my way there, a wild homeless man appeared!  (Let's name him Pojo.)

He looked tired and limpy, and his boots looked well-traveled.  I was giddy just thinking about how excited he'd be to have one of these bikes.  And maybe he had some hobo homies he could give the other two bikes to!

I pulled over to him and asked him, "Hey, would you by chance need a bike or three?  I was gonna take them to Good Will but I'd rather give them directly to someone who needs them."

     Pojo:  (He was old and had that permanent grump face that old people tend to have)  Umm. (He was sort of panting.) Yeah, sure, I'll take em.  You got em with you, ma'am?

     k8:  No I was just on my way to pick them up.  Will you be around here?  I'll go get them now and bring them to you.  Or I can drop them off anywhere you want.

     Pojo:  No ma'am, I don't have anywhere to be in particular.  I'll sit here on this curb till you come back.

Cool!  He calls young girls ma'am, what a charmer!  So I went to pick up the bikes, super proud of myself for helping out an old needy fella.  I grabbed him a bottle of water too because it was a hot day and he was looking a little shrivelled.

He was waiting right where I left him, looking like a grump face still.  I pulled over again and hopped out to open the truck gate.  I pulled a bike out for him and he hopped on right away.  He must have been seriously tired of walking, I thought!  I started to take the other bikes off when I realized, how the hell was he going to carry around 3 bikes with him?  He can barely carry himself.

     k8:  Are you sure you don't want me to drive these somewhere for you?

     Pojo:  Actually ma'am, that'd be nice of you.  Thanks so much, ma'am.  I work right down the road about half a mile, how bout I follow you on this bike and you drop the other two at the gates right there?

     k8:  *poker face*

You sonofabitch, you're not homeless?!

I gave him the bikes anyway.  I still didn't need them, and the chances of me finding three actual homeless people randomly walking the streets that day were slim, so what the hell.  I'm pretty sure he probably scrapped them at the scrap yard like 50 feet away from where I dropped them off, which is a genius idea now that I think about it.  But maybe he used that money to buy his granddaughter a new barbie or something.  Or hell, even if he bought himself a bottle of whiskey, I'm happy I made him happy a few hours.  I guess.

On a related note, and possibly the thing that triggered this memory... November is over and now that we're all done giving thanks, it's time to focus on just giving!  I used to loathe December and Christmas time because it felt like a chore and an obligation.  I don't even believe in Jesus, so what the hell was I doing celebrating Christmas, or its bullshit commercial replacement?  (more on that some other time)

I think it was the year Violet was born that I pulled my head out of my ass and grasped the real reason for the season.  People don't give presents because they have to, they give them because they love you and they want you to know it, and because they enjoy doing something for you, and because they want you to know your presence in their life is appreciated.  It feels really good to hear a genuine "thank you" from someone. 

I've gotten really good at taking thankses (it's a real word) from strangers.  For some reason it's a lot easier to do a good deed for a homeless man or an old lady in a parking lot.  I'm still working on letting non-strangers know I'm actually a nice person.  I think I'm afraid they'll make fun of me if they find out I'm not really a huge douche. 

So that's something I'll be attempting to work on this Thankstaking month!  Be prepared for unusual acts of kindness, glowing compliments, just-because visits, and heartfelt homemade Xmas gifts.  Assholes.  (off to a good start)
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