Do You Ever Ask Yourself, “Is This Worth It?” I Do.

I do all the time. In fact, I’m asking myself that right now, over a number of different things. Sadly, the answer to myself is typically “no.” Actually, it’s usually a lot more assertive than that. It’s more like a “fuck this” with doors slamming and things being thrown (well, at least in my mind).

This morning as I was scrubbing the floor, I asked myself “is this worth it?” I mean, normally I use my Swiffer, but it doesn’t always do the job. But then why isn’t it? While I was scrubbing angrily, I found stuff on the floor that should not have been there since I just cleaned and mopped yesterday. Like Rice Krispies and spilled juice. How the fuck did Rice Krispies and juice get spilled when this motherfucking floor was just cleaned less than 12 hours ago? I thought to myself as my scrubbing got angrier and angrier. I just cleaned yesterday! What is the point of getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing like CinderHeather, only for it to be dirtied up twenty minutes later when people that are clearly blind and incapable of cleaning up after themselves come through the room for another snack or something to drink?

This afternoon I got my car washed. It was so dirty; dirtier than your mom back on that trip to Cancun in the 60s. Nasty. There was milk spilled in the backseat. There were toys fucking everywhere. I had a week’s worth of mail sitting in the front seat and a package of toilet paper I forgot to bring in the apartment in the trunk. Outside the car looked more brown than blue, and part of my Bulls bumper sticker was covered in mud. When it was done and we got in the car, it was like a dream. I actually pinched myself, it was that nice. Then we got home and a bird shit on it and the kid spilled her apple juice from lunch all over the floor in the back. Is this worth it? Well it seems not, now that it needs to be cleaned all over again.

Just before writing this blog I was wrapping Christmas presents. You faithful blog followers know I handle Christmas shopping and wrapping in September every year, then laugh heartily at everyone else scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off all the way to December 26th. But as I was wrapping in the bedroom, where the air conditioning had not yet hit; sweating like a pig and making everything look beautiful and perfect and elaborate, I thought to myself “Is this worth it?” No one ever stops to admire my wrapping job. No one ever appreciates how nice it looks. They all just open the shit, throw it to the side and say “what’s next?” When I remembered this, I moved to wrapping in bags with extra paper. No one can complain about there being no fun with the messiness of the paper if there is tons of tissue paper to throw around, right?

So you see I ask myself this many times through the course of a day. As I’m writing this post, and I have an 11 pound turkey in the oven, I’m wondering if the elaborate meal I’m preparing will be worth it too. My husband will eat three-quarters of it and everything else will be shoveled down like feeding time at the barnyard. I’m almost tempted to say “screw it” and just serve Taco Bell.

Conversations With Nick, Episode 3: Anyone In There?

It’s been a while since we’ve had an episode of Conversations With Nick, although it’s also been a while since my husband (Poor Nick) talked about putting his penis through a donut hole; or since I had a dream that he was having an affair with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut out to look like Cher.

So pretty much all the time, my husband’s job goes through either really really busy periods or really really dead periods. There is no in-between it seems. He manages a small company in Los Angeles that does post production work. Typically I tell people they did Delivery Me for Discovery Health and still do the Behind the Musics for VH1 and everyone gets it. During these periods (remember, all the time), there is nonstop complaining – every day in the afternoon I get a phone call and Nick sighs repeatedly during it until I ask “what’s wrong?” and he either bitches about how slow it is or whines about how much running around he’s had to do.

The other thing that happens during the really really busy periods is Nick is completely in another world. Remember, he’s a misogynist so it makes things a little annoying, to say the least. In the last few weeks alone, he has just altogether stopped paying any attention to me when I talk. I can take being treated like a slave. I can take never being treated like a woman. I can’t take that ignoring me shit, though. I told him my CD player will break if he turns the radio on in my car (there is some short in the switches) and he turned it to AM anyway when he went to pick up Thai the other night. I asked him to take the box of unused Halloween decorations out to my car so I could take them back to my dad and he just walked away, ignoring me. The list goes on, and I won’t bore you all with it; but the coup de grâce of it all was last night. I was in the middle of my fucking sentence and my dill hole husband stood up and walked away to call work.

I don’t think so, asshat.

So today I sent him a barrage of emails. I figured he can’t ignore those, right?

Conversations With Nick:

Balls – Anyone In There?

I started with an eCard. I don’t often make eCards; although, am realizing that I should get more into this. It’s fun and a socially acceptable place to let out the thoughts that run through my whacked-out mind on the regular.

I thought I’d start with it to soften the blows that would follow.

How terribly, terribly true that statement is.

Conversations With Nick:

Anniversary – Anyone In There?

The next email was about celebrating our anniversary.

My husband and I have many anniversaries. There is the one of when we met. The one of when we got engaged. The wedding anniversary. And the anniversary of our Catholic co-validation (basically a second wedding). We only celebrate them all once, and it’s around this general time of year.

It would have been nice, though, if Poor Nick weren’t too busy with work to remember just to wish me a “happy anniversary” on each of those days. The anniversary of our Catholic co-validation was last week and the day came and went without a mention. To make matters worse, we went to a family party that weekend and they were celebrating two birthdays and two anniversaries (one wedding, one college graduation); but not a one acknowledged the anniversary of the thing we did (and money we spent) because those very people wanted it.

So I decided I want to celebrate our anniversary this weekend, and the next email I sent him was about just that. I want to dress up. I want to be told I’m pretty. I want my present. I want my dinner. I want to drink my bottles of anniversary wine.

That’s all I want, though.

Conversations With Nick:

Brain – Anyone In There?

The real kicker for the barrage of emails I sent this morning to get my husband’s attention was in my new rule: no technology hour. People have suggested this before, and a friend commented about it just this morning again. I see no good reason at all why we can’t shut everything off for one hour every night.

Some of you may think I was a little harsh. Well, I’m sure your husband doesn’t regularly get up and walk away when you are in the middle of your sentence as often as mine does. And anyway, I’m sure my email was ignored.

The real point is that I feel like I have to knock on my husband and ask “is anybody in there?” sometimes.

One of the wisest things ever said to me was by my manager at Wendy’s, where I worked as a drive-thru bitch in high school. He told me that every day when he got home from work, he’d change his clothes in the laundry room, just inside the side door. He said that for one, he didn’t want the house smelling like french fries and grease fat. But more importantly, it was his physical reminder that he needed to leave work at work, and enjoy the evenings with his wife and kids. Life is not worth living if 100% of it is focused on places other than where you are.

STFU Fridays: Political Posters

I’m not sure if I’ve talked about political posters before, but we’re going to have a little elaboration today for STFU Fridays. I mean it seems only appropriate now that the conventions are officially over and the vitriolic hate-mongering from both sides of the aisle is about to begin.

Facebook Political Posters:

Shut the Fuck Up

Yeah, sure – everyone uses Facebook for a different reason. Don’t think I forgot that I just talked about that a week or two ago. But at some point, you are going to be permanently hidden from my newsfeed if you continue to post meme after meme after meme after GODDAMNED MEME about your political views, most often in the most radical way possible.

Here are a few of my most recent favorites:

(Posted by four friends)

(Posted by nine friends)

Here’s the thing, Facebook friends: I want you to stay on my newsfeed. I want to hear about when you buy your new condo. I want to know when you get engaged. I want to see the photographs from your beautiful vacation in the Barbados. I want to see all 790 Instagram photographs you post this week of your kid. I want to see all of that and be a part of your life because, after all – we are friends.

What I don’t want to see is your political nonsense being shoved down my throat every time I log onto the computer to congratulate people for their life updates and new pregnancies and amazing jobs.

Shut the fuck up.

Twitter Political Posters:

Shut the Fuck Up

So despite the fact that I hate politics, I do often watch political commentary and the news channels, and I read the Google News Aggregate daily. This political season, I may not pay too much attention because it is usually a lot of frustration for naught, but what can I say – I like to know what’s going on in the world. Typically I watch and read about it all just to find out what else is happening around the world – health, war, entertainment, and other such news.

I also have an humongous crush on Wolf Blitzer.

This is probably the case with a fair number of people that use social media (the wanting to know about what’s going on in the world part). It’s probably the case with a fair number of people that have the Internet. And it’s likely so with probably the majority of people that have televisions. And I think it’s probably safe to say with at least a few of the remaining people that do not have the Internet or do not use social media or do not have a TV, but still have a pulse and read the newspaper.

That means that when I go on Twitter, it is entirely unnecessary for people to be Tweeting the quotes that I just saw someone say on CNN or MSNBC or Fox or whatever channel I am watching over and over and over again, with no other substance in between. I watched the President give his speech this evening. Why was it necessary for me to then read the entire thing quoted on Twitter? I get it: the quote inspired you. THEN SAY THAT!

Or shut the fuck up.

Email Political Posters:

Shut the Fuck Up

I don’t get too many personal emails anymore. Now that we have social media and unlimited texting plans, it looks like email is going the way of the stamped letter.

When I do get emails, they are generally one of two kinds of emails:

(1) Some stupid shit animal or angel photos that have glitter and prayers and chain letter crap on them about how if I don’t forward it to 20 people I’ll die in the next week; or,

(2) Political diatribes.

These upset me because I feel like if you send an email to someone you know, it should be a little more personal and “how are you”/”I’m doing great!” Not a bunch of biased crap about, or in most cases against, any given political ideology. It hurts my feelings, actually. There are some people that I don’t hear from all year until it’s election time, and then they send me forty damn emails a day, my email included in the list of 200 others cc’d, with a bunch of impersonal, political crap.

Seriously, email political posters: take the time to send a sincere email to me once in a while amidst all your politico crap, or shut the fuck up.

That about concludes our Shut the Fuck Up Friday! Now that the games have officially begun, may we all bury our heads in the sand until November 6th has come and gone. I’m sure by now you are all wondering where I stand on the issues, despite my disgust for political posters. Because I’m a woman and pretty mouthy, am I a Democrat? I used to work for them. When I quit because of the local party’s corruption, did I become a Republican? They’re just as bad. I’m not really sure where I stand. Maybe on the issues, where we all should.

Four Parenting Lessons I Learned From My Mom

People sometimes tell me I look at the negative side of everything. I always think it’s funny when they say that, though, because it is only through being honest with yourself about a situation that you can make it better. Haven’t you ever gone to a wedding and thought to yourself “jeez, I’d never do that at my wedding?” Or had a shitty job and accepted the shittiness of it to push yourself to find something better? People with that gloriously naive-“must always look at the bright side of things”-approach to life generally (in my experience) stay in bad situations longer than they should because they can’t be honest about the uglier stuff that needs to change.

I refuse to waste my life accepting a pile of crap as a bed of roses just to sound pleasant to others. It’s just my opinion and approach to life, though. You don’t have to adopt it.

So last night I made my husband watch Mermaids with me. I’m on an 80s and 90s movies kick right now. It started with watching all the films Esquire suggested “all women” should watch, which included some 80s gems. Then as I perused through the Netflix Que, I noticed there were a ton I haven’t seen in ages. Some I had never seen at all.

It’s been so long since I last watched Mermaids that I had forgotten the crux of the story. It’s all about this teenage girl learning lessons in life from the negative bad-mom aspects of her “town tramp” of a mom. Reminds me a lot of my mom. For those of you faithful blog followers that are relatively new, I won’t beat around the bush: I call my mom Trailer Trash Mom for a reason. In the years since she divorced my dad, she has become a trashy, hillbilly, user and abuser; who has stolen, lied, and cheated more from me than anyone would tolerate. That whole “debt for life” thing has been repaid to her ten-fold at this point; although, I just can’t cut the ties because I want a relationship with my grandparents, which can only be facilitated if she is around (they think she’s the greatest thing next to stick butter, likely a consequence of old age and a very hefty piece of wool she’s pulled over their eyes).

In any event, watching Mermaids reminded me of the parenting lessons I’ve learned from the more negative aspects of my own mother.

Lesson 1:

Never make a promise to a child unless you plan on keeping it

Fortunately, when my mom breaks promises to me now, I only cry for about a day. When I was little, though, I’d cry for days – once a whole week.

I’m not talking about stupid promises. “Oh yes, you can ride the automatic-disease-ridden-pony in front of Toys ‘R’ Us next time, I promise.” I’m full of shit every time I say that, because that promise is to get the kid to stop bitching; although, will still not be happening. The thing has been covered with an unidentified slime for as long as I can remember.

I’m talking about big promises. “Dad promised he’d be at my Little League game and he didn’t show up or call!” is devastating, especially if it happens frequently.

Lesson 2:

Don’t turn your kid(s) into the parent

There’s a scene in Mermaids when Winona Ryder’s narration acknowledges that her character feels like the parent sometimes. And she is. Her mom is too much of a two-bit town whore (although she tones it down at the end) to even prepare a regular meal. This is something my mom used to constantly do.

When my mom first left my dad and moved across the country to Seattle, I’d visit twice a year. In the beginning she was the “other woman” to a married guy in the military, who was a night guard in the prison. Naturally, when her only daughter came to visit, she couldn’t run the risk of losing her status as the “other woman,” though, so she’d leave me sitting downstairs to fend for myself the entire trip, while she’d entertain him upstairs all day while his wife was at work. I even had to cook my own meals, which was difficult since I was only 10 at the time. I once threw Cheetos into a bowl of white rice I found in the refrigerator. Fucking disgusting.

Nothing sucks more than having to grow up too soon because your parent has the maturity of an infant.

Lesson 3:

Don’t ever introduce male suitors as “uncle”

I have had so many uncles in my life, it’s a good thing they weren’t real or family reunions would need a bigger venue.

My mother had so many men coming in and out of her life until only recently, when she married this guy that lives in a trailer out in New Mexico, I have lost count. I do know there were at least eight Mikes, three Rons, two black guys (the first was Marvin Gaye’s drummer), six with gambling problems, and one nice guy out of the bunch (who, of course, my mom dumped for no reason). Each of them was referred to as uncle, which just traumatized the shit out of me.

In recent years, she’s started introducing her boyfriends as “grandpa such and such” to the Pookies, which is when I realized the importance of this Lesson 3. I immediately put my foot down. No to “Grandpa Bugsy”. No to “Grandpa Yogi.” No to “Grandpa Mike.” And no … the hillbilly husband will be no “Grandpa Dennis.”

Lesson 4:

Never settle for less in life, or expect your kids to either

When I worked in pharmacy during college, I worked with a girl that would not allow her daughter to have any conveniences that she was not given as a child. She wouldn’t let the poor girl even go to birthday parties of other kids because she had not been allowed to as a child. It made me so sad every time I saw it happen, which was a lot in the six years I worked there. My mother has always been like this.

After divorcing my dad, my mom did nothing but settle for less. She’d debase herself to settle for men she found in bars. She’d settle for less with jobs and cars and housing and friends over and over and over again. She still does. Her most recent stunt of settling for less is starting to bite her in the ass – marrying this hillbilly in New Mexico. He’s a total jerk to her and she has the nerve to say that since she’s settling for jerkish behavior that I should too.

I don’t think so.

These four lessons that I learned from my mom are pretty important ones, and I wouldn’t have learned them had I not looked at the negative side of my mother’s behavior over the years. I almost feel grateful for my “negative” approach, because had I not taken it I may have just accepted these behaviors as acceptable and continued the cycle I see so many other women in my community continuing with their own kids. When you look at old movies, like Mermaids, you can see that a lot of people used to hold this perspective. Look at the world for what it really is and overcome it. Not just settle for happy positivisms all the time just to make everything seem great to others.

See how much happier I am in my “negativity”? I mean, can you even still call it “negativity” when so much good is coming out of it?

STFU Fridays: Guest-Starring the Back of My Hand

For today’s STFU Fridays, I have a special guest: the back of my hand. Yep! You got that right, I’m featuring people that need to Shut the Fuck Up, and apparently need to receive a good backhand to do so.

Suggestive Sellers

I don’t know about any of you, but I am getting sick and damn tired of people trying to suggestively sell. These people for real need to shut the fuck up, and will soon be receiving a hard smack with the back of my hand to do so.

Exhibit A: the Nail Salon

I go to the nail salon frequently. You all know some of my prior experiences with that whole Korean Hooker thing. Well, I’m currently in search for a new nail salon because I just couldn’t take the weird, fucked up shit that went down at my former nail salon anymore; and by “currently” I mean it’s been months.

The problem is that I can’t seem to find one that will tone it down on the suggestive selling. Even when I’ve been there a few times, it’s incessant. “You want manicure with your pedicure?” No. I don’t do my nails, just my toes because I get ingrown toenails. “You want callus remover on your feet?” No. I come every two weeks because I get ingrown toenails – I hardly have any calluses at all. “You want to wax your ugly eyebrow? They look ugly so big.” Seriously?

Back of my fucking hand next time someone says my eyebrows are ugly.

Exhibit B: Restaurants

Okay, in the interest of full disclosure and maximum humor, I used to work in retail food service. I was a drive thru bitch at Wendy’s – quite an experience, I might add. I was even employee of the month once.

But I always had a problem with suggestive selling. It just seemed ridiculous. Someone comes into the drive thru and orders only a soda, suggestively selling them a fucking hamburger or baked potato seemed just stupid. Not once did anyone say “oh, yeah … you know, I really was only thirsty, but now that you mention it maybe I would like to just pork down an extra 1300 calories! Thanks for the suggestion!!”

We go out to eat often and what I just can’t take is the suggestive selling. Sometimes it is just so bad and hard-pressed. I don’t mind hearing the specials. I don’t even mind if they ask if we want an appetizer. But when they push and push and push AND PUSH, it’s just so frustrating.

What’s worse is that these failed corporate policies have the employees focusing so much on suggestive selling that they fail to get anything right in your actual order. I cannot tell you faithful blog followers how many times I have gone out to eat and they got the order wrong because they were clearly too busy trying to push their wine flights or new desserts or meal add-ons or whatever. Last week, in fact, I went out to dinner with my father one night at our local Macaroni Grill and the waiter was so busy suggestively selling that he didn’t notice my food looked totally wrong and had shrimp in it, despite the fact that I did not order that. I didn’t notice the shrimp at first. And why would I? I didn’t order it. Funny thing, though, is that I’m allergic to shrimp. Once I realized it, they sent over the manager and we left immediately so I could take some Benadryl and an Epipen. In the end, the most egregious was not just the suggestive selling, but the fact that they never responded to my email about it afterwards.

Instead of worrying about pushing your shitty tortallachi and crab appetizers, how about just shutting the fuck up and worrying about getting things in the order right?

People That Make Commentary About My Husband and Me

Article One

When my husband married me, he knew what I was like. He knew I was snarky. He knew I didn’t tolerate bull shit. He knew that I have an unrelenting sense of humor and that the way that I express love is through humor and teasing. He knew that I am not OK with lying, in any way shape or form. He knew that I am from the Midwest and, therefore, don’t believe in some of the marital-standards that California has. (There’s a reason divorce in California is over 75%, by the way.) This is the way my entire family is and it is who I am. If anyone doesn’t like it, they can kindly shut the fuck up. If my husband didn’t like it, he shouldn’t have married me. End of story. Butt the fuck out.

Article Two

I know that this is going to seem very, very strange to some people. I know that in our very bizarre, little California community, husbands and wives do not usually show much public support for each other and their endeavors. I know that you don’t hear my father-in-law ever telling stories about my mother-in-law’s encounters at work. I know that many of our friends consider this to be wrong – for whatever backwards reasons they may think so.

But that doesn’t mean that it is strange, bad, inappropriate, or anything other than a good thing if my husband chooses to be supportive of my own endeavors. If he wants to talk about me as a writer, he should be able to do so. If we put together a Facebook page for his side of my blog, that should not be so out of the realm of normal to so many people.

From now on, anyone that makes a comment to me – or anyone, really – about the way my husband and I operate; or about how odd they think it for him to be supporting of me in the ways he wants to, will have a special date with the back of my fucking hand. It’s time for everyone (and I mean everyone) to let us handle our own marriage.

People Closing in on My Territory

People have been closing in on my territory a lot lately and I have had just about enough of it.

To the people that want to tell me how to be a parent; that want to talk to me about what they think I’m doing wrong when disciplining right in front of my kid – shut the fuck up or meet the back of my hand.

To the people that want to butt into my business when I say that I homeschool; not the ones that are interested to learn more, but the people that want to tell me they think I’m wrong for depriving my child of the socialization (from the mother who encourages her kid to bully) – shut the fuck up or meet the back of my hand.

To the people that want to try and out-do my baking (ahem, family … ahem, my mother); know your role – I’m like Martha-Mother-Fucking-Stewart on crack so you’d better shut the fuck up or meet the back of my hand.

To the people that close in on my ranks as a writer and a blogger; that ignore my existence in the writing-and-blogging-world for the explicit purpose of trying to overcome me (head’s up, bloggers – a lot of people do that); that oust me as a social networker, a views-getter, and even on lists like Top Mommy Blogs – shut the fuck up or meet the back of my hand.

So the back of my hand is going to be pretty tired soon. There are a lot of people I see in desperate need of a swift but firm encounter with it. For the rest of you, have a great weekend or shut the fuck up.

Lessons on Being Cool From the 22 Year Old Verizon Employees At Chuck E Cheese

So I was at Chuck E. Cheese today, and as if I wasn’t already getting my daily dose of “hell on Earth” just by being there, a pack of about a dozen young adults came sauntering in, where there was a party table set up for them right in front of the stage with the animatronic characters singing Rock the Casbah.

Being the nosy-ass lady that I am, and bored out of my fucking mind while waiting for the 10 billion tokens I purchased to be used, I investigated a little bit. Of course, this meant I had to make every excuse possible to parade around their party in order to get the scoop. I went to “check out” the ticket explosion machine – which I still am not sure what the fuck the thing does. I walked up to “check out” the characters as they moved on to a clean version of “Whip It.” And when the party-goers disbanded to play games while waiting for their pizza, I even marched over to the Dance Dance Revolution to pretend like I was considering playing.

Here is the scoop that I got, what I like to call: Lessons on Being Cool From the 22 Year Old Verizon Employees At Chuck E Cheese:

Lesson #1: If you work at a retail store and the company wants to reward you for your increase in sales, the only cool option is: Chuck E Motherfucking Cheese

Lesson #2: Even though it is the day off for all of you, the coolest thing to wear is your Verizon uniform. For the majority of you, it’s a suit and tie. Many of you wore your Verizon shirt with the logo and all. Some of you added some flair, like your Crips bandana hanging out your back pocket. If wearing a tie, a real cool guy will wear your tie and flip it up over your shoulder. That makes you look at ease.

If you are the only girl in the group, dress like a ho. You never know, one of your coworkers might bang you in the balls.

Lesson #3: The coolest guy at the table, with the most knowledge of this high class establishment, will wear his sunglasses inside. He will keep them on the entire time. The entire time – not even to be removed for games or pizza. He is clearly the coolest of the bunch – follow his lead.

Lesson #4: When the Chuck E. Cheese character comes to the table and starts trying to give you all high fives, make sure you all snap photos to put on your Facebook pages. You are extra cool if you stand behind Chuck E while one of your friends has his photograph taken with the human-sized rat, and dry hump the air.

Lesson #5: If a woman walks by you while you are shredding on Guitar Hero, quickly wipe the sweat off your brow and make sure you turn to her and say “yeah … a bunch of 22 year olds playing Guitar Hero at Chuck E Cheese. I know lame.” Acknowledge your lameness, because irony is in and she might think you are being ironic, thus cool.

Lesson #6: When it is announced over the intercom that your pizza is ready, run to the table. Cool people don’t walk. Cool people do not fucking saunter. Cool people run like they haven’t eaten is years. If you do not run, you may destroy the facade that you are a starving intellectual who lives off pizza and beer and the occasional package of Top Ramen; versus the truth, which is that your mommy made you a nice and wholesome breakfast of french toast and eggs while you changed out of your Spiderman jammie-jams this morning.

Lesson #7: Your Verizon store manager was kind enough to include 20 tokens per employee for this venture – it isn’t just pizza and pictures with Chuck E. A cool person will make sure that he gets his/her 20 tokens under any and all circumstances, even if it means standing up and yelling for everyone to run back to the table because you counted yours and there are only 18.

We left before these numb nuts 22 year old Verizon employees had finished their little party. As we left, I noticed that while they were all off playing video games and taking photos of themselves dry humping the characters placed in miscellaneous places around the restaurant, the Lone Ho had placed certificates of achievement at each of their place settings and a cake in the shape of a pirate ship with a Chuck E Cheese at the mast was being brought to the table.

That – by far – was the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time. And you faithful blog followers know I have seen a lot. As we left I looked at my phone and thought to myself “fucking shit, I’m glad I stuck with Sprint.”

5 (More) Pet Peeves: Home Edition

We live in an apartment complex of some couple hundred places. There are town homes, condos, and apartments of all sizes. When we moved here – just in November of last year – we really liked it. The rent was affordable. The area was almost too quiet. There are pools, a work out room, and the complex is relatively close to a lot of local stuff.

And now, as my husband feared, I fucking hate it.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to live in apartments. For a while we considered buying a condominium, but the thought of being permanently tied to southern California would no doubt upgrade my difficulty finding reason to get out of bed in the morning to an utter inability to do so. I also like the idea of being able to get up and go without having to worry about too much, the sense of community, and some of the amenities as well as the ability to call maintenance for problems without having to deal with the cost and maintenance ourselves.

And still, as my husband feared, I fucking hate it.

I still like the affordable rent and all the stuff we have available to us. And I love the fact that we have had a lot of repairs that would have cost us an arm and a leg; yet, in reality cost us absolutely nothing since maintenance is included in our rent (unless we intentionally break shit). But some other things have happened since November that I don’t like. For one, no one abides by the pet policy (so it would seem), except for us. People are supposed to be allowed indoor cats only, and yet there are cats fucking everywhere. I hate cats with every breath in my body – I’m allergic and their dander and hair dropped on my front porch makes me sneeze and wheeze on a daily basis. Why the hell should I have to deal with that? Worse, as I have mentioned to you faithful blog followers before – one of those cats has completely destroyed my Midnight Jasmine. And don’t even get me started on the fact that they do not allow dogs of any kind and yet every other cotton-picking unit has a dog.

But it goes beyond the pets. Some hillbillies recent moved across the walkway. I can only assume these people are hillbillies because of the fact that I heard one of them say he lost his teeth. I see them come home with KFC and Taco Bell bags on a daily basis. It appears that none of them works, or at least works very little. By my count, there are 8 people living in the two bedroom apartment, with an additional 10 or so constantly coming in and out. They have parties every single fucking night. Every fucking night. They are loud. They are crude. Without a doubt they are hillbillies, and it is obvious that a lot of the neighbors don’t want to take it anymore (six other units have moved out since these people moved in).

Then this morning, we received a notice on our door that there have been recent burglaries in the area. So now our quiet and safe neighborhood is louder than shit until all hours of the night, and to make matters worse: unsafe.

SO I’m in a shitty mood (when am I NOT?). To blow off a little steam, I thought I would share five more of my pet peeves – home style ones. Now that I’ve gotten the neighborly ones off my chest already, my list focuses on my own house.

#5 Leaving recycling trash on the counter

I’m all for saving the planet, but sometimes it annoys the shit out of me. Not only do we produce very little recyclable waste, but we waste so much more in electronic waste as well as the enormous carbon footprint my husband’s car leaves behind. It thus seems almost a little childish to be making such a big deal about one ginger ale can once in a while. Not saying we shouldn’t recycle, just saying let’s keep things in perspective here.

We have no room in our place at all for a recycle can, so it sits out in our covered carport. The only job my husband has around the house is to take out the trash, which would of course include moving any of the recyclable things to the recycle can out by the cars. Annoying as all shit is when that recycling stuff, which my husband makes a federal case over “doing his part” for, is left on the kitchen counter – where I cook food. Trash, human garbage – often covered in bacteria and bits of food – left on the counter. Seriously – one fucking job.

#4 Wasting money “trying new things” that turn out to be crap

Last night we wasted an entire bottle of the crappiest wine I have ever had. Just as with saving the planet, I’m all for trying new things. But at some point, and with certain things, I really think we should stick with our “go-to”s, unless we have money to flush down the toilet.

Or down the drain, in this instance.

My husband convinced me to buy a new bottle of wine at World Market the other day. I was going to get one of my regulars but instead we got this Radio Buzz crap from Spain. When we opened it last night, you could actually smell the alcohol – it was that shitty. A couple sips and I couldn’t take it. Just a few more for my husband and the whole thing was dumped down the drain. I’m so tired of wasting money on stuff like that.

#3 Continuing to pretend like we are horticulturists

Speaking of wasting money, it has become my pet peeve that we must continue this little charade that we are horticulturists. As long as I have known my husband, and as long as we have been living together, we have been unable to keep plants alive. If our own lives depended on it, we would have been dead a long time ago.

I’ve done research, I’ve tried all kinds of different things – I just can’t keep them alive. Had a cat not killed my Midnight Jasmine, here, I would have (eventually). I have no idea at this point how much money we have wasted on this little project over the years, but at the very least the most recent destruction of foliage comes to $115 wasted. We bought those in February.

Maybe #4 and #3 would really be combined into one main pet peeve: wasting money stupidly.

#2 Leaving hairs in the sink

This really hacks me off. While laying in bed this morning, I could hear my husband trimming his beard and my blood pressure immediately began to rise because I knew that when I got to the sink it would be full of those little, annoying hairs.

They wouldn’t be so goddamned annoying if they didn’t clog the drain. I know they clog the drain and that my husband hasn’t told the maintenance people yet we need the drain unclogged. I also know that every time the maintenance people come they tell me to stop allowing my husband to try and fix things himself, because it usually makes the problems worse (this last time they said the management will start charging us for repairs because his attempt at fixing the shower door made it more difficult for them to fix, and they can always tell … how embarrassing that was).

So immediately after my husband leaves, I have to get up and wipe all of those disgusting fucking hairs out of the sink so that it doesn’t clog even more. Big annoyance.

#1 Not wiping crumbs off the counter/table

Oh my God faithful blog followers, this is the tip of the iceberg for me. I’m not sure why it makes me so crazy, but whenever anyone in this place leaves crumbs or smudges of shit on the counters or the kitchen table, I go absolutely bonkers. Maybe it’s because I have usually just cleaned only to see that a mess has been made. Maybe it’s because sometimes it’s in the form of leaving a knife with peanut butter on it sitting in the sink – the sink that was cleaned and will now have to be cleaned again. I don’t know, but I usually go ballistic about it. Like I did this morning.

There they are. My five (more) pet peeves. The home edition. Maybe the marriage edition. Maybe I’m just on the rag and pissed off at the world. Or just those hillbillies across the walkway.