Sunday, December 19, 2010

I am a huge fan

When going to a job as a corporate employee, just know, that you will be swimming in oceans of cheese. They have corporate 'slogans' and sayings that they will announce the first day you show up. At first, you look at these corporate people and notice they have glassy eyes and corporate wet brain. It's something all corporate people have. They look in to your eyes, short of saying, "Pretend that I don't sound like a complete fucking idiot right now." But to work at the job, you must swim, in the corporate cheese.
At my old job there were billions of gallons of cheese. It was constant. I worked in a grocery store where the big bosses thought they were rock stars. When in reality, they were just old, fat, bald headed, fucks. The grocery store was their life. It was their world. When in reality, they were making someone else a shit load of money. The big bosses would come in with gel in their hair and tell the store boss, with gel in his hair, that we needed to be reminded constantly about the slogans and sayings. If we missed one of the slogans, we would have to say the slogan over the intercom to pump up the other employees. Things like, "If you shuffle your feet, you may miss a greet!" Even typing that made me throw up in my mouth a little.
It's corporate work. There are people in corporate offices, some of them, women, with sensible, pressed outfits and half inch black pumps and they have two looks. Angry and angry. Then there are the corporate men. They also have two looks, the 'I'm fucking the girl in the deli' look. And the 'Jesus is my lord and savior' look. BTW, these two looks are on the same man. When angry and Jesus merge, this is where the ideas come from. Huge corporate buildings filled with people with glassy eyes and starched shirts. They are robots. They back stroke through the cheese and think of ways to make the cheese 'cheesier'. They think of ideas, because they are the idea people, to strip the employee's of their remaining dignity. 'What if we say that if they miss a greet that they will have to wear something like a party hat, but instead of it being a party hat, it could be a enormous engorged penis, standing straight up on the top of their heads? Yes. Someone send a fax."
The one thing for sure is that even with all the above, there is no shame in swimming in the cheese to buy cheese. But the moment the slogans begin to make sense, get out. That doesn't mean the next place you go there won't be more cheese to swim in, but possibly a better cheese. Like mozzarella, or feta. You'll be floating in your new cheese and you'll look up and there will be a new group of fat, fuck, wet brain bosses and you'll realize in corporate life, there is no escape.
There are rules in life, at home, at work. We are suppose to follow these rules. But when you leave your job, your anus shouldn't hurt. Unless your job involves some sort of study on anus pain. (I wonder what that pays?)
I am currently swimming in Hollywood cheese. The thing that sucks about Hollywood cheese is the leaders of the cheese smile and talk real kind. They also have slogans like, "I love your work, really." Or, "I am a huge fan." Then they do a line of coke off their Coach wallet. The softness in their voice, before the coke, makes you really think, "Wow. This could be really great!" They smile at you with their insane white teeth and then they begin to swirl their head around, "Who do I have to fuck to get a drink around here!" Then, as you're driving home without any warning, your anus begins to hurt.
I swam in the corporate cheese for entirely too long so now my tolerance for the Hollywood cheese is nonexistent. I am almost 50 and the best I can do is float on a hardened cheese like Velveeta.
If you are young, or even younger, if there is something you want to do in your life, do it. No matter what bullshit people tell you, there is a REAL window in life. The window where you make something happen or you don't. When you hear of people who did great things when they were 50 or 60, it's like five people. I'm not even kidding. Five fucking people succeeded at some great thing, and then they dropped dead. I waited and it may turn out to be one of my biggest regrets. We all say, oh, there's time, I'll work on it tomorrow, I'll get to it. I promise you that TOMORROW you will wake up and be 50 and you will know you missed the window. You not only missed the window, there is no window and there is a giant swamp cooler shoved in there as you fan yourself with a piece of paper, saying, "Sweet baby Jesus! It's a hot one today!"
I believe in people. I believe people can do great things. But to be great, you have to actually DO something great. You have to do it. Talking about it doesn't make it happen. I get messages or emails from people who say they're going to write a book. They tell me about the book and you know what I say? "I love your work, really. I'm a fan." And I'm not even a cheese leader! This is a sad world.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Matthew Austin Lennon

When you had a baby, did you really have any idea what you were doing? It's sort of a thing you have to jump in to and learn as you go.
I had my first baby when I had just turned 18 so let's just say, I had a lot of shit figured out. I read a pamphlet in the doctors office and it was filled with helpful 'mommy tips'. I read it, didn't even take the pamphlet with me, just read it in the office. I say that because if I would have at least taken the literature with me I could have referred to it when I ran in to a situation.
The first situation came when I got my baby home to my parents house. What do you do with the baby? So, I showed her around the house, "This is the living room. This is the kitchen. Out that window there is a cow."
When I had my first daughter, my baby's daddy's mom, Nana, said that if I pulled the bottle straight out of her mouth and she made that suction noise, that could collapse her soft spot and suck it right in to her head. So the proper way was to lean the bottle out sideways until she stopped sucking the bottle. The fact is, I never believed that to be true because if it were, where are the people that this happened to? I have never seen a person with the top of their heads completely dented in like a meteor crater. I have never said to someone, "What happened to the top of your head? Oh. Collapsed soft spot. Your mom didn't know? So sad."
So if me and Nana were having a disagreement about something and she would be saying something to me that I didn't like, while I'm feeding my baby her bottle, I would look right at her and intentionally pull the bottle straight out of the baby's mouth. It would make this loud 'THUP'. Nana would immediately react, "Oh my god! No! The soft spot!! You could kill the baby!" For the record, I loved Nana. She was amazing to me and my daughters and I think we may have had a total of two disagreements in the many years we knew one another. There may have been more, but everyone knows that you don't argue with Nana. I think that is a worldwide 'Nana' deal. To argue with a Nana is a loose, loose. 'Grandma', you may get away with some shit. 'Nana'? You'll start confessing shit from six years ago.
These days young parents are just crazy. My oldest daughter, the one that I used for the soft spot bit with Nana, she is going to have a baby in the next week or so. (Her head is completely round, by the way.) She's putting the headset on the belly with music for the unborn baby. Reading to the belly. Singing to the belly. Are you kidding with me? You are going to be a parent for the rest of your life! Take this time to just let the belly do it's own thing.
The hospital room where my grandson will be born is called a 'family room'. That means that your entire family can come and have the baby with you. Beds, accommodations, I think they may serve drinks or opiates. And this is for however many people you want? When I had my daughters, I was in a delivery room that the hospital also used to deliver office supplies. I'm having a baby and they are rolling boxes up a loading dock and chatting, "Hey Bob! Did you ever get that tranny replaced? Can you sign for this?" The doctor puts down the jaws of life he's using to pull the baby out with. He's signing the paper, "I just don't know if it's worth it to put a new one in that old truck." Hey! Medicine man! Focus!
My daughter has the best health insurance in the country. I was, there is no other way to say it, a welfare mom. When you have a baby on the state money, they cut out all the frills. Like water. And air. They deliver the baby, spray the baby off, hand it to you and say, "You are free to go. Good luck with that." They may cut the cord, they may not. You may be able to pull the baby around Wal Mart by their cord for as long as need be. I mean, yeah I get it. I actually didn't expect more. But now that I see how it is when normal people have a baby, wow! It really is a beautiful day! I'll have a sandwich and an Ambien!
What I find is that every single parent has some sort of terrifying tip for you. "Make sure you burp her or the gass will build up and her liver could explode. That happened to a friends baby."
Everyone has something. Too many blankets may kill the baby. Not enough blankets, bye-bye baby. Cold formula has bacteria. Sianara' baby. Hot formula? You can have more children. Holding the baby wrong could kill the baby. The fabric of the babies clothing could be a silent killer. Dog hair, silent killer. Lead base paint? It could not only kill the baby, it could kill every single person in the house and possibly a couple of neighbors. Also, a silent killer. Adios' bambino. And why? It's because of that total fucking I don't give a shit attitude that parents have. (That last line was a joke and I wish I didn't have to include this information but sometimes people take me seriously and I have no idea how to process that in my brain.)
This is what I know for sure. If the baby is crying, pick up the baby. I know that you can hug and kiss a baby as much as you want. They are helpless to stop you. Do it now because when they are about seven, that crap will stop especially with little boys. Hugs and kisses interfere with their activities. When you tell them you love them and they are only one week old, they know what that means. When a small baby smiles at you, thats the first way they express that they love you. When they spit up on your clothes, your couch, your bed, whatever. It's what they do. When they do not want you to sleep, you are not going to sleep. They come in to the world and it is their world. As it should be. The best case scenario is that when a baby gets here, he or she has a circle of people waiting for them and already loving them before they even get here. Isn't it grand to be a baby? Having a baby around just makes everything better. It's like having a flat screen TV or an IPAD. I am very excited to meet my grandson Matthew Austin Lennon. The thing is that it is hard to be a parent and we all do the best we can. It's like the old saying about parenting. "Don't let the time do you. You do the time."

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is the conversation I just heard from the neighbor children in reference to the Christmas lights on the houses.
Sister, about 5 years old. "Oh, look! The entire community is all lit up!"
Brother, about 6 years old. "It's not called a community. It's called a neighborhood."
Sister, "So what."
Brother, "Remember! We did this last year and it really works!"
Then the brother, for whatever reason looks up at the lights on his house, cups his hands over his mouth and says, "Echo! Echo! Echo!"
Sister does the same thing, "Echo! Echo! Echo!"
Remember being little and waiting for Christmas and how it was the most exciting thing ever! My parents had this Ceramic Nativity scene. It was small. But the thing that made it an insane mystery was that the little wooden crib was empty. Then on Christmas morning, the baby Jesus would appear laying in the crib! You know, because Jesus wasn't born until Christmas morning? I remember coming around the corner and there was Jesus! And where there was Jesus, there was presents!
On my research for this investigative journalistic piece of work, I asked my mom, "Where did you guys keep the ceramic baby Jesus until Christmas morning?" After about 15 minutes of mumbling, "It seems like we didn't have a very good system on that. We put Jesus in different spots. Some years, we would have to look for him because we couldn't remember where we put him."
At some point, the baby Jesus's head was busted off because of what my parents called our 'rough-housing'. Several ceramic icons were injured, but not to the level of the baby Jesus. The head was glued back on but the baby Jesus just didn't look right.
I remember another Christmas where we were doing the Christmas pageant. You know, with all the biblical celebrities. Mary, Joesph, the wise men, Jesus. I was so excited about my part. It wasn't a speaking part. And if my memory serves me, it was the only non speaking part, but it was a very powerful moment and I was going to deliver it with such depth that the audience would gasp at the emotion I brought to the character. I believe the actual character was written on the script as 'Walking Child'. I had practiced ahead of time for weeks. All I had to do was carry a 'challis', that had pretend wine in it, down the center isle of the church and set it on the alter. Then walk back. That was my part. That was what I practiced. I still have no clue what part the glass of Chard had to do with the birth of Jesus but I was just honored to be involved.
Right before I am going to rock their world, my nose begins to bleed. Then I faint. The Priest, an amazing man, Fr. Gene was looking over me fanning me with something. Turns out I didn't have an understudy for that role. They grab some kid wearing a vest and shiny black shoes out of the audience and say, "Take this and set it on the alter." The rage made my nose bleed more that this fucking amateur random kid was stealing, let's face it. The role of a lifetime. It was complete bullshit. Not just anyone could be 'Walking Child'. It was a role not unlike that of Meryl Streep in Sofie's Choice except we were not in Germany and there was less bombing in the background.
The main thing I remember about Christmas when I was a kid was, well, the utter disappointment. Sorry mom and dad! But the only time you really got in the game was the year you bought us bikes? And the other year that you got the boys chemistry sets. One year I got an easy bake oven. That was the year I realized that nothing in my life was going to work out. The easy bake oven came with ONE cake mix. And they didn't sell them. So you bake one little cake? It's over. The toy is not only no longer fun, there is no function for it. I tried to make it in to a Barbie house, which is what I actually wanted. I would pretend it was their hotel. I'd lay them on the racks. Then take them off the racks. That was it. I took the actual rack out and then the Barbies could sit in there like they were on a bus trip or something. You know it takes three minutes to eat your little cake the size of a bisket, then you realize you were completely screwed by Fisher Price. I spent the day mumbling, "Bullshit." My brothers thought this was hysterical, "Hey, Dina! When will the cake be ready!" Me, "Fuck off." I was ten.
But what was the real idea of Christmas? That little baby Jesus. In the manger. Surrounded by the wise men, one of which had an arm broken off and the sheep with one ear. With Mary and Joesph in all their glory looking down at the baby Jesus. And the baby Jesus looking at them. With white glue on his throat and his head cocked to one side. That's what it's all about. The birth of Jesus at a Marriott in Dubai. I haven't read the bible in a while so I could be improvising that last part. But it's the traditions that create the love at Christmas. For me, it was that Nativity scene. For my kids, it's the Coach purse. We all have something that makes the holiday magic. For some kids, it's standing in the front yard and saying, "Echo! Echo! Echo!" I hope they heard some sort of echo. I wonder if when they grow up they will take their children out to the front yard and teach them to echo. I think it's a really nice idea:)