Things That I Just Can't Even

It's cyclic, ok. I get that. Every couple of weeks I can more or less guarantee a breakdown in my life of some sort - emotional, mental, physical, financial... The really exciting ones combine all of those factors into an abysmal vortex of darkness and mayhem. I think that's where I am right now.

Tomorrow is Halloween. Since the very first day of this month I have been trying to make time to do the fall appropriate activities. You know, corn mazes and pumpkin patches and all that stuff. FAIL. Absolute fail. Today was the last straw. The last ditch effort. The final grasp for seasonal success. I don't work until 4, which is practically like a day off for me, and I wanted to take the Few Remaining Kids I could wrangle and rush down to the pumpkin patch and get some jack-o-lanterns made. Turns out the Few Remaining Kids had other ideas. One showed up at 7:30 AM and roused me out of what was quite possibly the best sleep I've had all week to tell me that she was taking my car to Spokane. Just as soon as I got back to sleep the next one woke me up to tell me that she and her dad were taking my truck to sell some of her rabbits. (By the way, you parents of young kids who think that it will get easier and you'll get more sleep when they grow up: you're dead wrong.) All of this means I am down to one kid (who, incidentally, sprained her ankle at a basketball game yesterday) and no car.

Meanwhile the beautiful, festive caramel apples I made on Friday night (another unsuccessful pumpkin carving time slot I had hoped for) between work at the school and doing the ambulance standby for the football game are sitting on my counter like the empty tokens they are of a Holiday Season that promises to be a series of hollow promises and crushed visions of sugar plums.

To make things even worse, on the way home from work last night at some god awful hour, a black and white cat (that was very reminiscent of my niece's fluffy kitten named Cake) darted out of the ditch and into my tires as I sped by on the highway. There was nothing I could do but scream in agony and pray it died instantly. I sobbed for the last ten miles home. I am a murderer. Visions of Crookshanks and poor little Bijour and ALL of the horror of this spring just wrecked me. It was the worst. I am the worst. I deserve the death penalty. I cried for a long time. Ugly cried. And I am doing it again. Because I just can't even. All of the things.

I need to quit some of my jobs. I could keep one of them and go on welfare. It would be perfect. I could stay home in my sweatpants all day and watch Netflix and eat junk food I get with food stamps. I don't know why I am not. There is certainly no reward in working 5 jobs to barely pay the bills and miss out on every good thing while I watch my friends and family frolicking in corn mazes and making amazing Jack-o-Lanterns and having costume parties. The stupid thing is that with all of this working (between 50-60 hours a week, not counting newspaper obligations) I haven't had a paycheck over $300. How is that even possible? I make more than that in one day on a fire. I feel like I am losing my mind.

Sorry guys. This has been a total rant. And it sucks. I should come up with some upbeat life lesson out of it that redeems all of my complaining and moaning. But I got nothing. If you have some inspiring memes you can share with me about hope and things getting better, all that darkest before dawn crap, I'd be grateful. In the meantime I guess I will pull up my big girl Broncos undies and hope for a win there. Because it ain't happening anywhere else these days.

Things I Have Taught My Children

1) How to appropriately react to spiders: This involves glass shattering shrieks, full-blown emotional break downs and as many cuss words as possible. Also squishing them and hoping the cat or someone else cleans up the carnage.

2) How to be cool: This is manifest in the perpetual recycling of my entire wardrobe (INCLUDING UNDERGARMENTS) onto the bodies of 4 younger prototypes of myself. This is also exhibited in the following scenario:

ME: Happily unpacking and promptly donning the new deer antlers I bought during a wine-fueled Amazon Halloween Extravaganza at 1 AM two days ago so I can be a deer for Halloween.
TEENAGER: I need to borrow those for my deer costume on Halloween.
TEENAGER: Me and my homies are deers, and our BFs are the hunters. We decided ages ago.
ME: I don't have a hunter. Why you gotta always one-up me?
TEENAGER: I will be a cuter deer anyway.
ME: *teardrop emoji

3) How to be a food snob: Step one: make an entire Crock Pot full of perfectly decent potato soup Step 2: decide you hate it, feed it to the dogs and get pizza for dinner. (I really have no room to complain when they won't eat my food. I won't either.) (Why do I insist on cooking things I won't eat? Good intentions pave the road to dead broke and a lot of wasted food.)

4) How to get out of chores: If you have a bad enough attitude, somebody else will just do it to avoid having to deal with you.  Try: slamming objects, heavy sighs, and whimpering indiscernibly about phantom pains in random body parts.

5) How to set and maintain priorities in life: If you hate it, don't do it. If you like it, do it all the time. See also: Hedonism.

6) How to problem solve: Step one: procure Costco sized box of Oreos. Step two: milk. Step three: problem solved. Try also: wine.

7) How to attract visitors to your house: A) never clean B) decorate with as much dog hair as possible C) run out of toilet paper D) have snacks E) wine

8) How to make and keep friends: never say no. offer snacks. coffee. wine.

9) How to take care of pets: give up your bed. give up your couch. give up your food. give up your sanity.

10) How to value family: Everyone knows that family is represented by holiday traditions. Therefore, traditions must be observed at ALL COST. Which is why we will be carving pumpkins at midnight on Saturday, which is the only time that the Whole Family could do it. You're welcome to join. (see #8)

Things About Misery, and the Company it Loves

Allow me to share my headache with you.

In addition to working All The Jobs and Doing All the Things, I also happen to be responsible for All The Children and the various and assorted types of mayhem that they create. As in: "Mom it's three AM and my car won't start because I dropped the keys in an ice-cold rushing river so now what do I do?" and "Mom I have this weird rash all over my skin that won't heal and I can't get insurance because the website where you nearly completed my application for me is way too complicated so how can I go to the doctor?" and "Mom I forgot my shoes and knee pads and the league volleyball tournament starts in 15 minutes but you can get them from the locker room and drive 76 miles before game time, right?". You know, things like that.

Two nights ago, it was this:

"What is your access code?"

me: "for what? why? what is going on?"

"My iPad was stolen and I have to file an insurance claim."


"I was really careful all day."

"But I mean the stolen part."

"My window was down. And they were punks on skateboards."


After discovering that a certain phone company doesn't have 24/7 customer service and I apparently don't know my access code, I told All of The Children that I couldn't solve anymore problems until I had slept. And after two nights of quasi-acceptable sleep, I finally found the mental courage to tackle it.

So begins my headache.

It was a simple call to a certain phone company to find out how to file an insurance claim for a stolen iPad. It resulted in an upgrade to unlimited data upon the "shocking" discovery that we had, yet again, exceeded our data limit. Unfortunately for my moral high ground, the upgrade came at the cost of a two year subscription to television, which means A) I might accidentally catch part of this presidential election process (gods forbid) and B) FOOTBALL.

Once I sold my soul for a few extra gigabytes, I remembered why I called in the first place and asked about the insurance thing. "Oh sure," the extra-peppy-because-she-scored-an-upgrade service rep chirped, "I just need to transfer you to our insurance provider. Or you can do it online, it's super easy." Lies. all lies. From the pit of hell.

That was 2.5 hours ago. I am now on my 5th representative, I have been locked out of the website three times. I have been in two three way conversations with four different people from both the phone company AND the insurance company, and while almost everybody agrees (depending on the particular group I am chatting with at any given hour) that I do have insurance on my devices (which is pretty damn good since I am paying an extra $29.99 a month), there is a lot of confusion about which devices I have and how they are covered. But don't worry. I am sure that Raychelle and Matt can figure out what Paula, Carrie, Jaida, Roger, and that one dude in a "special department" I got transferred to that only spoke Spanish, haven't been able to in TWO AND A HALF FREAKING HOURS. And then there was the heinous witch who told Roger that she wanted to speak to his supervisor while we were in a three way because she wasn't allowed to be put on hold due to her job restrictions but insisted that I should call her back and wait on hold once the inept Roger got his sh*t together. For the record, that chick had her info more wrong than the whole rest of the troop combined.

OH! STATUS UPDATE! Raychelle took me off hold for a minute to tell me that  - wait, oh, no. It looks like not all of my devices are covered by the multi device protection plan. Only the ones that I don't want to file any claims on. Wait - she's double checking. Yep. Only the devices that are fine are covered.

I am about to send Aspen on a rescue mission for tylenol and wine. Except my phone is going to die soon so I can probably get my own survival supplies myself while I brace emotionally for calling the 1-800 number again for the 6th time, after I got hung up on once, transferred 8 times and then shuttled off to Jorge in Tijuana before I hung up to start over on my own prerogative earlier.

Well, all's well that ends well, right? Or never ends...It is now a quarter til six and I just got off the phone. I still have to complete a 2 page affidavit and scrounge up a proof of purchase (because I am SURE I saved that since March) and upload it all to the insurance company so they can replace the iPad. Please tell me it's worth it. Please tell me the zombies are coming soon.


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