Friday, June 25, 2021

The more things change...

 So... I quit my job. I tripped into a job offer outside of the prison, and every time I set a "I definitely won't take it unless" benchmark, the universe laughed in my face. So here I sit, in a very normal, very professional medical clinic, wearing jeans and hearing babies cry down the hall (OMG. ALL THE BABIES!!!) I went from an executive level chief position, overseeing a lot of staff and going to a lot of meetings to my new role as a Behavioral Health Consultant (confession: I didn't even know what that was when I applied for the job and said as much in my interview. Like I said, the universe is laughing.) 

It's been a bit of a...culture shock. For sure. And yet, some things stay the same. 

I was leaving the office about a week ago, and as I headed to the parking garage I noticed two men coming off of the elevator. They looked a little lost, and having just completed my new employee training about customer service, I thought "I should offer to help them!" Then I noticed that one had no shirt on and the other wasn't wearing shoes. Pragmatically acknowledging that I don't know where anything is, and that I'd be less than helpful, I averted my gaze and continued out to my car. When presented with shoeless, shirtless, lost people, it's best not to make eye contact I have found. That makes me sound like a terrible person. 

So then, as I'm pulling out of the garage, safely ensconced in my car, you can imagine my relief and disbelief when I see the SAME shoeless, shirtless, men being chased out of the parking garage by the security guard. And they're moving slowly because shoeless guy is also pulling up his pants. Now our cast of characters is shoeless, shirtless, pantsless. I HAVE to know what is going on. Were they nutty? Were they looking for a discrete place to express their love to each other? Was this a new type of scavenger hunt? The world is weird now. It could be anything! 

So of course, the next day I relay all of this to my boss to see if there'd been any gossip in the building about the semi-nude visitors. Y'all? She hadn't heard ANYTHING. That means that this did not warrant any sort of drama. But she took pity on my poor, new employee self and did some investigating. Turns out the pair had been looking for a *cough* facility, and finding none that were open to the public, chose to attempt to fertilize the parking garage. At which point they were discovered by our fearless security guard and escorted out. MID-SHIT. This poor woman had to come across a man, or two men, squatting in the parking garage and had to make them pinch off, stand-up, and walk out. I don't know how much they pay her, but it is NOT enough. 

I was sure it was a fluke. An unremarkable, but still uncommon, fluke and a quaint example of what it's like to work "downtown" now. And then, THEN, a week later, on my way to work, I see one of the guys again! He's standing on the sidewalk, this time fully clothed, holding a blanket matador style. I think to myself, "Huh. That's a little odd for 7:30 in the morning." But then as I drive forward, what's BEHIND the blanket comes into view. And Guy 2 is behind the blanket. Shitting on the sidewalk. The blanket was doing almost nothing to ensure his privacy and doing so much to draw attention to him. 

So yeah. Got a new, normal job. I wear jeans and people call me by my first name. There's scissors on my desk and I take my lunch in a mason jar. Still see shit and penises. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Eli is 15!

 I started this blog when Eli was two, and now he’s quite nearly a fully formed adult (frontal lobe notwithstanding.) I’m trying not to be too precious and sentimental, but if I could pick any human to make me a mom, it’d be this guy. He is sweet and smart and thoughtful and funny and stubborn enough to hold his own with his parents. He’s resilient enough to withstand all the parenting screw-ups and sarcastic enough to bring them up at just the right time (like when I thought I ruined Santa.) The world is better with him in it 

I will buy him wrestlers when he's forty and I suspect that he's good-naturedly appreciate them just as much then

Look at this cute baby. BABY! 

And now he's bigger than me and takes ridiculous pictures of us

Friday, June 11, 2021

Family Movie Night

 I think, like most families in our demographic, Friday night has always been "Pizza and a Movie Night." We've been doing it for years off and on, with all of us democratically choosing a movie and then either ordering or making pizza. It was fun, it worked, and it was predictable. Oh. So. Predictable. A few months ago I started to notice though that we were drifting. The kids had seen every movie on Netflix (or so they claimed) and with fewer movies during the pandemic it became a chore finding something everyone wanted to watch. People started drifting to their own devices, with Eli retreating to his room and Averson and Syd binge-watching the show of the week. Pizza, despite all the evidence to the contrary, can get mundane if you eat the same thing every week. I loved the idea of a family night but the execution was falling apart. 

Around that same time I stumbled onto Jennifer Borget on Instagram. The post that caught my eye was about her deciding what movie she was going to pick for their movie night that week. She seemed so excited about it! After a little digging, I found a post that explained how their family of five approaches movie night.  Each person takes a turn choosing both the movie AND the dinner for that week. I'm a little embarrassed by how mind-blowing this was. I presented it to the family and everyone was into it. It has been SO FUN. Our rotation goes youngest to oldest, and we've each had at least two turns so far. People are putting so much thought into their choices and its really fun to talk about it during the week. We have a rule that everyone has to participate and that the movie can't be too scary or grossly age-inappropriate (that bar is really high though). So far we've only had to veto one movie after Syd picked 47 Meters Down Unchained and Averson was crawling in my lap after the first five minutes. For dinners we've had pizza, Chinese food, burgers, pigs in a blanket, and pasta. It's been fun to watch the decision making process for movies too. I always try for something we've never seen (Cruella and Thunder Force). Averson likes to pick an animated movie about animals. Syd agonized over her choice, but aside from the sharks, she's picked winners from her own library of favorites (Maleficient was particularly well-received). Eli I think tries to push the boundaries just a little but has picked the funniest movies of all of us (Grownups was HILARIOUS and maybe a little inappropriate). C and my mom both try to find classics that they want to introduce the kids too. C showed Grumpy Old Men and my mom picked City Slickers. Both had us all laughing out loud. 

If your movie nights have become a little less fun, I highly recommend trying the rotation approach. It takes so much pressure off and everyone got a lot more excited about it, which is important when you're trying to find activities that you can do together when the age and interest ranges vary so widely. 

My turn is coming up. What movies have you loved lately? 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

These are going to be so cute at her medical school graduation

 C hooked Averson up with leftover frogs from a middle-school biology class. Her favorite part to dissect was the tongue, but the lungs came in a close second. I found a section of skin that she saved in her dissection kit. She now has opinions on the quality of formaldehyde. C pondered, out loud, whether he could potentially hook it up to a battery to make it's heart beat or it's legs twitch and I was successful in dissuading him from trying. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

A CrossFitter, a Vegan, and a Runner walk into a bar...

How do you know? Because they won't stop talking about it

Guys? I really love CrossFit. It's pretty ridiculous, but it makes me so happy. And I've gotten both C and Eli to join me, so it's this fun thing we do together even. Eli and I started early in the quarantine because without sports and with our restrictions on socializing (because teenagers aren't known for their good decision making and adherence to rules), he really needed a physical outlet. It became such a fun bonding experience for us and I'll forever be grateful for it. If you're trying to connect with your teenager, I highly recommend taking up a sport neither of you has any experience in and that let's your narcissistic boy flex his muscles a lot. 

Averson likes to play with my phone while she hangs out in the kid area, and sometimes she takes pictures and videos of us working out. It's not pretty, but they make me smile :)

I was thinking this weekend about having to switch doctors since we got new insurance, and having to update my medical history. I've kind of been dreading it, since there are a lot of new and exciting family histories that I'm not feeling super great about formalizing. But I was also reflecting on the fact that I feel like I've kind of got my own stuff dialed in right now, especially as far as my mental health. And so much of it has to do with finding this funny little hobby. For example, the picture above would have sent me spinning six months ago. My knees! My hair! Why does my belly look like that? But now I have a very refreshing sense of remove from it all. What I see now is that I nailed a snatch that day. The next day I set a personal record and deadlifted more than my bodyweight. And then I bragged about it. And last night I dropped my first bar (and it was on purpose!) It feels SO GOOD to be proud of myself for something physical that doesn't have it's root somewhere in self-dissatisfaction. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Long weekend recap

I think I'm maybe having a bit of a rebound reaction to the new job. Probably more to reflect on that later. But in the meantime, the long weekend was delightful. Saturday turned into a grown-up "Yes Day" after C and I decided that it was time to trade in the lemon of an SUV (I could NOT handle another summer of unreliable air conditioning). It was C's first CarMax experience and as we drove away four hours later in our new pick-up, he was totally flummoxed but 100% converted. That was so much fun, and we had such visions of our new truck adventures, that we went to REI and spent a small fortune on boots and backpacking gear. Thank goodness we haven't signed up for any summer activities since we're committed now to all the hiking and camping. 

On Sunday we packed everyone up to go on a hike that C found in a FB group. It's a series of old train tunnels that are full of graffiti. Given the several extreme heat warnings we received, an essentially indoor hike seemed like an excellent plan. If you're ever in the Truckee area, I HIGHLY recommend doing the Donner Tunnels. They were so cool. The kids loved it, it was downright chilly inside the tunnels, and at five miles total, it wasn't a bad trek. 

Gorgeous views outside too!

These two. I need to get Syd into CrossFit ASAP. 

While I would NEVER encourage our kids to vandalize, theoretically if one were to bring spray paint, it would definitely be a hit

The girls and I ate lunch on the tailgate of the truck, which is my absolute, all-time favorite place to sit (second only to a good stoop.) You can also peek my new, super legit hiking boots. 

On Monday the plan was to lay low and not melt, given the projected temperature of 108 (which really should just read "too fucking hot"). However, I stumbled on to a FB post of a woman selling a big Monstera for cheap and since I've been wanting one forever, but didn't want to pay a lot since I'll probably kill it, I couldn't pass it up. Turns out she was moving and needed to get rid of plants, so I accidentally came home with a jungle. 

Such pretty babies! I hope I don't murder them

And then, because I like to live dangerously, I let Eli go swim at a friend's house. And nearly died in the process. I limped into the gas station on literal fumes. The temp reading here was in the shade. 

All in all, a delightful long weekend. I'm back at the new job today but doing a lot of thumb twiddling because we hit some snags and I can't actually see patients yet. BUT, I'm wearing a new outfit from the Nordstrom Trunk Club and I'm reading a super creepy book and my office is air-conditioned so I suppose I'll make it through.