Monday, July 27, 2009


(AA meeting style)

Hi, my name is Star, and I'm a jealous bitch.

*Hi, Star.*

(/meeting to get to the point...)

It's not that my boyfriend is some crazy player type, and I ever have to worry. Far from it. My boyfriend is a sweet, caring, wonderful man who is one of the last people on Earth you would ever think would do anything like that.

And it's not even that I think he is, or would, or anything. I actually believe that any girl stupid enough to not sense the so-happily-taken-it's-ridiculous vibe radiating off of him would get shot down with a quickness. In a nice way, but still. I have every confidence in his fidelity.

It isn't that I begrudge him female friends, either. *I* have guy friends. And I think more of them would have nefarious intentions towards me than his chick friends do towards him. And although I have my suspicions that a few of his girl friends would like to step out of the friend zone, none of them has ever done anything to make me go, "No. That's just blatantly offensive, enough, her or me." One of them would have to do something ridiculous, like sprawl naked in his bed and proposition him, for me to even contemplate something crazy like that.

But, man, sometimes he has certain friends that I just internally seethe when I hear him talk to, about, text to, et cetera. And there's no rhyme or reason to I said, even if *they* had designs, I trust him, implicitly. So that's not it.

Nor do I think he's going to wake up and go, "Jesus, I'm dating...her? Really?" I don't have low self esteem normally or anything. I'm a pretty egotistical person by nature. And it's not that I feel like I'm not good enough for him. I think he's amazing, I feel lucky to have him, but he should feel lucky, too. Because I'm a pretty good catch, too.

I'm not doing anything shady, either. You know how they say people who get jealous are sometimes that way because they're doing wrong? Nope, none of that going down.

So why the jealousy?

Seriously. I'm asking. Analyzing it in normal terms hasn't worked (how new and different, me, not being normal, lol.) And it bothers me to have those feelings. And I'm sure it bothers him a little to see me get all green eyed over such dumb shit. But I can't help it.


Saturday, July 18, 2009


When I married, I was sure I was going to have a pretty traditional family.

Well, ok. Maybe not traditional. I mean, it's *my* family, right? I'm pretty out there some times.

But traditionally structured. Husband, wife, two kids. Pets. House. All that stuff.

That didn't quite work out. For many, varied reasons that paint neither of us in a flattering light, my husband and I split awhile back. It was really hard on me. I mean, you always think, when you get married, "This is the one. The one I love forever, the one I'll always be happy with, and if there are problems, they'll be fixable. Because it's forever." But the reality of those problems and issues are sometimes just too much. And it's heartbreaking, because you feel like you lost your future. And it seems like no one will ever love you again, like all your flaws and issues were just too much. And you wonder if you just botched it, what you could have done differently, why it's all your fault. It's quite horrible, to say the least.

Fast forward to now. After all of the drama of the split, Mike and I are actually really good friends. We talk every couple of days, and it's very comforting. Even though we aren't together, we have such a shared history that we understand and relate to each other. We've talked about his recent breakup, about my current relationship, about a plethora of other things. I still very much consider him to be a huge part of my family. This is, happily, not at all a problem for my significant other. At my daughter's second birthday, both guys sat around, talking to each other, to me...and everything was pretty happy. I'm not going to say it wasn't a long, weird, hard process to get to where we are. There were certainly times where I never thought we could all happily co-exist either. And there are certainly times where it's still weird or hard. But I always had the shining example of my parents, who weren't together, but who were amazing co-parents and treated each other with genuine like and respect.

Today, Rhi and I are at the boyfriend's house. Since tonight is Mike's night with the baby, he'll pick her up here. Lots of times, he'll show up with McDonald's teas for the baby, Shane, and me. He and I will talk briefly, I'll kiss the baby, I'll give Mike a hug, and they'll go off. Tomorrow, I'll go pick her up, and spend some time at Mike's mom's house, hanging out while he fixes a belt on my car and recharges the freon. We may run to Hyvee and get some California rolls to split. We'll discuss the computer he's buying from Shane. It'll be completely un-normal, and far removed from traditional, but nice nonetheless.

I may not have wound up with my original idea of the perfect family, but this one...filled with love and light and friends and pretty damn amazing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

That old blog standby, bitching about work

I hate my job today.

How is that news? you wonder. Don't we all hate our jobs?

Well, I'm in a minority in that I love what I do. I'm a preschool teacher, and I mostly adore that. Coming up with things for my kids to do, seeing the light bulb go on when they finally get a new concept, the stumbling first letters, the early socialization...I love it all. I can say with all honesty that I love every child in my class. Even the ones who are bad, or loud, or slow, or have attitudes like a Jerry Springer guest. And, little known fact, last year, when my first class graduated, I cried. This is one of the few jobs I've ever had where I felt like I made a difference, where I felt like I had a calling, not just a money maker.

But I hate the school.

Actually, not even that. See, I love the school in theory. We're a non-profit, we're affordable, and every teacher there...with one glaring exception...loves the hell out of the kids and wants only what's best for them. The staff is fairly close knit, and we tend to stay around awhile.

But then there's the administration.

My boss is...*sigh.* I'm not even sure where to start on that. I believe that she once was great at her job. But I think she's burnt out on dealing with it all. And, quite frankly, I'm not sure she should have been honed for managerial duties anyways. She's fantastic at schmoozing the parents, at calming down the pissed off. But she fails to see all the potential in her staff. She barely knows us at all, and she gets so caught up in making us fit into the preconceived notions that she has of us that she loses the forest for the trees. To be all cliched.

She gets so focused on what everyone else wants that she forgets the staff entirely. Let me give you an example. We're having a fundraiser. It has a silent auction. Every room is having something in this silent auction. The proceeds from this go entirely to the room for the wish list. Fantastic idea, grade A, seriously. Love it. Except, none of the rooms were given any input into the baskets at all. We have no idea what will be in them. And we're the ones who interact with the kids and parents enough that we could have had seriously valuable ideas that could have generated fantastic revenue. And, the fundraiser is on a day the school isn't open. The administration wants us to work it. No big deal, I legitimately want to see the place succeed because I believe in the mission. However, instead of *asking* us, we were told we were *expected* to be there. Without pay. For five hours. Potentially plus clean up.

It's all about respect, and we simply don't get it. If a parent complains about anything, no matter how ridiculous, we're expected to comply by doing whatever it takes to make that parent happy. For instance:

One of my more vocal parents complained that the picture above was entirely too suggestive, and told my boss that I should remove it. Now, look closely,'s a kiss. A closed mouthed kiss. All it suggests is that I like my boyfriend. It doesn't show nudity, we're not groping each other, not slipping tongues. My two year old has seen this picture often. And, it's not like it was posted on a wall in poster format. It was a 4x6, framed, behind my desk, on a shelf. Not even at a child's eye level. But, since a single parent complained about how ridiculously sexual and suggestive in nature it is (/sarcasm) I had to remove it. I wonder, if I had had a wedding picture up, like the "you may kiss the bride" variety...would that have been as offensive?

Other things that parents have found offensive that we as a staff we're supposed to change:
*length of shorts
*variety of clothes
*music listened to during nap time
*too many calls home when a child was running a 101 degree fever for several days in a row
*telling a child not to hum at the lunch table
*not giving the child a choice in everything that they do
*the blind in a room not going completely up
*too much time outside
*too little time outside
and it goes on and on. But if a parent says it, it must be true, and we should all just hop to fixing it. And while I genuinely like most of the parents, some are just those people, you know? The ones that you can't ever please. Ever.

We also get literally no credit for going above and beyond. Stay late, come in early, pitch in, do extra...sure. Go ahead. But expect no recognition whatsoever, not even a "hey, thanks!" It's pretty stupid. None of us needs constant praise, but a little recognition occasionally would be pretty sweet, you know? I mean, on any given day, we deal with screaming, crying, hitting, biting, complaining, whining, clinging, poop, pee, vomit, drool, spit, blood, and we do it for way, way less money than we deserve. We get a little vacation time and some paid holidays. No insurance, not a lot of respect...yeah. A little "great job!" here and there might help offset that a little.

I could go on, but I sound whiny even to myself now. I've vented, I'm moving on, and my boyfriend is tutting over the fact that I'm virtually ignoring him (love you, honey!) Peace out, homefries.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unapologetic views

I'm going to say something somewhat controversial.

I loathe how pro-mom our legal system is.

Ok, there. Before you crucify me, let me explain.

So, my sister's going through shit with her husband. And she's a student, unemployed, so she's getting legal aid. And they advised her to file an order of protection against her husband for herself and her children. Now, I won't go into her very personal reasons for or against that, because that isn't what this was about. But it did make me think a little.

Awhile back, I called legal aid. They told me that they were low on funding, so there was a waiting list, and then they asked me if I had been in a abusive relationship. I told them no, and they asked me if I was sure. "Sure I'm sure," I told them, confused, "why?"

Apparently, had I said I was abused...having to provide no real proof of this...I would have been bumped to the front of the queue. And they would have advised me to, well, file orders of protection, et cetera. Now, as far as I know, this is only if you have the virtue of being born with a vagina. If you're an abused dude seeking a divorce and custody of your kid, you're pretty much SOL from what I'm told.

And it goes on and on. I personally know three - yes, three - men who had women blatantly lie about them being abusive for the woman's own twisted agenda. "But, Star!" you say, "However do you know that the *woman* lied? Men lie when accused of that all the time, blah blah blah."

They sure do. Because some men are huge, huge dicks. But I *know* these three, and each of them is someone that I know without a doubt would never, never, never do what they were accused of. And as much as men can be huge dicks, women can be vindictive, horrible wenches. The sad thing is that the system is tilted in the favor of the accuser. Men accused of anything domestic get judged pretty much before they even go to court. They're guilty until proven innocent. Their names and reputations? Tarnished at the very hint of it. And unless they have a substantial amount of money, they have no hope of getting off. Because it ceases to be the woman's case instantly, and becomes the state's case. The state, with lots more money than you, prosecutes you relentlessly, while you're generally forced to deal with an over-worked, underpaid public defender, who probably also has prejudged you as guilty. Typically, public defenders urge you to plead guilty. Then, they get less court time, the state gets an easy win, and you get a pretty shitty plea bargain that you can't really argue with, because it's slightly better than the suck you were originally confronted with.

And you don't even have to stand accused of something get shafted as a dude. There are a million stories of bad moms who keep their kids while the decent dad tries and fails to get them. And if a dad does get the kid? A lot of times, the mom pays way, way less than a dad would in support, and judges often say it's so they can "focus on the child." Funny how that seems to be way less important for fathers to do...

I'm not trying to say men shouldn't pay child support (although most current tables for support amounts are ungodly, and I do think that that needs to be revamped to be a fair amount that reasonably supports the child) or that the ones who do commit abuse should get away with it, or that poor women shouldn't be entitled to legal help. Far from it. But I think that the legal system needs to be more discerning. Child support amounts should also take into account cost of living, because if the noncustodial parent can't pay their bills, they certainly can't do any good for their child, and are just set up to fail. Domestic abuse cases should be less prejudged, and public defenders for those and all cases should be better paid and given lesser case loads so that they can seriously focus on the good of the client, and less on getting one more thing out of their hair. Custody shouldn't always instantly go to the parent with the vagina, but to the parent who is willing and able to take the best care of the child. Not monetarily, but with time, love, and understanding. If both parents are fit, they should come up with a mutually agreeable custody plan that hopefully has the time as evenly divided as possible.

Obviously, this isn't a Utopian world where this all can just - POOF! fall into place. But, really...women have been pretty equal for awhile now. (Barring a few things I'll get into another time.) And we should be treated equally in these situations, too.

From one of my favorite books, Inherit the Wind:

Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it.
Sometimes I think there's a man who sits behind a counter and says..."Madam, you may vote but at a price. You lose the right to retreat behind the powder puff or your petticoat."

The legal system needs to stop being the one place that we can still hide behind our petticoats.

Monday, July 13, 2009


So Mondays suck, right?

Yeah, well, they extra suck today.

Everything that could go wrong today has, even things I could never have dreamt of. It started off with the normal Monday crap...hate my boss, work is too early, et cetera...and it just got worse and worse. Into my sister's estranged husband running off with her kids, and someone I love very much losing something very important to them.

It's pretty much the Monday from hell.

And it's beyond just hating the actions. I'm starting to get a serious case of weltschmertz. I'm so seriously depressed by how awful everything on Earth feels right now. I feel like every forward step I've ever taken keeps getting erased. I hate how much injustice is in the world, and I hate how totally powerless I feel right now. Powerless to stop it. Powerless to fix it. Powerless to do anything at all.

Powerlessness sucks.

I'm a very proactive person. I take steps to fix things, I'm aggressive, I don't wait. I don't let things ride. I make them better, damn it. And...I can't. Seriously. Can't. Do. Anything. I'm totally defeated.

So repetitive, I know, but I can't express it enough.

And I'm so not used to being depressed. I mean, I've had bouts, generally prior to leaving my husband and during some of the drama thereafter. But my life has been coasting along in this quiet, happy, contented way. And then, BOOM! It's all sorts of crap, in a second.

I don't even know how to end this. I have no real closing.

This wasn't even supposed to be an emo blog like this. It was supposed to be this insightfully amusing blog about how stupid bosses are, how ridiculous things in the workplace can be. But then a whopping case of life happened, and I sit.

I promise next time this won't be so...unfun, I guess. Things will get better, I'm sure, and everyone will be happier, and I'll crack jokes and all my normal jazz.

Until then.