Thursday, August 28, 2008

2007-2008 Day Two

Well, my summer vacation officially ended yesterday. It was back to the Hell-Hole. Imagine my delight! I'm going to try to refrain from bitching about it today. I will say, though, that my back is killing, and I basically feel like I've been run over by a truck, from all the physical work I've done these past two days. I have been a furniture-moving-fool! After nearly two weeks of near-perfect weather in the 70s, the weather the past two days has naturally been nearly in the 90s because I had to go back to the un-airconditioned Hell-Hole!! The only time I want to be this sweaty has nothing to do with being at work, let me tell you!

After a long, tiring first day back, I then had just enough time to rush home (my sister picked up my son for me and brought him home) jump in the shower, get dressed and race to the bar, so that I could open by 5. We had a Dinner, Dancing and Drinks event last night, so it was a busy night. After we closed and cleaned up a bit, my brother decided it would be a great time to finally drop my car off at his buddy's garage to have the laundry list of things done that it needs. Then, he drove me to my parents' to get my dad's car. By the time I got home it was about 3:30, I was in bed by 4, then up again at 7 to start all over. Like I mentioned earlier, I had Parents' Night tonight at my son's high school (thoroughly enjoyed it, by the way!) but I did manage to get a 30 minute nap in first. Thank God tomorrow is Friday!!

Some of you will be happy to know that, despite the tremendous guilt I'm feeling for leaving my brother alone on a Saturday night, I'll be taking my son and his two best friends to Michigan tomorrow night for a looonnngg weekend. (My uncle, the police captain, has a home in Saugatuck that we try to go to a few times a year.) I'm still too tired to get that excited just yet, but I think it's going to be wonderful! It won't quite make up for the summer vacation I gave up by working nearly every single night at the bar, but it's better than nothing, right? I'm really just excited about having all three of my boys for the weekend. They always have such a great time when we go to Michigan, so I'm looking forward to it. I decided to do it when my brother mentioned that maybe we should just be closed Sunday and Monday for the holiday. I was surprised that he wanted to close on Sunday, since I thought it could potentially be a busy night, since everyone is off the next day. But, he reminded me that most people will either be out of town, or at barbecues/picnics with their families. I thought back to the weekend of July 4th, and remembered that we were dead, so I had to agree with him. I'm not really comfortable leaving him alone Saturday night, though, even though he keeps assuring me it'll be fine. He thinks it'll be slow because of people being out of town. I hope for his sake it's not too much to handle. But, I don't want it to be dead, either, since we need the business.

I guess I'll be rushing home tomorrow to do laundry and pack, huh? That's fine with me. It's going to be so nice to be away for 3 days. I plan to bring the pile of books I thought I was going to be able to read this summer. Luckily, the boys are just happy to be together, so I don't need to do a whole lot of planning for them. We'll hit the beach, maybe go into town, definitely hit Kilwin's Ice Cream Shoppe, maybe sit around the firepit at night roasting hot dogs and s'mores for dinner, finish off the nights with a movie on the big screen...ahh, sound heavenly, doesn't it? OK, now I'm getting excited!

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Please take a moment to remember those who sacrifice everyday to fight for our freedom.

This is for you, Smileygirl...

Here's the Readers' Digest Condensed Version about the police academy. In a nutshell, I took the test, passed (with flying colors, of course! haha!) had the background check, the psych testing, drug testing, the whole shebang. Like I said, I trained that whole summer (with two of my cousins who are cops) to do the physical part, and had it down without a problem. Best shape of my life, I tell ya! The night before I was supposed to start the academy, I made the last-minute decision to not do it because I gave in to the "Mommy guilt." My son sobbed and sobbed, asking me not to do it. His reasoning, which was quite valid for a 6 year-old, was, "If you become a police officer, I'll never see you, just like I never see Daddy!" You may recall that the CSJ was a Chicago cop. He used to work afternoons, so he didn't see his dad very much (which was just FINE with me, quite frankly!)

A funny side note about this whole thing - I made a friend of mine take the test with me just to keep me company at the "open testing." We both passed, and then did all the next steps, but I dropped out and he went on to become an officer. Until I asked him to keep me company that day, he never once thought about becoming a police officer. We women can be pretty persuasive, can't we? ;-)

I don't know if I ever mentioned that many members of my family are police officers, and subsequently, many, many of my friends are police officers. My uncle, who is a captain in the department, bugged me all the time to take the test. I always joke about how I already completed the academy at least 4 times because I helped him through it when he was there (nearly 25 years ago!) by doing ALL of his assignments, typing ALL of his papers, making his code books (as well as about 20 more for all his friends) and keeping his uniforms in order. Keep in mind that I was 16 years old at the time. Then, obviously, I helped CSJ, too. I used to hold a study group at our apartment every Sunday, and 8-12 of the people in his class would come over to study. I would read the books during the week, make notes, etc., and then hold class. That's when I started thinking about a career in the department. I decided it might be fun to teach at the academy. After my ex graduated, two of my cousins went through the academy, and naturally I helped them, as well. So, like I said, I've been through it at least 4 times!

My plan was to graduate, do my time on the streets (probably 2 years) then have my uncle use his pull to get me a job at the academy. He actually worked at the academy for a number of years before he became a captain, so I figured it wouldn't be too difficult for him to set things up for me. And, if that didn't work, I figured I would just work for him. Captains get to have their own "assistants" and drivers, who are officers, but only work for the captain. How sweet would that have been?

But, alas, I threw it all away because of my son's tears. Now I could kick myself for not just doing it, because I'd have 8 years on already. Even if I was working on the streets in the ghetto, I'd be better off than I am now, since I work in the ghetto everyday, without the comforts of a badge, vest or gun! More than likely, I'd be working some cushy desk job (don't hate, I'm just being honest!) definitely making more money, with better benefits, etc. Oh well... As my uncle keeps reminding me, it's not too late. There have been many tests given since I took the last one, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, he calls and tells me to take the test again! The age limit has been changed several times for the test, and at one point, I was too old to take it again, but now they've raised the cut-off to 40. So, if I took the test in the next 8 months, I'd still be ok. I've been seriously thinking about it lately, given how much I love my job these days. I'll keep you posted if anything develops...

And, just for the record, Smiley, they do just as extensive a background check for Chicago Public Schools as they do for the police academy!! Smart ass!

I need a nap...

OK, so yesterday was my first day back to work. The babies come next Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. I'm so exhausted right now, I don't really have the energy to write much yet. I need to catch a quick nap (I hope!) because I have to go to Parents' Night at my son's high school. Perhaps after catching a few zzzzs, I'll feel like writing a little more...

Monday, August 25, 2008

WTF?


OK, I just got home from the bar, so it's about 3am, and apparently I left the TV on when I went to work this afternoon. I sat down to check email and such, and as I glanced at the TV, who do I see but Billy Blanks! In case you don't remember him, he's the Tae Bo guru from about a decade ago. Man, I was OBSESSED with Tae Bo back in the day. Come to think of it, I really should start doing it again. It got me in the best shape, physically, that I was ever in. I started doing it the summer I was training for the police academy. Ah, but I digress, and that's a post for another time...

Back to Billy. I had NO idea he ever acted in anything. This movie is bizarre, too, from the few glances I've taken at it since I sat down. Now I'm going to have to google it to see what the hell it's called, and what year it came out. Man, he's in phenomenal shape!! Holy hell, I just snuck a peek at the TV, and he's pretty much in a loincloth. WTF?
*****
Ok, so I just googled him, and I found at least 27 movies listed under his bio. Seriously?! I had no idea he was an actor. I never heard of him before Tae Bo became such a sensation. Hmmm, interesting. So interesting that I'm actually freakin' googling him at 3:30 in the freakin' morning!! Good thing I have to drive my son to school in about 4 hours! Go to bed, you dork!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I need a favor...

One of my oldest and dearest friends called me this afternoon to tell me her dad had a stroke this past Thursday. He's currently still in intensive care, paralyzed on his right side. He also can't swallow, which means no eating or drinking. They're using a feeding tube to keep him nourished. If you are a pray-er, please send some prayer for my friend and her family. They could use them.

My friend and her mom are feeling some major guilt right now, as they were out shopping together when this happened. Dad was home alone, and they have no idea how long he was there before they arrived. They left at about 10:30, then called at 11:30, and didn't get an answer. Her mom commented on how that was strange, since Dad always answers the phone. They called a few more times throughout the day, and Mom was getting more and more unsettled. They finally went to the house at 2:30, and found him face down in the hallway. Naturally, she and her mother are certain that he had the stroke about 5 minutes after they left, and that Dad was lying there for hours. I'm hoping to God it was only for a very short while. Unfortunately, they missed that "window of opportunity" in which they could have done something to prevent paralysis, etc., which naturally is adding to their guilt.

Let me thank you now for your prayers, as they can use all they can get.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A little something to kick off the weekend...

I have been sitting here howling for nearly an hour now, thanks to my buddy, Jen, over at Never a Dull Moment. I found this new blog, Cake Wrecks, on her post today. Please, do yourself a favor and check it out, especially if you could use a good laugh!

I lifted this from one of her recent posts, and now I'm on my way to the bakery!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

We interrupt our mourning period with this...

I'm very proud of the way I just held my tongue with CSJ. He came to pick up my son, and I decided before he arrived that I would be "nice," considering the circumstances. I was even able to give him a heartfelt hug, and have a decent conversation.

In the past two days, I've had to put out nearly $1,000 for my son for various things, such as doctor's appointments, school supplies, gym uniform, books and this morning, the orthodontist. He'll be getting braces Monday morning, and this morning we went for the "records" appointment. They took tons of pictures and x-rays, and I think an impression of his teeth. They wanted $240 for this appointment, and I need to bring them a butt-load of money on Monday morning. The total for this little extravaganza is $5,124. I seriously almost fainted right there in the "finance manager"'s office. If I pay in full on Monday morning, I'll get a whopping 5% discount, which comes to about $250. Woo hoo! I can also choose to put it on a credit card and get a 3% discount. Or, finally, I can give them a down payment of $1,224, and then pay $195 for the next 20 months. All of those options sounds like "fuck you!" to my pocketbook.

Anyway, getting back to CSJ, he obviously will be responsible for half of this bill. However, we're still at each other's throats about tuition for high school, so I wasn't exactly sure how to bring this up. Quite frankly, he could give me the royal 'screw you' and not help me pay at all for the braces. My name is on the paperwork as the sole responsible party, since I carry the insurance (which doesn't even cover freakin' orthodontia, by the way!!) so I really have no way to make him pay. But, as much as I hate him, I know that deep down, he'd do anything for his son.

So, I wasn't going to even mention the whole braces thing when he was here, since I figured this wasn't really the time. But, as he was leaving, he asked about it. I still said, "Let's talk about it later." But, he wanted to know, so I showed him the paperwork, I think he peed a little in his pants. Believe me, he was about 90% subdued from his usual behavior, but I could tell he was still pissed off about it. But, when he started bitching about how "5 grand is a lot of fuckin' money, I'm already workin' 7 days a week..." I instantly turned into my usual bitchy self, but thankfully only in my head. My immediate thought was, "FUCK YOU, JAGOFF!! Sell the cunt's ring, and you could pay for the braces twice, motherfucker!!"

Luckily, he just lost one of his best friends, so I was able to keep it together. But, seriously!!? I wanted to punch him in the face! Naturally, he had to go on and on about how "your mom is being taken." "You don't even need braces. Your teeth are perfectly straight..." blah, blah, blah. All the same shit I heard three years ago when I took him the orthodontist the first time, at the recommendation of our dentist, and I've been hearing it every single time the subject gets brought up. My son's teeth are perfectly straight, that's not the problem. The problem is his bite, which needs adjusting. So, just shut the hell up, and pay for the damn braces!! Ugh!!

OK, I don't want to bitch anymore about CSJ. I really, truly do feel horrible for him. He's been through a lot in his life, and has suffered some really horrific losses. Actually, WE'VE suffered some horrific losses, but that's another post. Or two, or three... I loved this man more than life at one point, and I'll always love him on some level. It hurts me to see him suffering. Ok, the water works are starting, which means this post has to end.

A little more about my friend...

Here are a couple more videos from today's local news.
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6329522
http://video.nbc5.com/player/?id=285398

This is a great article from the Chicago Sun Times today that just gives a glimpse of what kind of guy Bob was.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1109342,CST-NWS-officer15.article

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rest in Peace, Bob Soto


At 3:05 this morning, my friend Bob Soto passed away. I plan to come back later and tell you more about him, but for now, here are a couple of videos from this morning's news, and a couple of articles from today's papers.
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6326824
http://video.nbc5.com/player/?id=285266
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-chicago-cop-dies-webaug15,0,3757715.story
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1107726,copshot081308.article

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh my God...

...oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.....

That's all that's going through my head right now. Very early this morning, when I was watching the news, I heard a news report of an off-duty officer that was shot. He was sitting in his car with a woman, who was killed. My first thought was, they were having an affair, and either his wife or her husband shot them. (Yes, I still have some serious issues, I know) Well, flash forward to this afternoon. A friend of mine, who is also a Chicago cop, had been trying to call me all day to let me know that the cop that was shot was my ex's former partner. He was his first partner when he got on the job, and they've remained friends ever since, even though my ex is no longer on the job. I, also, stayed in touch with him, and considered him a friend. Which is why my other friend was calling me. He wasn't sure if CSJ had heard, since he didn't really know if they were still in touch. I got a few more details from my friend about what happened, and I knew that my other friend was in critical condition.

Well, I tried calling CSJ several times today (all morning for another reason, then this afternoon about this) He finally called me back. When I said, "I assume you heard about Bob by now," he says, "Bob is brain dead. It's just a matter of pulling the plug. I've been here at the hospital since 5:00 this morning." I absolutely lost it. I'm still losing it. I can't stop crying. I loved this man. I'm too upset to get into the nitty gritty of our past, but he's always been a good man to me and my son, and I'm going to miss him so much. I need to go cry some more, but I'll leave you with this news report from our local ABC station from this afternoon. Please, say a prayer for his family.
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6324202

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm afraid I'm being sucked back in...

I received an email today from a woman from the afterschool program that I worked for last school year. She wanted to let me know that they look forward to working with me again this new school year, etc... This seriously has been one of the things I've been thinking about when thinking about changing schools. This year I will probably be making $75 per hour to be the site coordinator, which is nothing to sneeze at. There's no way I'd be able to find another part-time job for that kind of pay. Hell, is four hours a week even part-time?

I don't make near that amount at the bar, either, unfortunately. Yeah, it seems like I've been making great money this summer (I have about 5 1/2 months tuition saved up. Yay!) but when you consider the hours I've been putting in, it's not so great. On average, I put in at least 10 hours, minimum, each night that I work, and some nights it's closer to 12. So, coming home with $150 doesn't sound so hot now, does it? Not to mention that ALL of those hours are spent on my feet. And, the commute is about an hour total each night. OK, I certainly don't want to sound like I'm bitching about working at the bar. I'm really not, I'm just sayin' - it ain't easy!

So, my point is, this position is definitely one reason to stay put at the Hell-Hole. There are a few more, but I'm too tired to go into it right now. This email I received today is just one more thing to throw into the mix. I'll keep you posted....

Friday, August 8, 2008

08-08-08

I'm sitting here watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Fantastic!!

Happy, happy wedding day to my KBL and her BelovED! Actually, by now, their wedding day is officially over, since they're in Rome, and it's now Saturday there. I'm sure it was a gorgeous wedding, and I can't wait to see the pictures.

If you are a pray-er, please say one (or two!) for my friend Carebear's little boy. You can read about why here.

Psychic Night

I just realized I didn't really write about Wednesday night's Psychic Night. The event itself was great, but not nearly the turn-out we had last Wednesday for the Dinner, Dancing and Drinks event. But, it was fine. The psychic definitely did well, as there was a steady stream of people for readings. She actually turned away three people who walked in at midnight because she was tired and wanted to leave.

Now, there was a really fun group that was there for a good part of the evening. They really appreciated the fact that all they had to say was, "Another round, please" and I remembered what their drinks were. Not that extraordinary a feat, as far as I'm concerned, but they liked it. At one point, one of my brother's friends, J, who was there hanging out went out to smoke a cigarette, and when he came back, he looked like a kid who just saw Santa Claus. He asks, "Who's driving the (insert name of really expensive car here)?" I have no idea what the hell kind of car it is, but he told me it cost over $100,000. I almost think he said $130,000 or $150,000. Anyway, the guy who owns it says it's his, and he takes J back outside to look at it. It turns out they went for a drive and everything. Pretty nice of the guy, huh? I'm certain J came back sportin' a chub!

Well, this guy was with this really fun group. Toward the end of the evening, the group moved from the couch on the other side of the room to the bar. The guy says to me, "You've been doing an outstanding job all night!" I just said thanks and laughed it off. When it came time for us to close, they asked for their tab, and when I told the guy his total, he acted a little goofy. I assumed it was because he thought it was too much, but later I was told by a couple of girls that were sitting with them that he thought it wasn't enough. He just kept repeating the total out loud. Well, he goes ahead and signs it and gives it back, and I see he had put a $200 tip on the bill! I tried to talk him out of it (yes, I'm an idiot) but he insisted. He said, "Just give me a shot on the house!" Well, hell yeah, I can do that! Naturally, I split that tip, and all the others in the bucket, with my brother after we closed, so we both had a great night! Man, do I really have to go back to school in a few weeks? This job is definitely more fun, and most nights, more profitable!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Just in case you were wondering...

...I am no less angry today at the cocksucking jagoff than I was on Tuesday. I'm even a little more annoyed, if that's even possible. He was supposed to bring my son home this morning, and conveniently forgot that we even had that conversation. Cocksucking jagoff.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Breakfast with Missy

My anonymous commenter from the other day is going to cringe if he/she reads this, but I came home from breakfast this morning no more a fan of Idina than I was yesterday. I don't dislike her, but I'm not crazy about her, either. In my very humble, personal opinion, her voice is entirely too nasal-sounding to me, almost to the point of being annoying. Oh, wait, this is MY blog, so I guess that's the only opinion that matters here! ;-)

It was great to see my buddy, Melissa, though. I wish we would have had more time to chat, but since she was working, she was on a tight schedule. I did get some cute pictures today. Here's my favorite, of Melissa and my son. Holy crap, he almost let a smile escape!! I think it has to do with the fact that he's kinda sweet on Melissa.

I should probably be trying to take a nap, since I was up at 5am to get ready for our delightful breakfast date. I have to work tonight at the bar, which means I'll be up til the wee hours, as usual. We're having Psychic Night tonight, so we're expecting it to be pretty busy. The psychic is giving us a free reading for hosting the event, and my brother and I are fighting over who'll take it. Not because we want it, but because neither of us does! He doesn't really believe in psychic readings, and I'm a bit freaked out by the whole thing. I'll let you know tomorrow what happens.

I would love for anyone who is reading this to please check out Tesi's blog today, and maybe open your heart to a good cause. Every little bit helps.

One more little tidbit about this morning. After everyone else left, I was chatting with Melissa, and I thanked her for pulling whatever strings she pulled to put us on the list this morning. She looked at me like I was nuts. She said, "What are you talking about?" Well, it turns out she had nothing to do with choosing who was invited. When I told her what I had written on my entry form, she just started laughing and said, "Steven loves stuff like that!" (He's the one who went through the entries and picked the winners.) Hmmm, I'll have to remember that for the next contest....

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. --- Anais Nin

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

I'm am SOOOO angry right now, I think my head is going to explode!!! Naturally, the situation involves the Cocksucking Jagoff, and I swear to God, I wish I could make him disappear!! I wish he would just fall off the face of the Earth! I'm so pissed off right now, I can't even go into detail, but it involves the fact that he keeps crying poor mouth and bitching about having to pay his share of my son's tuition, when I just found out that he bought the Home Wrecking Whore a $10,000 engagement ring!! What the fuck?!?!? How DARE he put his whore ahead of his son's education!! How dare he! Ugh! I want to fuckin' bash his head in right now!!!! I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!!! And, yes, I do know I sound like a two year old, but I don't care right now!! I feel a slew of swear words bubbling to the surface, so it's time to go....

Monday, August 4, 2008

We'll miss you, Tigger!

I was putting this off because I was just so saddened by it, but I wanted to take a moment to honor Randy Pausch, who passed away last week. When I heard the news, I had just come home from the bar, so it was the wee hours of the morning, and I turned on one of the news programs that come on in the middle of the night (you have to remember, I don't have cable). When Randy's picture popped up on the screen, I knew immediately what the story was going to be, and I instantly became teary-eyed. Back in February, I posted this, after seeing it on my friend Melissa's webpage. I also received his book as a birthday gift in May, and it definitely is at the top of my list of favorites. I'm trying to figure out a way to get my son to read it without strong-arming him into it. Much has been said about him in the last week or so, and there isn't much more I can say other than he was a wonderful man, great teacher, loving husband, and adoring father.

What a great picture of Randy and his wife!

I can't believe it...

OK, it happened again. I was sitting here, doing my sudoku, when the phone rang. I saw from the caller ID that it said "Clearchannel," and I almost didn't answer it. I thought maybe it was some kind of sales call. But, then a half a second later, I thought, "Maybe it's Melissa calling me." I answered and spoke to a lovely girl named Lindsey, who said she was calling me to invite me to join Melissa's Morning Show and Idina Menzel for a live broadcast and breakfast this Wednesday, at the House of Blues. Huh!? Yay! I very vaguely remember entering for a chance to do this, but it was more as a joke than anything else. In order to enter, you had to tell why you are Idina's biggest fan, and why you should be there. I think I wrote something like, "I just want to have breakfast with Melissa!" I never in a million years thought anything would come of it, other than perhaps giving someone at the station a little giggle. I'm thinking my good friend Melissa had a hand in this, so I'm going to call her in a minute to find out.


Just in case you aren't familiar with Idina Menzel, she played Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway. She also has a successful solo career. You can check out her website for more information. To be completely honest, I only know the one song of hers that they play on the Lite, which they did when it was first released. They had another Loyal Listener event then, which you can check out here:

http://www.wlit.com/cc-common/gallery/display.html?album_id=99202

At the time, I remember thinking, yeah, the song is nice, but she sounds a little too "Disney" for me (as in, she should be singing Disney theme songs.) But, I realize that's probably not a fair assessment, since I haven't heard any of her other songs, with the exception of the Wicked stuff, which has that "theater" sound to it. I am, however, VERY impressed with the fact that she's married to Taye Diggs, who's a hottie tottie!!! They've been married since 2003, so good for them!

So, this Wednesday, I'll be getting up at the crack of dawn (you know, the same time I'm usually getting home from working at the bar!!) to get ready for what should be a fun morning. My darling little son will be joining me, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'll just have to be sure I get home in time to take a nap, since we're having another Wednesday night event at the bar - Psychic Night! I'm actually pretty excited about it. Not so much about the psychic part (quite frankly, it freaks me out a little) but because there's been a lot of buzz about it, so we're expecting a big crowd. That means a long, busy night for me. Hopefully, it'll translate into a profitable night, as well.