Friday, March 30, 2007

Choice Rhymes With Voice. (Choose Rhymes With Booze.)

Psycho-Babble Alert! REPEAT- Psycho-Babble Alert!

Babble Alert ORANGE: Proceed with extreme caution!!!

I have taken loads of personality batteries, indicators ("It's positive! I DO have a personality!"), tests, etc. over my lifetime and I don't know if this is just a universal feeling, but none of them really seem to capture the Real Me. I can see where they are coming from in what they summarize in their conclusions/scoring sections, but I don't feel like I could put what it says there on a business card to hand out as a pocket-guide to Kari.

I realize that the point of these tests is to lend insight, not to be a one-stop shop for self-actualization. I get that (what with being a psych major and all). They have the feel of a vertical vivisection of the human body- there’s different stuff in each slice, you can’t see the whole from assumptions made by observing them (especially if you get one of the middle pieces with no legs- ooh, or and end piece that’s just all arm!), and man, they can be really icky.

The one test that I feel came the closest to putting the Real Me on paper was the Birkman profile I took 2 years ago. It's a combination of a tests like the MMPI, the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator or Kiersey Temperament Sorter and a sprinkle of the Strong Interest Inventory. Total black-sheep test of the hard-core psych community- it has an enormous database they compare and calculate against, loads of metrics, algorithms and zany generators that basically create a clinical summary. No clinician required.

What I found the most impressive was that Birkman hid no weaknesses when it came to categorizing me - I am VERY a lot of things. I have the pre-disposition for what it takes to excel in the Arts, but also Science, Medical Professions and strangely enough Administration. Among the career recommendations (of which there are six pages) are Psychologist, Career Counselor (oh, irony), College Professor, Controller, Nurse, Software Sales, Bank Manager, Bookkeeper, Fire/EMS, Geologist, Computer Programmer, Agriculture, Craftsman. Basically, my mom was right - I can be anything I want to. Categorically, I am uncategorizable. Call me your friendly neighborhood Renaissance Woman.

I keep my Birkman results with me in my planner because I read that strange auto-biography every few weeks. I don't look to the words on the page to tell me who I am- I have a respectable sense of self. I'm not reading to fuel my ego, even though it is like mirror-gazing to an extent. I read it mostly to marvel in how complex people are in general, so much so that it takes 35 pages just to scratch the surface. I also read to remind me that no matter how much it can measure, compare, compute, analyze and trend, it is missing one very important element - that squirmy, slippery, evasive little spark that makes us who we are inside.

I chose at will and sometimes at whim what I am and what defines me- IT Professional? Sure. Maybe today. But, some days I'm off to save civilization, one person at a time. Other days I am that photographer that yearns to show her eye for the world. Sometimes I throw myself to the other side of that camera, too, just for grins (no pun intended). When inspired, I have been known to sell frozen water to Alaskan Natives, or baby slings to frazzled moms. Then there are the days that I am completely content and even driven to do abso-freaking-lutely nothing at all, whatsoever, thankyouverymuch.

I celebrate choice. I just HATE to choose.

Besides, who says we have to choose, anyway? Them? Bah, what do they know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Misc. Rant o' the Day

The ladies room here at work has this air freshener thing that sprays out a burst of "freshness" at some interval that I cannot determine (it seems to be almost directly related with me opening the door, or going to wash my hands at the sink right below it). For the longest time I assumed that someone on my floor wore some kind of strange fruit-smelling lotion, or put on said fruit-smelling lotion while in the bathroom. When I switched to nights, same smell, and I discovered the strange freshener apparatus on the wall about a foot from the ceiling, right by the bathroom door.

The scent that this thing puts out is odd- it reminds me of some kind of melon, but with a sickening artificial edge. For those of you who might remember a weird melon-cucumber lotion that Victoria's Secret had in it's line around 1994 or so, it's that, but more melon-y. With all that setup, here's my gripe:

That bathroom always smells like someone pooped in a half-a-cantaloupe.

Monday, March 26, 2007

On the weirdness of young children:

In the last 7 days I have lost count of the number of times I have called Megan "Weirdo."

"What?" you say. “But, she is such a sweet child. You really shouldn’t call her names. That’s not setting a good example.” Whatevs, Goody-Two-Shoes.

Yes, I have resorted to name-calling. For example, Megan has been licking things when she is taking a shower. The shower wall, shampoo bottle, my leg, etc. With the shampoo bottle and the wall, that’s easy enough to nip in the bud. “Ewww, gross- the walls/that shampoo bottle isn’t clean.” But when she licks ME, well, she gets the reaction that anyone else would deliver- a shriek, a jump, and a “Stop it, Weirdo!” which sends her collapsing into a pile of giggles on the floor of the shower. Mostly the reaction on my part is so extreme due to her timing- she waits until I am eyes-closed, rinsing my hair or something, then… LICK! And I lose it.

She has also started an anti-anything-but-dresses campaign, down to how she wants to be dressed at bedtime. No pajamas with shorts or pants anymore- she wants to wear DRESS pajamas to sleep! Now, fortunately I had a parental lightbulb go-off over my head, and I offered her my t-shirt collection to choose her evening dresses from. Why is this weird? It’s not- the fact that she can go from completely clothed to stark naked in the blink of an eye, and she does, is what makes me chuckle “Weirdo.” “Megan? What would you like for breakfast?” says this mom to a clothed child. “Umm, I would like oatmeal- REGULAR oatmeal, mamma- with honey. Please.” Says a nightgowned Megan. “Okay- REGULAR oatmeal with honey. Coming right up!” I say as I turn to the cabinet and grab the oatmeal box, and when I turn around- presto-chango! – naked, beaming Megan is standing there.

(Oh, that last post's picture was taken right after the events described above.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tonight's Blog Topic by Megan

Megan drew a beautiful picture. Her name is "Megan". The picture is of me. I want to 0000u665see the pictures of me when I was a little baby- the real pictures, not the drawings. Mommy can you scoot back? I need to get up here. Can I push this? Can I push this button?nnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Can I sit up there with you? Mommy can I sit up there with you please?nnnn
I got lots of Bs!
I got lots of Ns, too! Hmm!

Now its my turn


There. (that last line was all done very meticulously, no holding down keys)

Why do you keep doing that?
I got Vs- can I push this on1e?1 I'm going to push these.

meegan lnnnnmmmmmmmmmm
that's my name44444444 4444444I'0m gon0na do0 thes0e..004444
13What 2are

Is it my turn mommy? Oh. Type! Is it my turn? Can I type?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Computers - URGH!

So I had this great piece all typed up about how Kip, Meg and I had dinner with a great friend last night, and how Megan was just cute as a button about this couple and their teeny 4-month old baby boy, when for no reason whatsoever, IE just randomly closed about 5 of my 12 open windows, and now it is lost forever.

Let me end my technology rant and just say Megan was just super-cute. She was draped over the back of our booth, making shadows for the baby to look at while he pigged-out on his bottle. She asked the woman questions like, "How old is your baby?" and told her "You have a sweet baby." It really was priceless. It was also endearing to see how wonderfully patient this woman, a total and complete stranger, was with Megan.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Love is in the air...

There is this disgusting yellow film covering EVERYTHING in Houston. I believe it is 99.9% oak pollen, and it basically feels like sand in your eyes, nose and lungs. No ammount of allergy eye drops squirted into your eyes will kill it, and shoveling fist-fulls of Claritin, Benadryl, etc. into your face only seems to dull the effects a bit.

I think the most revolting experience of this spring tree love-fest was seeing the pollen film collected like oily yellow paint on the tops of the rain collected in the ditches in our neighborhood last week. It was disgusting, and all I could think was, "Dear sweet, tender and juicy baby Jeehosephat- I have been breathing this until now!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fart Jokes - The New Black

So I'm giving Megan her shower tonight, and we're singing silly songs. One of her new favorites is a song called "Boots" by her very most favorite singer in the entire universe who I think she would almost trade me in for, Laurie Berkner. In the song, they spell out the word boots with every verse, and then sing about different kinds of boots, and Megan sings and spells along merrily.

She has also as of late begun to spell and figure out words spelled aloud- we can't spell nap, cookies and most of the other words we could get away with communicating over her head. With this new spelling fixation, she has started randomly throwing letters together to try and spell things herself. "T - R - L - S - P! Milk!" she shouts randomly. "Andy! R - F - L - T - P! Stop that!"

So, what do these two things have to do with anything? Well, combine this new song with her adventures in spelling, and after she had spelled BOOTS a few times, she started monkeying with how many Os to put in, and then started changing the starting letter. Inevitably, she got to the letter T, and spelled out TOOTS. Now, I am not mature by any means when it comes to my sense of humor. I love a good fart joke as much as the next idiot. So, when she spelled this word, my basest of all reflexes kicked in and I started to laugh so hard I snorted.

Every parent knows that is the biggest mistake you can ever make. It has two-fold repercussions: One, you have just reinforced toilet humor. Two, you have just inked a deal with your child to repeat this joke until you kill yourself from the insanity of it repeating, over and over, ad nauseam and then some.

But if you could have heard her giggling after she shouted the word "TOOTS!" at the top of her lungs in the shower, the staccato of the consonants echoing in the perfect acoustics of the bathroom shower, you would have forgotten the consequences just like I did and laughed right along with her.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Nature vs. Nurture

So my sister came to visit for a short time today- she picked up our game room sofas (we are without a game room in our new shoebox house, but we have quadrupled the number of trees in our yard over the last house) and dropped off 2 beds for us. While we were schlepping all of these heavy things in and out of the house, we made small talk of what's been going on with each of us as of late. Two odd things came out of this chat:

We discovered that we are having the exact same breakfast almost every day, right down to the brand of granola and yogurt.

We are also eating the same brand frozen dinners daily.

It just struck me as funny- as different as we think we are on most things, there is just no fighting the influence of our upbringing and genetics. No matter that we cancel each other out at every national and state election, we are nonetheless teaching our kids the same life lessons, snarfing down the same food, and laughing hysterically at the same things.

I love my sister. There's no way I'm letting Megan grow-up an only child.

Friday, March 16, 2007


In the past few nights I have experienced the following while asleep:

  • Been stuck in my friend Bob's apartment with his new wife, a girl I went to high school with, who keeps showing me her body piercings that are below the waist and telling me how she had to have a C-Section to deliver Bob's baby because all the jewelry "was in the way"
  • Been bitten at the Emmys while gay-bashing BJ Novak (from NBC's "The Office") who I am pretty sure is straight, all while witnessing a plot to drive Arnold Schwarzenegger from being driven insane by Hollywood idiots with Blackberries posing as FBI agents
  • Been on a date with Michael C. Hall (from Showtime's "Dexter") that starts out on the beach where I am sunbathing topless, and ends with him ripping all his clothes off in some strange and angry strip-tease

I swear I don't do drugs. Honest. I know my subconscious loves to f*ck with me, and for some reason I let it.

New blog spot. This, too, shall be left untended.

So a friend of mine has a blog here with pretty pictures and everything, so I got inspired. Many things bring me here, listed below in Dwight Schrute style.

#1 - I just got a new camera about 3 weeks ago, and I need a place to upload and just go bonkers with all the stuff I'm trying out with that. My camera is far superior to myself not only in composition and intellect, but also reputation. This will be a battle royale.

#2 - Also, in a new job in IT- back from a 2 year retail hiatus - and need a place to vent about that. Users. Bah. Oh, and also to gossip about old co-workers from said retial establishment.

#3 - In addition, have an uber-cool almost 4-year-old. She will be in a lot of the pictures from #1. She is also far superior to myself. No battle there.

That is all.