Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things are not looking up

I figured out the problem with this country and it is not the economy, the housing market, or the environment…it is simple, NO ONE knows what they are doing. People have jobs they are not trained for, kids they are not ready for, and lives they are not meant for. For a long time, we were doing okay pretending but it is all catching up to us…

Car companies are building cars that we don’t like, bridge people are building bridges that don’t stay up, and planes are falling out of the sky because of a flock of birds. Something is not right? This is never more evident than when you go to major chain stores likes Best Buy and Home Depot. What the hell is happening there and who runs these places?

This weekend I went to Best Buy to purchase a new computer because my mother, who is a self-proclaimed, self- taught, self-declared Techie told me it was time. I guess I need more space to store the hundreds of 10 second videos I have of my children doing things like waking up, eating, walking, talking, bathing, and going to the bathroom. What is funny is that those are the same things that annoy me each day, yet I seem to treasure when they are being played on a computer screen….interesting?

When I arrived at Best Buy, I was accosted by 5 eager people in blue shirts. Finally, the customer service I have been looking for! The good part was they each asked “can I help you with something” …the bad part is after my question each one of them looked at me kindly and said “let me go get someone who knows more about that.”

Think how much more effective they would be if they fired the people who didn’t know the answer and hired more of the people that did. If your only job is to go find someone, you should not be a Best Buy employee, you should be a Bounty Hunter. When they couldn’t find what I needed they got on their walkie talkies, spouted out some serial numbers and waited for the response. All I heard was, “yeah, we have 2 of them…somewhere.” This store is like 60,000 sq ft, what exactly does ‘somewhere’ mean. I asked about this and they said “this is how it works here.” Of course it does…God Bless America.

Twitter is the first sign

With all the layoffs going on around me, I decided it was time to buy a new computer and get organized. Any day now I could get the call that says, YOUR FIRED…kindly return your car, computer, benefits and 401K plan…it was time to face reality. The question really isn’t if we are going to get laid off, it is more like when. I believe that everyone with a job in this country needs to prepare for layoffs and this is why. Yahoo recently published the top 5 reasons your job might be in danger. The number one hint that you could be unemployed very soon is…


Ever since Ashton Kutcher got 1 million people to follow him on twitter and the number of status updates on facebook reached 40 bizallion, I think it is pretty clear, a lot of people are about to lose those their jobs.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Weather

Yesterday was one of those days....my head was killing me because after my kids being semi-sick for most of 2008 and early 2009, I finally caught something they had. Not sure if I have a cold, allergies, or just stress, but my head was killing me. We began our 3 block walk to school while my 14-month old screamed in her bright pink umbrella stroller (the green one was stolen a few weeks ago...are you kidding me?) and my son decided he would not move. "MOM, it is TOO cold, we need to take the car!" I have a lot of concerns about raising my children in LA, drugs, tatoos, the strange idea that a work day is from 9-2, and death from a shark attack when they decide surfing is their life passion....but weather wimpiness...I hadn't thought about that. It was 62 degrees and a little windy and my 3 year old kept saying his knees were frozen and wouldn't move. At this point I said in a postive, cheery, but lets hurry or we will be late voice, "Jack, some kids walk to school in the snow and rain. We are so lucky to have this weather." He looked at me with his big blue eyes and said "no they don't...that would be a bad choice." Bless him....

As he began to walk in the freezing 60 degree weather I looked back and saw he was upset...again. "What's wrong now?" I growled. "I don't like what I am wearing...I hate my clothes." He said with a arms crossed and a big pout. "Join the club kid, I haven't liked what I was wearing or enjoyed my clothes for the past 30 years....get used to it, it is genetic! Now MOVE!"

That day I had to pick him up from school and run back to work because of babysitter issues and unfortantely I showed up late. There is nothing worse than seeing your kid sitting there, waiting in the pick-up line, and knowing he is going to be the last one. "Hey Jack!", I screamed as I ran in my heels down the very dangerous grassy hill where many mothers, grandmothers, and nannys have tumbled or slipped in the past. "I didn't think you were going to come, what happened?" he said with a dejected look on his face. Oh the guilt..."I am sorry, I was running late, but I am here now." My son pulled me aside, took my face in his two little greasy, dirty, paint stained hands and said "look me in the eye mama, if you do that again, I will put you in your room, shut the door, and no one will come and get you for a long time! Do you understand me?" Yes, I do understand. I put a note in my treo with the reminder set for all the days I pick him up "always be late..."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We have a daughter? TAX DAY 2009

April 15, 2009

Taxes, one of Americas favorite things to talk about. Between my republican friends and myself, this one topic can lead to hours of wonderful, nasty, educated/uneducated and heated debates. I am not the smartest person I know, so I like to keep things basic. How much did we pay, how much are we getting back? This particular financial task is left up to my husband…mostly because I do EVERYTHING else in our lives so taxes are his moment to shine. He is a wonderful dad, a great husband and provider, but lets just say the day to day tasks get him down...way, way down.

So yesterday, just for fun, and because I needed some info from the form for my work, I decided to actually look over our 1040 form before I signed it. Now, to be honest, I don’t normally read anything I sign…this would cause my entire family to take a collective gasp since they come from the mindset that everyone is out to get you and identity theft and crime are an ATM or online banking transaction away. But for some reason, maybe because I was ready for some economic education or maybe because the universe was into me this day...I read what I was signing.

WhenI looked at the form and saw it only had my son marked as a depenedent I was alarmed. I don’t know much BUT I do know I have two kids….and if I ever forget, I am quickly reminded by my certain body parts. Whenever I sneeze, I soak myself and when I need a bra, I always head to the junior department at Target...this helps me never forget
When my husband got home from work I said very casually “hey hon, did you forget to put Addison down on our tax form?” At this point, he looked at me with a blank stare (which I must have found attractive or alluring at some point because it has been a part of our lives often the past 10 years) and said “oh, I totally forgot about her…how did that happen?” My question exactly!

The story ends with my husband calling the CPA and the man saying something like “you never told me you had a daughter …no problem we will get this fixed.” Nate then asked, “ will that change our refund amount?” I am no financial advisor but I knew someone would have to pay me for my 2 days of labor, vacumn extraction without pain meds, and 42 stitches... So $1500 later and the comfort knowing that without my due diligence our daughter would be nothing but a figment of imagination to all the people at the IRS, I sat down, turned on American Idol and had a glass of wine.