May 20, 2009

Guest Post: Warning Pants Optional

Umm....whoops. I was supposed to throw up a link bright and early this morning to Where's My Damn Answer where I am guest posting today and I spaced it a bit. WHO DOES THAT?

The lovely Lindaloohoo contacted me weeks ago and I practically jumped in her lap out of glee when she asked me to guest post over at Damn Answer.

Please, oh, please, Lindaloohoo, please forgive me! I was side tracked with, yet again, more cat drama, Chase Crawford finally getting the lead role for the remake of Footloose and by Glen Beck getting the sh*t beat out of him on The View.

Everyone, head on over to Where's My Damn Answer to hear about my triumphant night without pants. Then, subscribe to Where's My Damn Answer. I do, you should too!

May 19, 2009

This Post is About Midguided Choices in Semi-Formal Wear and Prom, But Mostly About Misguided Choices in Semi-Formal Wear

I am so late with my prom post! I finally tracked down some pictures of me before I learned that less is more when it comes to the volume of fabric and eyebrows. Enjoy…..

I wish I were one of those reasonably cool and interesting 20-something girls who could aloofly reflect on my prom days as a total waste of time. I wish I were the girl that could tell you that instead of attending the highly overrated prom, I spent the evening chain smoking and discussing Faulkner in my basement with two foreign exchange students from Spain.

But, I’m totally not that girl. Letmetellyouwhy…

I’m not a 20-something. I’m in my 30’s. Very well into my 30’s. I’ve never smoked. And as for the foreign exchange students at my high school? Well, they steered clear of me. It may have been because I was a little overzealous in my repeated attempts to get them to help me with my Spanish homework.

No, I was the girl who totally lived for prom. Two times, in fact.

Junior Prom (1989): I was a Junior, Chad was a Senior. We had been dating for a few months and we were destined to go to prom together. I was destined to wear the biggest, whitest most mermaidiest dress ever.

Sadly, I don’t remember too much detail about our actual date, but I know that I had fun and that my night ended with Chad, in a sweet gesture, offering me a single white rose. And now that I look back on this photo, I’m not at all convinced that my dress was hideous. My eyebrows? Well, that’s another story.

In the weeks prior to my Junior Prom I was a permanent fixture at the tanning salon. See what a delightful shade of orange I was? I practiced and fussed with my hair several days before the big night. Here I am trying out my prom hair and my best misunderstood, teenage girl full of angst look.

The most misguided thing about me back then seems to be my high bangs.

My mother, a talented seamstress, designed and sewed my dress with love, several yards of billowy organza fabric and plenty of swear words. The weeks leading up to Prom, my relationship with my mom hung by a thin white thread. You know how sometimes prominent public figures will sometimes undergo a hunger strike to passively protest an injustice they see in the world? Well, I did something in the same vain just prior to Prom that, to this day, my dad refers to as The Cold Shoulder Incident of ’89*. For about three days, I gave my mother the silent treatment over the placement of beading on my dress bodice. I’ll show her! I thought. We eventually made up when I finally came to my senses and trusted my mother’s judgment and because I needed her credit card to buy Chad a corsage. Yep, I was a brat.

*Note: History would eventually reveal that The Cold Shoulder Incident of ’89 would pale in comparison to our infamous Wedding Dress Feud of ’99. Let’s just say it’s highly unlikely that my mom and I will ever be able to work toward a common goal when a white dress is involved.

Junior Prom 2: Electric Bugaloo, The Senior Edition (1990): My Senior year in school, I was escorted by Tyler, another Senior. I wanted to wear something a little shorter, a little edgier but ended wearing something, well, a little bigger. Sadly, I was unable to find that prom picture, but I was able to snag my Homecoming picture with the same guy. Behold the power of puffy satin sleeves. Behold the power of high bangs.

All I remember about that Homecoming dance was Tyler exclaiming out loud when he picked me up, Wow. You’re really wearing black? To a dance?, then me falling asleep on his friend’s couch in the basement during a Batman movie. (And not one of the good Batman movies either, but the first cheesy Michael Keaton/Jack Nicholsen debacle.) When I woke up, it was just me, Tyler and a pair rumpled sleeves.

This promtrastophe post is in conjunction with two of my favorite ladies Stiletto Mom and Blissfully Caffeinated. Be sure to visit them and openly mock their big hair too.

May 18, 2009

Random, a Tad Bit Early

Holy balls, its Tuesday. But it’s really Monday.

I was supposed to put up a Prom Post last week in conjunction with Stiletto Mom and Blissfully Caffeinated, but my attempts to locate my dance pictures were fruitless. Could I have burned them in a fit of rage sometime during college? Did I even get pictures taken? I’m sure I did. I have one more avenue to pursue before all efforts have been exhausted. It involves the exchange of small bills and a long-distance phone call. I think I’m up for the challenge. I will do anything to get my hands on those suckers short of calling up my prom dates from 10+ years ago to see if they're willing to check their parents' basement for images.

I do have some dignity.

I’m pretty sure my brain has turned to mush. Because of the kiddos, cartoons are on in the Steenky household the majority of the time. Jeremy often finds me staring glassy-eyed at the television drooling as an episode of Spongebob Squarepants or Scooby-Doo is playing.

To keep me somewhat sharp and “in the game” I have taken to inventing elaborate back stories for the characters in these programs.

Let’s talk about Scooby-Doo for a minute, shall we?

We all assume Fred and Daphne have a thing going. In MY world they have a tenuous relationship, flirtatious at best. However, Velma is a dirty girl and will get freaky with Fred and do things that Daphne is too prudish to consider.

Shaggy, of course, partakes in herbal refreshments from time to time. Velma and Fred join him regularly, but Fred have to be careful because he has been battling a nasty coke habit since his first year at Coolsville Community College. Only Velma knows this.

I’m haven’t quite figured out how the three of them support their drug habit other than siphoning Daphne’s trust fund and her paychecks from her part-time job at Banana Republic. The gang uses Daphne’s credit card to buy snacks and other sundry items while they travel about solving mysteries. She’s oblivious to this fact, or much else because she suffers from a nasty Vicodin habit.

See? I have suddenly made Scooby-Doo tolerable.

I had no idea who the Shamwow guy was until his sex scandal a few weeks ago. Now I’m totally obsessed with him, but not in a bad way. Now, Jeremy and I wait for the Shamwow commercials and each try to be the first one to yell “SHAMWOW, YOU WHORE!”

Jeremy always wins.

The weather has been nice lately so we’ve had our windows open. I wonder what the neighbors think about all the Shamwow whorin’ shouts at our place.

If you feel like being random, wait until Tuesday, and join in the random fun hosted by the lovely Keely at The Un-mom.

May 12, 2009

Terror Has a New Name...And It is Mabel

I want to thank all of you out there, many of whom de-lurked to offer me support, for the outpouring of kindness and love showed me when I wrote about our cat's passing. I was honestly terrified to share something so personal, but you all helped me with your encouragement and kind sentiments. I can never thank you enough.

Meet our new kitty. Yes she’s cute and fluffy and blah, blah, blah, but she is on some sort of kitty cat-nip laced speed of the likes I’ve never seen before.

She melts our heart with her squeaky meow, she makes us smile with her soft kisses and gentle head nudges. Then, just when you think everything’s going great, BAM! she pounces on your stray hand or your exposed neck and head area leaving you with bloody stumps or a severed mole. I’m just sayin’.

Witness the beating Jeremy’s hands took at the claws of our new furry terror.

Right about now, many of you may be thinking one of two things… 1) Isn’t it a little too soon to get another cat after your other cat just passed away? or 2) Has Steenky Bee suddenly turned into one of those annoying personal blogs about cats?

The answer to those questions, my friends, are: Yes it is too soon and no…well, maybe. I might write about our cats again in the future. Sorry.

The decision for us to get another kitty came at a weak moment when I was craving the warmth of something furry on my lap. Taz, or T-Bizzle, our 13-year old cat pictured later, is only a cuddler on his terms, and by his terms, of course, I mean on my head while I’m sleeping. Meesha was my constant side-kick that followed me from room to room and would respond to me as I bounced post topics off her for this blog. She was responsible for Dance Face post, Brush With The Law post and most recently, my Airplane Terror Ride post that was published posthumously.

Last week, as I tried to get back into the swing of writing again, I queried Taz as to what appropriate blog material would be for Steenky Bee. The closest thing to input I received from him was him licking himself and walking away after I asked him if I should post about the recent fetish I’ve developed for Bear Grylls.

When Taz wasn’t licking himself or sleeping under our bed, he was giving us what I believed was his sad face. Everybody, behold Taz’s “I am sad” face.

Make no mistake people, the size of his nose is not an optical illusion. It really is THAT big.

Surely Bizzle was missing Meesha, his cat-mate, his companion for so long. I could not allow him to go on lonely with no one to lick but himself. I also could not trust his judgment when it came to deciding content for my web site. So at the end of last week, Jeremy and I found ourselves at a small farm house picking up a kitten who we named Mabel.

Once we brought her home, I strategically placed a hand-written letter for the kids that was “penned” by Meesha herself. In this letter, she declared her love for Henry and Reese and introduced them to Mabel, the newest addition to our family, hand-picked of course, by her all the way from up in kitty heaven.

Needless to say, Henry and Reese were thrilled. The next few days of their lives were filled with their gleeful squeals when they found Mabel tucked away in a warm spot between the covers or their uncontrollable laughter as they watched Mabel chase her own tail.

I was sure Taz would be thrilled as well. He was not. Not immediately anyway. Here was his, “I’m not thrilled. Not now, anyway. I’m off to pee in Jeremy’s favorite shoes to demonstrate exactly how NOT thrilled I am.”

Oddly enough, Bizzle’s “I am not thrilled” face is the exact same as his “I am sad” face. Who knew?

I’m happy to report, after repeated transfer of scents by petting both Taz and Mabel excessively and encouraging positive behavior toward each other by speaking in soft, reassuring tones as they approached one another, the two of them are getting along famously. With patience, a sincere heart and a small melt down where you physically toss both animals into the guest bathroom for them to duke it out, acclimating cats to one another can be easy.

May 7, 2009

Working It At Work

In less than six weeks my office will hold annual employee reviews. My firm has a unique system for evaluating the staff members. Instead being reviewed by senior or middle management, each employee is evaluated by a group of their peers. Management feels that this system promotes a better work environment between everyone because it makes staffers accountable for their interactions with co-workers at their same level, thus discouraging employees who try to get ahead by "climbing".

Seems sound enough, right?

So, in order to have a positive review in June, I have focused the bulk of my energy in building rapport with the rest of the marketing staff, the architects, the administrative staff and even the accounting department.

I must say, it has been both tiring and rewarding. But mostly tiring. Which leads me to the next paragraph.

Tuesday, one of our Associates, we'll call him "Leonard", emailed me and asked for help with a task. I immediately checked the company roster just to be sure he was higher above me in the corporate food chain. Indeed he was and he would most definitely not be reviewing me. Sucker.

How busy is your marketing team today?.....
Sent from my iPhone on 5/5/09 11:18 AM

Jen: What do you need? I'm sure I could help this afternoon!
On May 5, 2009, at 11:21 AM

Leonard: I’ll need help if the administrative staff doesn’t return…and at that, I’m not sure I trust that this job can be completed…Stay close. I’ll keep in touch…
Sent from my iPhone on 5/5/09 11:27 AM

Jen: This “job” sounds classified and somewhat covert. Let me know who my contact is, the password, safehouse location, etc. I’ll be careful. You know I will.
On May 5, 2009, at 11:35 AM

Jen: Will I need a cover?
On May 5, 2009, at 11:37 AM

Leonard: I’m sorry…cover? As in a cover for a proposal?
Sent from my iPhone on 5/5/09 11:39 AM

Jen: No! Cover as in alias. A disguise?.....Oh I read ya. We’re now talking in code. Are these emails being monitored? I’ll take care of my own cover and develop a detailed back story while I'm at it. How about I’m a rich divorce from back East who just moved to Utah to get away from it all. I’ve recently discovered yoga, self-tanner and I am ready and looking for love with a much younger man. What do you think?
On May 5, 2009, at 11:44 AM

Jen: I’m taking your silence as confirmation that you are in complete agreement with my plan.
On May 5, 2009, at 11:45 AM

Jen: Still no response....Have you been compromised? Give me the word and I will abort this mission immediately!
On May 5, 2009, at 11:49 AM

Jen: Also, why do you keep sending me emails from your iPhone? You know, that doesn’t really impress me. I have one too. Like, I had one a LONG time ago. iPhones are so 2007, dude.
Sent from my awesome iMac with a screen twice the size of your head on May 5, 2009 11:51 AM

Leonard: Is anyone else in marketing available?
Sent from my iPhone on 5/5/09 11:59 AM

May 4, 2009

So Long April, You Bitch.

As far as months go, April, you were the worst. And you can suck it.

Work was a nightmare, complete with late night stints at the office, surprise weekend assignments and, my personal fave, last minute PowerPoint presentations. On seven different occasions. You’d think that after the fourth time management approached me and showed an unnatural interest in me or what my evening plans were I would have learned that what they really wanted to know was how difficult it would be to convince me to spend six extra hours tackling a deadline in the office instead of relaxing at home with my family.

Also? It rained on Easter. Not so much you fault, April. This one has Mother Nature written all over it, I know. But still, I find you guilty by association.

And another thing, Jeremy, who has never had to dial 911 in his life, had to dial those digits twice this month. One instance was because of a life-threatening situation with a colleague at work. She’s doing fine now, no thanks to you, April. The second 911 call? Well, that was due to a careless driver who ran herself off an icy canyon road in the snow. Many would say that the driver is at fault, but I say it was April. Icy roads at this time of the year, really April? Come on, spring started over four weeks ago. Enough with the weather already.

Let’s see, how can I forget that my baby girl took a tumble down our cement steps this month, both vehicle registrations were due and three nights IN A ROW one or more of our smoke detectors sounded off sometime around 2:00 am? Awesome.

Also? My four-year old son learned a choice phrase at school this month that was absolutely foreign to me. I even had to look it up online to see what the hell it meant. When I finally did find the definition, I just stared at my laptop for several minutes shaking my head in half disbelief, half embarrassment. I then spent the next half-hour figuring out how to work that phrase into a conversation with management the next time one of them asked me if I could spare a few minutes.

And, my cat died.

That’s right, the month of April killed my cat. I have no other explanation for this. She lived fifteen years as a healthy, happy part of my life and then, for some unexplained reason, other than having feline anemia and hyperthyroid disease, my dear kitty was gone.

Please don’t mock me. Please don’t roll your eyes and say to yourself, she’s only a cat. Meesha was more than that to me, to our entire family. She was with me through the most turbulent part of my life and helped me get myself back to where I was semi-tolerable to be around.

I give Meesha credit for helping me with Reese’s Torticolis physical therapy at home. I would use that cat as a target focal point for Reese to help our baby girl stretch and lengthen her neck and torso muscles. As a reward, when Reesie would twist or bend around far enough, Meesha would allow her to gently grab her fur, her ears or her tail. Meesha never once complained.

We did everything we possibly could to make Meesha's last day with us an enjoyable one. She was bright-eyed, albeit a little slower in her steps. I spent the day with her outside and watched her pounce on bugs, roll in the grass and I rubbed her soft fur as she sunned herself on our porch.

Our home is a bit quieter now, my lap a little colder. Meesha was my partner in crime over here at Steenky Bee. Whenever she saw me reach for the laptop she readied herself to take her usual position on my lap. I eventually grew used to holding my wrists up at an odd angle to accommodate her curled up body as I typed away and posted silly stories about my life. Now, it just doesn’t feel right. I no longer have that warm, purring armrest between me and the keyboard. I’ll miss you, Mimi-girl. This place won’t be the same without you.

I'm so sorry I haven't been by to visit anyone over the past week or so. I hope you'll give me a little time. I look forward to re-stalking you and leaving highly inappropriate comments soon.