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Violet’s Splendiferous News!

30 Jul

Dearest Readers, I have been such a workaholic these past few months. Just as I thought I was getting a little break from my killer schedule when I graduated from my Masters program, I accepted a part-time job, and I went back to my crazy 14-16 hour days.

But I’m proud to announce that those days are (kind of) behind me:

I’m a work-at-home Mom now!

The part-time folks made me a full time offer I couldn’t refuse (kind of like the educational mafia, no?). The hours are pretty long – 8am – 8pm each week day – but the benefits, both tangible and intangible, are amazing. I get to work from the comfort of my home. I get to take coffee breaks and pee at my leisure! (Teachers, you can understand why that’s so important.) Best of all? I get to spend my coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, and meals with my daughter!

I’m so fortunate to have an amazingly supportive husband. Buddy, who is back in school, will watch Pterodactyl while I work, and then I get to be with her while he’s in class. I get to take my favorite classes at the gym. I get to grocery shop off-peak hours, when I don’t have to play bumper cars with the majority of my community. And best of all? When I decide I’m done for the day, I’m done for the day. I don’t have to wait until the appropriate time to clock out, then join the herd of sheep crawling across three interstates to get home. I just turn off my computer, leave my office/guest room, and join the rest of my family.

I’m not promising that this life change will bring more frequent blogging; I’m actually afraid that I’ll never want to touch a computer after I’m through with my work day. But I can promise that I’ll be able to make more of an effort to reach out to you, and continue to entertain and thrill you with my caustic, obnoxious sense of humor.

Excuse me while I pop some champagne.


It’s a Small World After All…

25 Jun

I love those “Small World!” stories, don’t you?

While 100 miles from home today, I became chatty with a cool chick, with whom I instantly clicked. Later tonight, I sent her a friend request on Facey-Space, and learned that we both are FB friends with my cousin. Out of sheer curiosity, I called my Prima, who told me that she was super close to this girl in college. Not only did they hang out, but apparently, they even traveled together. It’s not as though we all live in a small town where this kind of shit happens regularly; we’re big city gals! Millions of people cross our paths on a daily basis!

I have two favorite “Small World” stories of my own:

1. In high school, Daisy was at my house, and I was forcing her to look through pictures of my childhood. She pointed to one particular picture and said, “How do you know Uncle ___?” She gave me pause. I corrected her: “How do you know MY Uncle ____?” It seems as though both Daisy’s parents and my folks were good friends with the same family, and we all (apparently) would attend their annual holiday parties, where the grown-ups would abandon us children with the nanny. We realized that as 2, 3, 4, 5 year olds, Daisy and I played together at these events. Unbeknownst to us, we were destined to become Heterosexual Life Partners 13 years later, and one county away. Freaky.

2. While my big brother was in his senior internship in college (and I a geeky high school Freshman, just beginning to befriend Daisy), he would often call me and tell me stories about his cool adult job. His favorite things to talk about were the old man teacher who kind of “mentored” him and the obnoxious brat in his class who seemed to enjoy making his internship more difficult. Fast forward 7 years: I’m taking my big brother to my boyfriend Buddy’s house to meet his family. Buddy and I had only been dating about 8 or 9 months at this point. When my big brother walked into Buddy’s house, he spied Buddy’s younger brother, and his eyes got wide. Buddy’s dad walked in the room and gave my brother a big hug. Turns out, that cool older teacher was BUDDY’S DAD, and the obnoxious student was BUDDY’S BROTHER! You read that right: my brother knew my in-laws 7 years before I even met my husband in the first place.

Does this shit ever happen to you? Please share your favorite “HOLY CRAP!” moments with us!

As always, thank you for reading and commenting.


Your Formal Invitation to Violet’s Pity Party

30 May

I just dropped Buddy off with some officers and some gentlemen for another round of “G.I. Joe” on your tax dollar. For the next few weeks, I’m a single mother.

Did I mention today is our wedding anniversary? Today is our wedding anniversary.

I should be accustomed to this. I signed up for this when I married a troop. Six years and 20 minutes ago today, I was walking down the aisle, toward the most handsome man in his dress uniform. Even my wedding ceremony was wrought with reminders about the choice I was making at that very moment.

But things feel different now. We’re parents.  Last wedding anniversary, Buddy took me to our favorite sushi haunt, with a little monkey swaddled against my chest in her stylish pouch. This year, we woke up at o-dark-thirty to schlep the man an hour away, loaded to the brim with tactical gear.

I am not an ingrate: I value everything Buddy’s service has brought to our lives. Our killer health insurance, our inexpensive mortgage on a great home, and our paid off cars are gifts directly (or indirectly) bestowed upon us by the military.

But when he misses anniversaries, birthdays, family weddings, et cetera, I get a little crabby and forget to be thankful.

Dear North Carolina: FUCK. YOU.

14 May

Who the hell do you think you are, legislating your religious beliefs?

Denying gay Americans the right to marriage is like denying black Americans the right to integrated public education. Remember that? Everyone was up in arms 60 years ago when schools were first integrated. They touted segregation on the basis of class and race. Look at us now; we scoff at people who still follow those ideals. While ignorant assholes are still heiling Hitler, my classrooms are filled with children from a variety of faiths and ethnicities, with so many different skin colors that we could single-handedly represent every foundation at the Clinique counter.

Remember when women were sub-standard humans, denied the right to vote? Last time I checked, a woman was nearly elected president in 2008. Bet American men circa 1900 would have found that revolting.

What’s my point? (Because there always is one, isn’t there?)

My point is that you, NC, are a breeding ground for ignorance. You’re showing the rest of the country that you condone discrimination based on a physiological difference. You’re acting like the Americans of yore who condoned slavery and indentured servitude. You’re acting like the Americans who tried to prevent women’s suffrage and keep black citizens out of schools, parks, and restaurants. History will record you as a bunch of ignorant fucks who denied voting, tax-paying Americans a basic human right.

You shame me, North Carolina.

Mother’s Day Gifts that DON’T SUCK

8 May

I had a fantastic Mother’s Day gift idea, and I had to share with my readers.

All year, I’ve been taking photos of Pterodactyl next to wooden blocks, spelling out her age. When she was two months old, I placed her next to wooden blocks that spelled out “2 Months.” So on, and so forth.

I was shopping online the other day (surprise surprise) and discovered a sale on They were practically giving away photo books. I made one of all the block photos, plus a few miscellaneous family photo shoots and Pterodactyl’s birthday party pictures, and ordered three: one for Blondie (my mom), one for Dorothy (my step-mom), and one for The Southern Belle (Buddy’s mom). All three grandmas are receiving these books for Mother’s Day (oops. Surprise ruined.) The Southern Belle received hers last night as an early Mother’s Day gift, and she loved it. I’m pretty sure the book is going to work with her so she can brag to all the other grandmas at her school. (Yes, she’s a teacher, too. We all are. Teachers and lawyers, my family…)

Do you have any creative Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gift ideas? I’m sick and tired of flowers, ties, chocolates, and BBQ tools. Let’s get original, readers!

Pomp and Circumstance

7 May


Ok. Not the classiest lead-in, but I’m just so fucking excited.

I know that everyone thinks their graduation is special, just like everyone thinks their baby is cute. I know that 95% of us are wrong. But let me tell you why our graduation tonight is the most specialist, amazing, wonderful accomplishment EVER!

First things first: You’ll notice that I used the third-person possessive pronoun “we.” Tonight, both Buddy and I walk for our degrees. He’s graduating with his Bachelor’s, and I with my Master’s. That’s a BFD (“Big Fucking Deal”) in and of itself: save for couples in the exact same degree program, I’ve never heard of a husband and wife graduating in the same ceremony. So that’s pretty cool.

The road to tonight was paved with bullshit and challenges. I know, I know: everyone says that. Everyone thinks their education was difficult. But they didn’t go through what we went through to get here.

Buddy started college just like everyone else: straight out of high school. A student by day, soldier by weekend, he soon learned that the military trumped college. On three separate occasions, the military deployed him, causing him to pause his education. The first time, he lost a semester. The second time, he lost four semesters. The third time, he lost two semesters before he began working on online classes during the deployment. All the while, he was diagnosed with Adult ADD, and had to struggle through the obvious road blocks to overcome the ADD and flourish in school. PTSD decided to rear its ugly head, and that fucked with his ability to concentrate and succeed in the classroom. Then we got pregnant. He stopped being a full-time student and went to work. Buh-buy, semester! Once the baby came, we decided it would be economically advantageous for him to resume his studies and stay home with the kid. His last three semesters were spent working during nap times and late into the night, around the baby’s schedule. In spite of the military; in spite of the PTSD and ADD; in spite of being a full-time Stay-At-Home-Daddy, he finished last week. He’s officially a college graduate.

Graduate school was not at the top of my priority list. I applied because my professional mentor and friend, Super Teacher, forced inspired me to. Right as my first semester began, we bought a house. Buddy was deployed, so I was doing all the house-hunting, inspection-supervising, and document-signing. Oh, and all the packing and moving and unpacking, too. Trust me, it wasn’t fun to do my reading on my bed because my desk was packed, and the couch was covered with boxes. But we moved, and we settled, and Buddy returned from the deployment. Hurdle number one: conquered. I kicked ass for another semester, but at the beginning of the following semester, I learned I was pregnant. I was tired, irritable, bitchy, and unmotivated. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t pleasant to teach or collaborate with. The semester of my last trimester, I only took one course just in case the monkey decided to arrive early. I was so pregnant and fat that I hardly fit into the desks at my university. When the baby was born, I took the next semester off to be with her. (Good call on my part, because I don’t know how I would have passed my courses with the 6 nightly feedings and 2 hours of sleep I was dealing with.) By the time that ended and I was due to return to school, I was so under-motivated that I was pathetic. All I wanted was to stay home with the kid and play; work and school meant shit to me. Already deep in debt from the previous semesters and six classes from graduating, I said, “FUCK IT” and pushed on. My last semester, I had an administrative internship apart from my teacher responsibilities, and I slaved away on superfluous tasks night and day for five months. Some days, I wouldn’t even see the kid, since she was asleep when I left for work, and asleep when I got home from class later that night. Let’s not even discuss my near-nervous breakdown, because we already covered that shit in a previous post.

Let’s recap: between Buddy and me, we served in the military, bought a house, struggled with our mental health, made the baby, baked the baby, had the baby, and raised the baby, all while attending school. Tonight, when we walk, we’re walking in spite of our obstacles. We’re sporting our caps and gowns (and me, my hood) for every life event that threatened to derail our education.


Smelly, Happy Violet

6 May

I’m officially addicted to the gym.

Every morning, before work, I head to the gym at 5:00 am. I do a bit of cardio, then some weight training, before I head to the locker room to shower and dress for the day. Last week, I slept through my alarm and woke up with just enough time to shower and dress before work, and I had to miss the gym. It ruined my whole day: I was irritable and tired because I didn’t get my morning adrenaline rush.

I love my private time at the gym. (And not just because I can shower without a toddler whining in the background.) My work outs put me in touch with my body. I feel every stretch, strain, and ache. I can feel my endurance picking up. I used to hate with a passion dislike running. I would fast-walk on an incline on the treadmill, but if I tried to run, I’d last MAYBE a minute. Maybe. Yesterday, after 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio on the elliptical machine, I headed over to the treadmill for what I thought would be my cool-down. I was bored at my medium walking pace, so I upped the ante and started running. I kept my finger on the speed button, assuming that I’d need to slow down after a minute or so. Three minutes later, I was still running strong. Two minutes after that, I felt a little tired and reduced my speed, but that only lasted a minute or two. I was in awe of myself. Never in my life could I do that before.

In my pre-baby days, I was a gym rat. I had a personal trainer for a while, and I’d go to the gym religiously after work. (Back then, I would sleep until the absolute last minute before I had to get up and go to work. Morning workouts were for early birds and dedicated people, of which I was neither.) The staff all knew me on a first-name basis. I was fit and healthy. (But I still couldn’t run.) When I learned I was pregnant, my OB put me on “pelvic rest” because Pterodactyl hadn’t implanted correctly, and at the top of the No-No List was working out. Once I received clearance to return to my exercise routine, I was so out-of-shape and under-motivated that I just quit. That’s how I managed to gain 51 pounds during my pregnancy; I was a slug. My couch cushions had a better workout than me by simply supporting my fat ass. I’ve been fighting my body all 12 months of the baby’s life to get back into my stylish pre-pregnancy clothes. I’m finally winning.

The gym is my place, during my time. I’m nobody’s mother, wife, teacher, or friend. I’m just me. I can read my Kindle while doing my cardio without interruption. I can focus on my needs entirely, even if it’s just for an hour a day. I sweat, I stink, and I smile.

What do you do when you need “Me Time?” Do you exercise like me? Do you scrapbook/knit/paint? Shop?

“That’s just the way it is…things will never be the same…”

1 May

I kind of mourned Pterodactyl’s first birthday.

I know. I’m crazy. (Don’t worry. I take pills.)

I saw it as this “finish line;” the end of her infant days. Don’t know why, but I had this irrational fear that her 366th day of life, she’d stand up, start walking, reading Proust, and analyzing logical syllogisms used in the current political spectrum.

Two weeks have now passed since we crossed that threshold, and guess what? No Proust! No Ad Hominem fallacies! No walking, as a matter of fact! Just a couple new teeth to mark the transition. But there is, indeed, a transition.

I’m learning not to fear the growth and mourn the passing of a bygone phase. Instead, I’m looking forward to what each day brings. Will she pick up a new word? A funny new behavior? There are so many things to look forward to with this child of mine. Every day she surprises me.

This is not to say that I don’t look at pictures of her as a newborn and miss the days when she could sleep on my chest for hours; when even a train horn blaring “Single Ladies” could not wake her. I definitely do that. But I’m noticing that the sadness and trepidation I felt about her first birthday has subsided, and been replaced by excitement and antici – *beat* – pation. Every day, Pterodactyl teaches me something new. Every day, she discovers something and shows me a different way of perceiving my everyday world. Instead of fearing the change, I’m celebrating it.

Have you ever found yourself sad to say “goodbye” to a childhood phase? How did you cope? 

Busy, Busy Violet

30 Apr

Just want to apologize to my dear readers or being off the grid this past week.
1. It’s finals for both me and Buddy. As in FINAL FINALS. As in, we graduate next week.
2. Buddy has pneumonia, and pterodactyl has an upper-respiratory infection. Need I say more?

I promise I’ll write more when the hustle and bustle calms down!!

Stick Figure Families I’d Love to See

25 Apr

I’m normally quick to pass judgment on the cars with stick figure families. In addition to being straight-up tacky, they’re rocked by geeks. These are the same people who probably have a collection of, “I’m With Stupid” tee-shirts and Thomas Kinkade paintings around their homes.

For those of you who secretly love those car stickers and want to decorate your station wagon: don’t worry. I’m planning a line of Stick Figure Families that are not only honest and accurate, but informative to other drivers who share the roads with you:

Naked Stick Family
Does this exist? If so, I want to see a collection on every car in America. If not, I’m throwing that shit under the D&V copyrights and making a line of them. Imagine it: dingalings and va-jay-jays adorning these little stick people, showing us what this family is REALLY about!. We could even differentiate for the variety of patrons out there! The “Daddy” stick figure could feature a variety of Wang sizes. This would be especially useful when Daddy cuts you off in traffic: upon seeing the Naked Stick Father with the itty-bitty dick, you’ll automatically feel pity instead of anger. And for all the breast-feeding mommas out there, Stick Figure Mommy can have standard boobs, or a rack that hangs down to her stick figure knees! I think this is my favorite idea of the bunch. 0:-)

Controversial Stick Figure Family
Gay parents, interracial families, polygamy: under these circumstances, any old stick figure family will do. The fun here is driving down the street in rural Bible Belt territory and watching the expressions on the faces of the plebeians when they realize that there are two stick figure mommies (and possibly a Stick Figure Daddy, too), or one black stick figure and one white stick figure. Oh, what fun!

Single People
There are two sub-categories here. First, you have the “Single and Happy” crowd. We need to make a line of stick figure people for you. Instead of children and cats, your stick figure people will come with degrees, large bank accounts, and an active sex life. (Any suggestions for what THAT sticker would look like? I’m thinking an unrolled condom…) For the “Single and Depressed” folks, your car stickers would come with Weight Watchers frozen meals, Fabio-covered novels, and cats. Lots of cats. We’ll get the message loud and clear when we pull up behind your slow-as-shit Kia in traffic to find one stick figure woman and 36 stick figure cats. And maybe a stick figure vibrator.

Consider it a warning label for drivers who may want to park beside this minivan: chubby stick figure people will alert you to leave a lot of space between your car and theirs! If fatties are willing to own their shit, I say, let ’em have their stick figure people. (Isn’t that a fun little paradox?!)

What stick figure families have you always wanted to see? Thanks for reading and commenting!

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