Observation Skills

This morning, Halloween, Sarah, Audrey, and I “dressed up.” We didn’t go all out. We were subtle. I brought in a set of rabbit ears, a tail, and bowtie I’d picked up in the kids’ costume section at Target, and two aprons from when I used to work at Starbucks. I quickly got tired of trying to keep the ears upright (even being child-sized, they were too big for my head), so Audrey and I were the Starbucks employees and Sarah wore the bunny outfit.

I came in at 6:30 and left at noon. During that time we had approximately 250 customers, estimating how much money we’d made when I counted down the registers and dividing that by a medium latte price. It may have been more than that, but whatever. I’m shooting low.

Out of those 250 customers, maybe half a dozen noticed the aprons right away. Six people. Maybe. Another dozen or so thought something was “weird,” but couldn’t figure out what it was. A couple more asked if we’d gotten new aprons. Some just stared at the Starbucks emblem and were probably wondering if they were in the right coffeeshop. A few commented on Sarah’s bunny ears then asked Audrey and me where our costume was and we pointed to our chests. At least the owner thought it was funny.

I know a lot of our regulars go to Starbucks. That doesn’t hurt my feelings. Some wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Others need their lattes at all hours of the night, and we’re not open that late, so I don’t fault them for going there. Honestly, as long as they come in to our store frequently enough to keep us in business, I don’t care.

But the fact that not even five percent of our customers this morning noticed that we went from wearing plain black aprons to our rival’s bright green ones seems really sad to me. I expected it to at least be a quarter of them.

Now I Am Going to Throw Up

A little part of me died inside, I think, when I heard this blasphemy.

I wasn’t going to post the video at first because I didn’t want to give Hilary Duff any more attention for having done this. And while I can’t blame her, exclusively, because I know there is probably some sell-out my age working for her record company who remembers hearing this song once in high school and making fun of the geek who was listening to it, I still think she has no business ripping this song off.

I figured I may as well save you the trouble of going and searching for it. ‘Cause you’re just going to want to hear it and share in my misery, anyway.

I Guess I Should’ve Seen That Coming

I tend to think of two particular things — commitment ceremonies and pregnancies — as intimate, personal experiences that you choose to share in some way with friends and family. On your own terms. You should not be forced into anything in either situation that makes you uncomfortable but, ultimately, I think that they are the first steps in lifelong processes. My opinion of many other people is that they are the single MOST important steps. Being married and working on your relationship is secondary to The Wedding. Raising a child is secondary to Being Pregnant.

I honestly felt that my wedding would be a simple exchange of vows between myself and Charlie, and that it would involve exactly the few things I wanted and exclude the things I didn’t want. While, technically, the former did happen (exchanging vows), everything leading up to it and after those 10 or 15 minutes was somewhat painful, best saved for another, lengthier post.

Now, of course, everyone has even more advice and opinions for me. Now that I’m knocked up, I’m getting advice out the ass. One person tells me not to sleep too much, another tells me I should sleep every chance I get. One woman tells me even smoking when I didn’t know I was pregnant is going to detrimentally harm the peanut, while another says not to worry about it — she smoked through her entire pregnancy and her kid was fine. If I haven’t thrown up enough, they tell me it will get worse (for the record, I haven’t puked once), and if I have an appetite, I should stop eating or eat more. Do my boobs hurt? And, before I have a chance to even respond — her breasts were soooo painful she could hardly sleep. Have we been having sex? She didn’t have sex during the whole pregnancy, so her husband had an affair, so I should make sure to have sex a lot with Charlie. Do I have swollen ankles? Her ankles were so swollen she could barely walk the last month.

It’s not the caring friends or those who are experiencing this with me that I’m concerned about: Sarah, Mel, or Maureen who just had her baby girl in September. It’s the utter strangers who think we have some kind of connection now, that they can tell me their awful birth and pregnancy stories, that bother me.

I think a part of me saw this coming all along, which was a minor consideration in my decision to not have children for so long. To me, it is an incredibly private, serious experience that, while exciting and nerve-wracking, is not something I want to share with every person walking down the street. Granted, it’s all out here on the interwebs for anyone to stumble across. But not the woman who gets a skinny latte, who heard from someone at work that I might be knocked up, coming in to tell me about her varicose veins, chronic constipation, and hemorrhoids twenty years ago. That’s just too much information.

Every wedding, every relationship, every pregnancy, every child, and every person is different (to name just a few things). Hence, their indvidual experiences will always be different. If anything, I’m thrilled that the myths and legends I’ve heard about have not been too traumatic for me. One of my fears was that I wouldn’t be able to stop throwing up. I’ve gotten kind of nauseous a few time. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to poop (sorry, Jay). But it really seems like I’m more normal in that department because my IBS isn’t flaring up.

Although I do want to share with my close friends the experiences that I’m having, and if I do have questions, I know of several people I can go to who are having or have had kids (Heather, Mel, beetqueen, Sarah, Maureen), so I feel very blessed in that department. I also know that our child will have a huge family and a diverse support network once it’s born (Scott and Jay, Annette, Shae, Cavan, Molly, Audrey, Annie, my aunt Vicki), so how lucky am I?

And what do I need those latte-drinking bitches’ petty advice for? They just want someone else to be as miserable as they were.

The Biggest Loser

Monday I was involved in a little drink competition involving five local coffeeshops and one local news magazine that pretends to be NUVO.  When I arrived at the store, my sense of confidence at having the homefield advantage immediately plummets. The place is crawling with camera people, photographers, video cameras. Lights are set up, every person in the store is someone related to a competing barista (and there are a lot of people in the store), the judges are watching us intently, and one young man is showing everyone competing why our set-up at the store is wrong.

We’ll call this guy Dick. Because he was a massive dick. He was rude, abrasive, aggressive, and entirely too full of himself.

The competition was split up in to three parts: creativity, speed, and knowledge of coffee. We each made a drink of our choosing, presenting it to the judges, then made a cappuccino to their specifications as fast as we could, and finally wrote down as many coffee roasting/regions as we could in 30 seconds.

Now, people, I know I can be kind of hard on myself sometimes. And I know I simultaneously have kind of a big ego. But I am not exaggerating when I tell you all four of those kids cheated. Dick made his drink twice because he didn’t like the presentation. One kid we’ll call Waldo made his cappuccino in a 16-ounce mug rather than a 12-ounce one, which should have disqualified him from the competition. No one steamed their milk to the right temperature, and none of them timed their espresso shots.

I was the only one who did that part right, and I still won. But, you ask, who won overall? Who’s going to be listed in this shitty paper as the best barista in Indianapolis? Not me.

Dick.

The guy who had, sitting with the judges, two of his friends and his own mother. Were those people actually judges? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

The fact that I didn’t win is not only an incredible bruise to my ego, it’s incredibly humiliating. The fact that these kids cheated to win, the fact that Dick won – despite being a huge douchebag whose obnoxious behavior should have pissed off the judges (unless they were related to him, in which case they probably thought he was really cute) – and Waldo was the runner-up – desptite the fact that he won neither the speed nor the knowledge portion – makes me never want to read this stupid, stupid magazine again. I don’t even want my picture to be in there. I’m serious. That isn’t modesty talking. That’s pride. I don’t want to be pictured in there as someone who can’t even place in the dumbest, most inefficient competition in Indianapolis.

Of course, if I’d won, would I be saying the same thing? Maybe. It was pretty much a joke. But what bothers me is that the readers of this magazine won’t know that. You all should demand a recount. Or ask NUVO to do the same thing, only make it fair this time.

George Bush in Lip Gloss and High Heels

Okay. I’ve really been trying to avoid any sort of political blogging since everyone and their brother does it, but my god. I cannot believe this woman doesn’t even know what she would be doing if she (Palin, at left) got the job she’s running for. To see her babble this stuff makes me physically ill. The only difference between her and Bush is that she never stops talking, while he stands there like a deer in caught in headlights. Also, she thinks liberals hate “real Americans” who accomplish and achieve and believe in god.

According to Bill Bennett and Rick Davis, the reason we hate Palin is because she’s “very attractive,” conservative, and happy. We “liberal feminists have had a lock on what is and isn’t appropriate in America. [We] see a working mother, someone who’s raising five kids, one with special needs…” and it drives us crazy that she’s a Republican. FYI: Bill Bennett and Rick Davis are two men (MEN) who don’t get to tell this liberal feminist what she’s thinking, because a person being “happy” has nothing to do with their qualifications. And, for some reason, I don’t think Sarah Palin is “happy.”

And does anyone else see the contradiction in the idea of a feminist hating a woman for running for a powerful position in government? Shouldn’t she be thanking the liberal feminists who made it possible for her to be in this situation at all, rather than threatening to take away the legal rights they’ve fought for for decades to put in place to protect themselves, their bodies, and their choices?

Obama is trying to destroy the very fabric of America, from what I understand. And Acorn is committing widespread voter fraud (by employing people who are getting paid per name they sign up to register, including Mickey Mouse and the entire Dallas Cowboys, none of which can be registered to vote). Yet another group called YPM was actually registering Republican voters, and registering people who aren’t necessarily Republicans, and getting paid to get those names registered.

Real Americans (albeit Democrats) who thought they were registered in 2004 had their applications physically torn up by someone who was paid $175,000. That would be Nathan Sproul, head of the Arizona Republican Party. Someone with whom McCain must be familiar. Is that why he’s so irate about the Acorn thing? Because you hate those things in others that bother you about yourself?

What bothers me the most is the insidious, racist, horrifying things people are saying and doing because they’re hateful, ignorant human beings. Don’t even get me started on the anthropological issue of “race” and how it doesn’t even exist. Although, dipshits who don’t believe in evolution wouldn’t care to admit that we’re all descended from the same African ancestor. Which is not to say that racism doesn’t exist. ‘Cause it sure as hell does.

The Cat’s Out of the Bag

I just found out the family grapevine is bursting with my news. I was really, really looking forward to telling my Aunt Vicki myself at Thanksgiving, and figured by then, even if it wasn’t completely obvious, I would still have the pleasure of surprising everyone.

Not the case.

My cousin, who also happens to be a friend on MySpace, saw a status update I posted saying “Courtney is knocked up.” When I posted it, the last thing I thought of was the fact that my cousin was on MySpace. We don’t communicate through there, and the last time I heard anything from her was last Christmas Eve. I even consciously thought when I made the update “Now, no one on here knows my family, do they? Nah.”

I realize it’s my own stupid fault, but my family surprise announcement has been completely ruined. Apparently, my cousin called her mom, who called my aunt Vicki, and someone else probably told my grandmother, which means my uncles probably know . . . The only people who don’t know right now are most likely my younger make cousins. And they don’t give a shit if their aging hipster 30-something cousin Courtney is pregnant.

I shot off an angry email that I’ll probably regret tomorrow, but I pointed out that she really should have contacted me FIRST, before going to everyone else in the family. I mean, shit, she was logged on to MySpace to see the update, how hard would it have been for her to click on my profile and send a message really quick saying “What?? Have you told Grandma? Do your parents know?”

It just would have been the right thing to do to write or call me beforehand and make sure that it wasn’t just me blowing off steam online, to a group of people I don’t necessarily know that well. (No offense to those of you that do — you at least come here or got a message from me at some point).

Nothing New to Report

Still pregnant. Still in school. Still at work.

Midterms. Peeing a lot. Ready for the election to be over and Obama to finally get in office. McCain is an asshole, and so are all his supporters. What a bunch of racist pricks.

The house across the street just sold and it appears our nice, quiet, Italian lesbian couple has been replaced by a somewhat trashy 30-something hetero couple who both drive really fast. There goes the neighborhood.

I told the girl down the street that her son has the same name I would choose for a boy and she was okay with it. She said she doesn’t own it and I’m welcome to use it if I want. Then she said if I did have a boy, they could play together. No thanks.

People have been taking it upon themselves to tell other people I’m knocked up and a couple of situations have really ticked me off. I realize there are a lot of people I know who would be surprised to find this out, and I realize I haven’t gone down a list of all of them, so if I forgot someone, say, that I used to work with, and you say something, that’s okay. But, the second you find out, and you go calling everyone you can think of to tell them? Not cool.

My mom is trying to play grandma already, making plans to go with me for the ultrasound (Charlie already planned on going), come down after¬† I have it to “help out” (I’d rather do it alone), and establishing convoluted, cutesy ways to tell the family such as handing me some baby-related item in front of my grandmother and saying “Oh, I thought you might need this.” As you would imagine, this also irritates me.

Well, Here We Go …

positive pregnancy test

I had several positive ones at home, then went to the doctor yesterday where it was confirmed. I have an ultrasound scheduled on Halloween (ack!) to determine how far along I actually am. Since I have irregular cycles and my last period wasn’t normal, I could be around 8-9 weeks. Maybe less.
Talking about it and actually doing it are two completely different things. I’m experiencing a lot of different feelings, from scared shitless, to excited, to freaked out, to a little stressed. Next semester is going to be a weird one.