I give up

I didn’t even get a chance to fill out the app, much less an interview. Some lady who doesn’t even have interpreter training got the job before it even posted.

Because its all who you know. It doesn’t matter how hard working you are, how ridiculously over qualified you are, how honest, friendly, and willing to bend over backwards you are for the chance to maybe not live like a slave. No, it doesn’t matter.

All you need to get a job is to know the right people and hey presto you have a job and even a promotion. Go ahead and hit on your workers, including the married ones. Be lazy, drink yourself into alcoholism, don’t go to college. Abuse your kids and be irresponsible with money. Do all that, but kiss the right ass and you will get everything you will never appreciate.

After that, bash the generation that was constantly threatened that if we didn’t get good grades and go to college, we’d end up working at McDonald’s. Call that generation lazy and entitled for wanting what we were promised- that if we worked out asses off, took out excessive loans, and got scholarships we would gain a job we could maybe like but would at least be worth all the hard work we did because we’d be starting better than if we had just dropped out of high school.

Nobody told us that the barely literate alcoholic football player from high school would never go to college, but he would get to be a supervisor who sends out emails so badly worded people wonder if English really is his first language. He would get to be a supervisor right out of high school, all because his darling, enabling coach found him a job.

Nobody told us that after avoiding parties, studying hard, and working two part time jobs during college all we could look forward to working was the same two part time jobs. Jobs that would disappear as soon as we graduated, or got married, or committed the ultimate modern day sin of conceiving naturally at a natural age.

Nobody told us that we’d be “lucky” to work three jobs with no benefits, no way to be promoted, no way to apply anything we had learned, no insurance, and that those three jobs barely cover rent let alone food. And then we would get fined (oh sorry, “taxed”) for being too poor for Obamacare and yet not qualifying for Medicare. (Let’s be fair, the conservatives were telling everybody but well…Obama is going to bring change and fart rainbows everywhere!)

So go ahead and bash my generation. And for the record, this is on an iPhone. Because, you middle aged middle class pot bellied white prick, the only Internet I can get is on the phone, on a family plan that allows me 1.5 gb per month. Because 35 dollars a month is all I can afford for phone and Internet, which isn’t just for spreading chain letters written in comic sans, watching stupid Youtube videos, and posting memes on Facebook.

Not that it really does me any good, but I actually use this damn device to apply for jobs I will never have. Oh, how selfish I am. I should totally have gotten a more expensive, useless phone that couldn’t access the Internet so I could feel smug about it.

Yep. Fuck it.

A New Job, Perhaps?

Two days ago, a friend told me of a possible job opportunity.

-60-70k per year.
-Benefits and insurance.
-Full time, not a temporary job scam.
-In another area that has better schools, fewer rednecks with that ubiquitous and disgusting confederate flag, and roads that are actually taken care of.

I could rent an inexpensive place with a landlord that actually uses professionals, rather than local drunks to fix the house. If we live frugally, I could pay off my loans in about 5 years. I could pay off my credit card in – matter of weeks. This job would even be helping people who are disadvantaged economically and physically, so I wouldn’t just be another monkey in a cubicle! And I’d be earning two to 3 times what we make now!

I am visiting the site everyday, waiting for it to be posted and yet…

There is a trade off. I do not like the trade off. I have a little infant and can’t stand the thought of her being raised by daycare or a nanny. We’d also be far from my husband’s supportive family. Mr. Sassafrass and I have thought that perhaps we could have him be a stay at home dad. However, we both know that he would go crazy.

He’s Mexican, and as much as he’s rejected a lot of the machista culture he does like to be the provider. He also does not like to be in the house for extended periods of time- he’s been working since he was a little kid and now can’t stand to do “nothing”! Not to mention his family will rib him about this.

And yet, if I were to get this job, we believe its te only way it would work. Neither of us likes the idea of a daycare or a nanny- we want to experience her first words, first steps. We want her to be with Mami and Papi. A compromise might be that he works part time. It would get him out of the house (and as a current stay at home mom, I know how important that is to sanity) and cover basic expenses like rent- freeing up money to get us out of debt and maybe enjoy some things for a while. That would still involve a nanny or a daycare, but at a much less intrusive rate. Even then, he has said he could probably only do that for a year, but at least we would have the first year.

Because I have so much more education than him, we’ve both known that it is far more likely that I would be the main breadwinner. Honestly, I’d love to stay at home and part time work to supplement our income, but it’s nearly impossible. My job opportunities on this side of the state are laughable. Between the racist attitudes of the idiots I would have to work with and the attitude that any bilingual can be an interpreter (NO NO NO!) it is already a dismal prospect. Add on the pitiful few hours and no benefits, no insurance, and being on call 24-7…

I really hope this works out. My husband and I might have to feel uncomfortable for a while, perhaps a few years, but if I were to get out of debt and save our money I could return to being a stay at home mom.

God willing it could happen.

Something New

I’ve been married a year, have a honeymoon baby, have had major surgery, and have generally just been through a lot in the past year. I’m also taking a time out from the “Americans”, aka my side of the family. If I had money I would totally be in counseling, just because this is all a little overwhelming! It’s overwhelming but worth it.

So because I am doing so many new things, I plan on doing some more! I have a couple of goals for my life- to be debt free and to never use birth control, especially hormonal birth control. So I plan on getting a hold of Dave Ramsey’s materials as much a I can for free for now, and I’ve already started down the path of NFP.

There are many reasons to eschew birth control, and you don’t need to be Catholic to understand them. First of all, birth control can and does prevent the implantation of a new little human being. When sperm and egg meet, that’s a whole new set of DNA in a whole new person. Yes, implantation can fail to occur naturally, but old people can die naturally as well. If I wouldn’t off my grandpa before he does naturally, why would I actively take something that could kill my little one before I know of his/her existence?

Another thing to consider is the sheer amount of hormones we consume everyday. Our milk, eggs, meat- especially chicken are laced with hormones. I’m not a total organic nut who thinks gluten is waiting to kill us all, but I do believe that all of these artificial hormones are changing humans for the worse. So if I try, even with my very limited funds, to buy local and organic, why should I then turn around and pop a pill loaded with hormones?

The birth control pill ups your chance of cancer, particularly breast cancer. It also suppresses a woman’s natural cycle, instead of working with your body. It can cause weight gain, mood issues, and ironically it can lower your libido. Studies have even found that it can influence women to be more inclined to seek out mates who are sub-par. Long term use if the pill can wreak havoc on a woman’s fertility, so when she DOES want children it can be very difficult to conceive.

Natural Family Planning involves no hormones. It does involve knowing your body, being aware, and learning a little science. It is a lot of work, and it involves math, something I hate. It is NOT the “rhythm method”. It’s not even just one method. I’m stating with the sympto-thermal method, which is great for women who may have irregular cycles. Not only can I avoid another child for a little while (which would be wise, considering what my body has been put through, not to mention the finances) I can also plan for another child. The information I gather on myself can even help me to see if I have a thyroid problem. It can certainly make my ob-gyn’s job much easier.

I have had friends tell me to “at least use a condom!”. The truth is, I hate the idea of condoms. I want to feel as connected as I can to my husband, and sex is not just a fun activity. It’s incredibly intimate and even spiritual. Hospitals encourage skin to skin contact for mother and child- why not between husband and wife? And this sounds vulgar, but if I wanted to use something plastic to get pleasure there is a sex shop nearby that has an entire wall of synthetic devices for just that. Using a condom during sex makes as much sense to me as insisting that everybody keep their clothes on during sex (those people do exist, and no, it’s not a fetish for some of them.)

Could I still have an “unintended” pregnancy? Yes, although the chance is low. Unintended or not, my husband and I will welcome every one of our children. But similar things happen with birth control. If they didn’t you wouldn’t be reading my blog. Honestly, i wouldnt mind having another child very soon, but we have quite a few things we need to get in order first.

I am slowly falling in love with NFP. I much prefer a philosophy that respects my femininity and supports an understanding of my body to a philosophy that treats women as if their fertility is a disease. Don’t believe that philosophy exists? Ask a pregnant woman what it’s like to search for a job, or inform her boss she is pregnant. Ask her how her coworkers treat her, especially if she has multiple kids.

This month is a month of new beginnings. I grew up in poverty, and I am quite poor now. I would like to change things so that when we need to fix our car, we can. If an emergency happens we can handle it. I don’t know if it would be wise to own our own home especially now that the American government has made it abundantly clear that we own nothing and our worth lies only in working, but I’d like to rent a larger space with less building violations. I was brainwashed to accept my parents’ views on finances, especially the mantra “follow nobody’s advice” and where are they? Still in debt, still paying for things they do not need, digging more holes. Like NFP I have seen people following Dave Ramsey’s advice…and they are succeeding. I want to see if that can work for my husband and I. Being independent appeals to us. No being dependent on paycheck to paycheck and no being dependent on a dubiously beneficial pill, or IUD, or condom to get us through another year.

I’m excited. I hope anyone reading this can get excited too. Learn about your (or your wife’s) natural gift of fertility, and take charge of your finances. Never say die!

Jeans

One thing I have learned from my recent foray into shopping with my husband:

Some men apparently don’t understand that there are different styles of jeans, and its not so much your size that counts. Especially when you’ve lost a ton of weight.

Oh fashion bitches, why is it that flares are now forbidden? Why are there only 3 main styles, maybe 4 if you count the puke worthy “jeggings”?

You’ve got your skinny jeans. Ugly, uncomfortable, ass-flattening skinny jeans. They make petite girls look like they bought their clothes from a kids store. They make medium sized girls look like billboards and they make thick girls look like fatasses. What’s the matter, fashion industry? Are you guys so ugly that you have to make everyone else look bad so you look good by comparison? In all cases, skinny jeans ruin a good butt by taking all the shape out of it and squishing the shapely bits into a board shape.

“Straight” jeans. Jeans that go up past your belly button, make your legs look like Lincoln logs,and scream out “MOM”. They bring to mind feathered mullets, acid wash denim, and white trash ramblings from an old Roseanne episode.

“Boot cut” jeans manage to marry the worst parts of straight jeans with skinny jeans. Not only do the pants basically soar up to your boobs, they flatten the ass and make it impossible to wear a comfortable pair of tennis shoes without looking like an idiot. I’m sorry, starving models and their pervy photographers,but some of us live an actual life where we do this weird thing called “walking”.

All I can say about jeggings is that if I wanted to wear tights in public, I’d buy a reasonably priced pair of tights. Not an overpriced pair of jeans that I pour myself into. For that matter why not just slap some body paint on?

I want my flares back. I want comfort and style, and i want the freaking 80’s to STAY DEAD. And if people want to get rid of that muffin top problem, they should maybe think about going up a size or 6.

By the way, fashion industry: screw all your ugly asses, and your terrible clothes too.

Space, A Peaceful Frontier

As I recover from surgery, I am finding myself with a lot of time to sit and blog.

My husband just has to be the voice of reason and forbids me to pick up the baby carrier and stroller and baby all at once. Harrumph so what if its been less than a week since surgery? I feel fine!

Who cares what the doctors say, right? Haha…blogging it is.

During my hellish stay in the hospital where it was one disappointment after another, including a family wide cold and an utterly miserable hungry baby, I had some realization time. I wouldn’t characterize it as “thinking time” since most of the time I was only actively thinking about throwing my iv out the window and getting out of my hospital cell…room. It was definitely a realization time.

My husband, ever the unicorn, mentioned calling my parents so someone could bring us some supplies. Why not his family I’m not entirely sure why. They live closer to the hospital. However that is not important. What’s important is that at the mere mention of my parents barging in I went into a panic attack.

Erratic breathing, tears, hopelessness, an urge to escape…everything just flipped a lid inside of me at the thought of them coming in, because I already knew what they were going to do. There would be a guilt trip for not mentioning the surgery,my baby would be “taken care of” out of my sight, I would be made responsible to care for my mother and her feelings, it would all be a disaster. I’d be vulnerable with monsters.

Thankfully my husband didn’t make that call. I’ve been on a time out from them for a few weeks, almost 2 months.
I thought it would be enough but clearly they are still in my head. I dwell on the call and two texts sent by my mom. She’s trying to lure me with stuff and claims not to know why I am not accepting her calls.

She knows why, unless my Dad said absolutely nothing which given his history is unlikely. She still doesn’t understand that stuff means nothing to me.

Right now, I just want to be surrounded by love. No judgement, no false sense of responsibility and guilt, no boundary stomping, no passive aggressive remarks.

So the result of my time out is the realization that I need more time out. At this point, I need to confront them my selves, and then just not contact them for a while. However long I need before I can figure out what normal is, and if I feel normal enough.

This is going to be rough on my husband. He grew up with a huge extended family that all seem to get along for the most part. His culture places a high value on family loyalty, especially to one’s parents. It’s one of the reasons I love my husband.

He told me that its going to seem odd not seeing them for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter. “Perhaps,” I replied “but now we can make our own family traditions. I’m excited by that, and now we can have a breather from all the unpleasant parts.”

I’m not looking forward to the chat I will have with both of my parents. I am bringing my husband, not because this truly involves him but because I am afraid of being physically attacked. I am already planning logistics- where to park so that I can’t be blocked from the road, who will babysit, to make sure my battery is charged on my phone, an on and on.

I am looking forward to avoiding gossip, digs at my style of clothing or hair, subtle racism against my husband, passive aggressive put downs about every conceivable subject, or attempts to save me from Catholicism. I’m also looking forward to missing the aunt who sexually harasses my husband, the aunt who offers her supposedly professional therapy services, the uncle who thinks my husband is a thief based solely on the fact that he’s got skin color, another uncle who’s been in jail because the mental hospital has no room, another aunt that is certifiably crazier than my mother, and so many more others.

Most of all, I’m looking forward to making new friends and getting to know my in-laws better, to bringing myself closer to God and my husband.

I want to start some new traditions. What about haunted corn mazes? What about finding a parish where we can do a posada instead of hiding our insecurities with a mountain of expensive junk?Why not elotes on thanksgiving with a smaller turkey and some good wine?

I’m breaking off from my past to draw closer to something newer and better. And when I finally feel secure, then I will see if a relationship with my parents is feasible.

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Canning and Government

Here’s a favorite recipe of mine. It’s not so much a recipe as its a process.

It’s called Canning and with our craptastic economy and irresponsible voters you should know how to do it.

Canning:
Step 1: acquire tomatoes. Lots of them.
Step 2: acquire Ball canning jars. Ball is a good brand- I don’t trust any other.
Step 3: have a knife, water, stove, and tall cooking pots handy.
Step 4: clean the tomatoes, cut them in half or quarters depending on size. start cooking them. If they’re red tomatoes they shouldn’t need extra water. If they’re tomatillos add a cup or two of water depending on how many you have cooking.
Step 5: put the other pot to boil, and set as many jars and lids as can fit without bumping together. This I to sterilize and to prevent rot.
Step 6: when the tomatoes are well cooked, start scooping them into jars (one jar at a time). Make sure the lip of the jar is perfectly clean, screw on the top, and store upside down over night.

Congrats, you now have a way to have fresh salsa and sauce and whatever you like, and can save then for when you can’t buy fresh.

There are also recipes to do this with meat.

Other things you can do to reduce the food budget:

Sow a small garden. If you live in the city this can be difficult, but try to at least have a window for herbs like cilantro or rosemary.

Cook your food from scratch. Beans, lentils, and rice are easy to make from scratch and can be very nutritious.

Buy in bulk- rice can be bought very inexpensively at Sam’s Club, and frozen food can be stored for a long time. Wait for a sale and buy meat then, or try to buy a cow directly from a farm.

Hunt! Venison is a very healthy alternative to beef. It is very low fat and full of protein. Even rabbit and squirrel are good. (Rabbit meat has no fat though, so don’t make this a staple).

Grind your own meat! Ground beef is ridiculously expensive. Invest in a decent meat grinder (avoid the made in china plastic ones that break if you look at then wrong) and you can have meatballs and hamburgers.

Plan! Plan for what you will need, make recipes, and stick to them. Buy seasonally- often times things are on sale at different times.

Expand your idea of “edible”. If you’re like the typical picky American who only wants to buy highly processed foods an won’t try anything new, kiss your money goodbye. Look up ethnic recipes- Mexican food is very economical.

Re-use your food. Onions can be saved and grown to make new onions. So can potatoes and many forms of squash. Save those seeds!

Talk to your grandparents and great grandparents! Chances are many of them survived the Great Depression. They likely remember all sorts of ways to save money.

Most of all, never rely on a government that on both sides does not care if you live or die. Sure it’s nice if they help, but never assume that it’s a given they will, or that their help will be sufficient.

Support yourself, and your neighbors.