Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I promise:  I'll stop cropping my head and putting it in random pictures.....this week.

Have you ever hurt yourself, as you're innocently going about your business and your daily drudgery, and say, right in the middle of doing the dishes, you accidentally drill your head on the corner of the cupboard door, which you ONCE AGAIN forgot to close?  So there you were, about to step back to the sink to lean in to do more scrubbing, when suddenly you're surprised because you've  NAILED YOUR HEAD AGAIN, and it FREAKING HURTS, and initiates a shit-chain of angry, angsty thought?

It goes a little something like this

- grab dirty glass and plate from table
- turn toward sink and gently slide dishes into soapy water
- SHOCKING PAIN as head is MASHED into pointy, stupid cupboard door corner

and then


You've slammed the stupid door back in place so hard that you've almost bent the hinge and the door is kind of stuck.  You feel sheepish for a moment, and your brain immediately flashes to your husband, and potential [deserved] disapproval, but then it goes back to it's downward spiral of thought:

How many times do I have to do that?!?
I'm always here at this sink.
Is this ALL I ever do?
My god, why did I even go to school and waste thousands of dollars if all I'm ever going to do is wash dishes?!?  
Did I only ever ASPIRE to serving people?!?!?  Make lunch, wash dishes.  Make snacks, wash dishes, make dinner, wash dishes...
Yes, that's it.  I'm just going to clean the house, and I'll never become anything, and then I'll DIE from:

1) oral cancer (it's a new one.  Let's hope it's just a cyst on my gums. I'm starting to freak.  My sister looked at it and said "It's NOT ORAL CANCER.")
2) ovarian cancer (so, so tired of that one)
3) the tumor that's in my abdomen pressing on the nerve at the top of my thigh that every now and then buzzes slightly.  Weird, stupid occasional vaguely buzzing crotch.  
4) My lumpy bumpy stupid thyroid, sitting like a ticking time bomb in my neck

Blech.  It's all a black hole.

So then, my Dad comes over for lunch and happens to ask if I've ever considered getting my master's degree.

"I think it would open doors for you..."  said Dad.


OPEN DOORS for me?  Well that sounds a bit magical!  

Because, here is my other fear:  one of these days, I'm going to have to get a job.  I'm going to have to stop goofing off in blog land, and pretending that I'm actually justifying my stay-at-home-mom existence by throwing in the odd load of laundry, and making it LOOK like I'm doing just what I'm supposed to do:  Hey, look at me!  I'm not just cropping my head and putting it into famous movie pictures for 2 no!  I'm doing something USEFUL!  I'm earning my IMAGINARY PAY CHEQUE!  Wait a minute--that's right--I DON'T GET PAID.  Pppft.


SO!  Let's say karen went back to school.  I think a master's program is only 2 years.  I could swing 2 years, because I have to be honest people:  I HATE school.  I H8 it.  I skipped an assload of school in uni.  I skipped so much of my "Pop Culture" class, that one day the prof asked me to stay behind after class to have a little chat.  So, after feeling mortified for the entire class, I got to sit down with the woman, who was all CONCERNED FROWNY FACE, and she gently proclaimed herself to be "one of the most caring members of the faculty," and she "hoped that if any student was having a problem, they could talk to her about it."


I mumbled out some B.S. and got the rock out of there.  If I were telling the truth, I'd have said;  "no, no real problem.  I just really hate school.  Also, your lecture is the first of my day, and I also hate getting up early.  And finally, the parking lot is pure bullcrap, and if I show up and can't find a spot to park, chances are I'm just going to turn around and head to the mall.  No offense."

Well, after talking to Dad, I was kind of inspired.  And then Mr. Practical, A.K.A. The Man, pooped right on my fantasy, as he is wont to do:

"Yeah, what kind of job would you be going for?"

Me:  "Erm...I don't know."

The Man:  "well, it's all fine and good if you have a job in mind that you want to get, but if you're going just for the sake of going [back to school] then it doesn't really make much sense."

See that?  See how he sucked all the rainbow out of my OPEN DOOR fantasy?

Help me people.  Tell me what kind of job I could get with a MASTER OF ENGLISH degree.  Please don't  say:  DATA ENTRY CLERK.  That will crush me.

Oh, and can someone tell me how to shut the hypochondria switch off in my brain?  It's making me soooooo tired.


  1. WT? did not post my comment...I am starting to take this personally.

  2. First, I like the head cropping...please don't even think you could be doing something more worthwhile or productive than head cropping.

    Second...yeah, I was going to go back to school, but then I thought I'd have all these student loans, and the economy is in the toilet and college grads can't get jobs so I will be fighting for a job at Mickey D's and have to pay back student loans for the privilege of serving up Big Macs. So I didn't.

    Third, you should not listen to me, I ramble incessantly. Go back to school if it makes you can teach with an English degree, or be an editor or something. I will keep thinking.

  3. Steph, sometimes blogger does some stupid ass things. Your comment didn't accidentally fall into the spam bin. Often when I type up a comment now, I copy it and then I can paste it back in if it gets eaten. Stupid I know.

  4. Yeah! Flannery, I like the head-cropping too. It makes me very, very happy.

    Funny you should mention the threat of being a super educated burger slinger--I almost said something very sarcastic to my dad when he mentioned how much me going to university filled him with pride. Something like; "yeah, because it got me AWESOME jobs."

    See, I worked at a sunglass store, then as a cashier at the casino, then as a data-entry clerk, and then I cut out ads from magazines and glued them onto "you could have saved X money if you'd placed your ad with US!"

    That last was my personal fave.

    Yes, do keep thinking on my behalf. Though all growed up, I need a guidance counselor.

  5. i've had those same thoughts. i could go back to school but then i'd have to take tests & get grades. and i still wouldn't be getting to a different place in life because i'm still going to be a homeschooling mom who stays home. i can read & learn anything i want to know for free & still do what i'm doing now.
    i'm sorry, i'm no help at all. or maybe i'm just satisfied with mediocrity. my current motto is "perfection is not required."

  6. I think in a way all three of you are right. Get a journalism certificate at a college that specializes in that kind of thing:

    1 - way shorter time commitment
    2 - still achieves the motivational, confidence-building, shot-in-the-arm you crave
    3 - employers recognize it as practical, yet will still appreciate the fact that you can pull off a university degree
    4 - provides a complimentary flavour to the English undergrad, rather than being more of the same
    5 - my guess is that it'll be 1/3 of the price of a masters
    6 - college programs are more tailored to landing relevant jobs

    But I recommend staying away from so-called 'distance education' - a big point of this is to test out your stamina for life away from laundry.

    Anyhoo, you asked, I 'opinioned'. Yes, I used opinion as a verb. Deal with it.

    AND!!!! I think I know you pretty well, so you should believe me when I say you are definately CAPABLE.

    P.S. Not to scare you further, but statistics say that 1 out of every 1 people die of some cause. It's true. Look it up.

  7. P.P.S. Rants in my Pants. Brilliant.

    Speaking of pants, one of my 'smile' moments was years ago when B was in my car. With sirens passing us in the other direction, I commented, "Hey, there goes a paddy wagon. Probably going to break up a party." B promptly replied, "Well they're going the wrong way, because MY PANTS are in YOUR CAR!" I nearly wet myself and crashed at the same time.

    Anyhoo, thought I share far too much. Enjoy.

  8. OMG, I've had that same experience except mine is with putting glasses away in the cupboard from the dishwasher. I hit that frigging cabinet Every Single Time. EVERY TIME.

    And I DO have a master's degree---I actually worked in a hospital with a big fancy office doing all sorts of business finance stuff. And now I'm doing dishes looking out the same kitchen window....

  9. I am constantly covered in mysterious bumps and bruises. I have no idea why, because I just eat off of paper plates. I would suggest you try disposable dishware, but it doesn't really seem to be helping me at all.

  10. It's not just the education that will be good, it's all the connections too. Go for it. I'm considering it myself. Sometimes. Er, when I'm not creating my own disaster scenarios.

  11. You'd be great
    anything you want to be, K.
    Don't listen to the man -
    your dad knows you - and
    you're a smart woman -
    follow your Bliss. . .

  12. I lurv you, Karen - you are a real person. Is this about feeling one should earn money? or about needing to get out into a different energy, see grownups? Or about umm, intellectual stimulation? What led you to major in English, anyway?

    I see that you have enjoyed graphics kind of work, e.g. your photoshop heads. Why not go for an undergrad maybe 2-year degree in computer graphics, which seems to be the only kind of graphics there is now?

    It's about aiming for something you would actually like doing. There is at least one exercise in What Color is Your Parachute that helps figure out what that is.

  13. Karen, my life long dream, after wanting to be skinny, was to be a Housewife. No, not a SAHM but someone whose kids went off to school and I could maintain the house. I know, I'm a freak but I love an orderly house. June Cleaver is my idol! I'm not messing with you either. I hate school too. I would suggest that you not go back because you have no passion for it. And that would make Oprah cry. Your kids don't care how many degrees you have. They just want you there. You're a Mom, that's your job! And if you do that properly, one day you'll be promoted to Grandma. And from what I hear from my Mom, that's a pretty good gig.

  14. If you want to go back to school you should! I have no idea what people do with masters degrees in English...I have a degree in psychology and it hasn't done jack for me! lol

  15. mark you are so funny,we would not want to make oprah cry!p.s. my life long dream is also to be skinny,is that totally pathetic?

  16. Sherilin, I applaud you AND envy you because DAMN IT, I wish I could be satisfied with ANYTHING in life--right down to the peanut butter I put on my toast in the morning.

    I'm thinking of the future when both kids are old enough that they can come home from school and potentially be by themselves for an hour or so. Then what the hell am I going to be?!?

  17. Very sage advice, Matt. The only problem with it is, it's a whole new thing to consider! Hrm...another possibility I hadn't thought of...but well worth looking into. But then, what job could I get with the journalism thingy? See, it's all about where I live too, and this area is so pitifully depressed, work-wise.

    Ha ha about the inevitability of death joke, by the way.

  18. Matt I think I remember that funny story! Oh those good times of driving around peeing ourselves laughing. Youth wasn't all bad, was it :)


    And, that's great that you had that job before. It means that if you choose to at some time in the future, you could have a "respectable" job like that again, don't you think?

    What the hell am I going to do though? Please let me never have to work at the casino again :(

  20. Grace, there are times when disposable dishware is SO WONDERFUL, and even as I'm apologizing to the Earth, I'm basking in the wonderfulness that is NOT WASHING DISHES.

    You get those bumps and bruises from flying around the house with your mind on more interesting things, I presume.

  21. thanks dbs. You create disaster scenarios too? Hooray! Exhausting, no?

  22. Thanks Christina. The only problem is the general lack of job choices around these here parts...that and still not knowing what I want to be when I grow up. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

  23. Jeanne, I do believe it's about all the things you mentioned. All of them.

    What led me to major in English? 1. it was decided that I had to go to university right after highschool, without a break in between to figure out what the hell I wanted to do
    2. I sucked at math/science, and was good with words/enjoyed writing, so I just kind of fell into that semi-useless pursuit.

    I do enjoy that goof-off fiddling with pictures stuff. Now YOU TOO have put a whole n'other idea into my head, and another interesting one at that.

    I'll have to look up this coloured parachute business. Thank you.

  24. Mark, that was so touching. No, I'm not being sarcastic. I think there is absolutely no shame in anyone wanting to be a modern "June Cleaver." The problem with me is that I'm a chronic MALCONTENT and never satisfied, and one day when the kids are grown up, I wouldn't mind having a little spending money and a career I feel at least a little excited about.

    Until then, I'll continue to bake muffins and try not to whine so much ;)

  25. Oh goody Ms. Weez! You're part of the throwaway BA too! Hooray!

    Maybe I could teach Victorian Literature..I did lurv that at least...

  26. Ms. Paula H., that is not pathetic at all because it is my secret life long dream as well. Sigh.

    Yes, Mark cracked me up with the Oprah bit too.

  27. Ah, the never-ending feeding people/washing their damned dishes cycle. And don't get me started on the string of expletives that comes out of my mouth when I injure myself, especially when it is while I am doing crap for other people. Who take it all for granted.

    Never had the opp to go to school. If you can, do!! Some day you won't be washing other people's dishes and you'll need something to keep you busy. LOL.

  28. You are very gifted with words and you are a great artist.

    I wouldn't bother with a Masters unless it is for something you have real passion for and aren't in pursuit of a job. Or if you figure out what your dream job is and you talk to a bunch of "people" and figure out if a Masters will actually a) get you that job, and b) you can do it without moving (i.e. work at home or find the job locally).

    Oh - and I almost forgot the third (cynic) option, forget about your dream job, figure out what you can stomach and go for the career that will make you the most money :)

    Personally, I think you should try writing a book, either a kids book which you could also illustrate, an adult book, or an illustrated adult book (not anime, but your funny cartoons with a lovely adult spin).

    I used the parachute book once, I found it pretty interesting, worth getting out of the library and having a look at.

  29. I would give anything for a choc malted thick shake.

    Sarah xxx

  30. I think you should find some niche that makes you happy AND brings in some money and go for it. It doesn't have to be working for someone else and it doesn't have to be a traditional "job".

    My first thought was that you could write snappy messages in cards, then I remembered the new Hallmark cards I saw at that W store. I read one and thought of you! They are all about imperfect parenting and women stuff.. hilarious. And hijacking your comments. ;)

  31. Why hello there, Sadie! How nice to see you here. Thanks for the input. And you're right about the expletives--I had a whole stream of them too, but they were just louder than a whisper because the kids have verbally neutered me.

  32. Christy, the figuring out what I can stand and going for money plays a big part too--you're right, because it really depends on what jobs are out there. I wouldn't mind being cool though.

    Thanks for all the nice things you said. I just had a filling fixed this morning and I'm feeling so sorry for myself that I need HUGGIES FROM EVERYONE. Damn my lack of backbone.

    I have to find this parachute book..if I can remember it!....

  33. yes Sarah, let's just shout FUCK IT and go get a shake!

  34. Lisa, I really like your idea. I should start my own line..

    "Sorry I missed your birthday--too burnt out."


  35. Become a teacher! That's my dream now.... But yet I feel as though it's simply TOO LATE... so I could watch you blossom into a teacher.. and you'd get summers off... Boo-yah! And you could inspire the youth. How nice. :) They need SERIOUS inspiring.

    As for the worries of various cancers... there's no shutting the brain off. The brain just has to get tired and move on to another topic to obsess over. At least, that's the experience for me.


  36. You can be a columnist from anywhere!

  37. yeah but sister, remember: I only have a vague tolerance for the youth. Sigh. I need someone to inspire me! ME ME ME ME ME, IT'S ALL ABOUT MEEEEEEEE!!!

  38. ooo...a columnist...that plays into your "journalism" college thingy, right Matt?

  39. Exactly. Doesn't matter too much where you live then.

  40. what would my column be--sarcastic advice? Cynical realism! YES! CYNICAL REALISM! Everyone loves a spoonful of THAT!

  41. No, I think "Ow, my angst" could be the name of a column.

  42. ooo...Matt's on to something...

    I almost typed out my idea but then I thought KAREN YOU FOOL...SOMEONE MIGHT GET TO IT FIRST!

  43. Don't worry, no one reads the comments 5 days after the post. It's a rule of blogland or something...

    But wait! I'm reading it, so strike that.

    Just let me know what paper(s) pick you up in syndication, okay?

  44. Matt, you're probably right. Everyone else other than you has moved on--sniff!

  45. Well, if I stay in the room, we can keep talking. It's like the closest thing to privacy on the internet: Dialogue within the comments section of a days-old blog post. Like Fort Knox, it is!

    So then, what's your deepest, darkest secret?

    As Morrissey would say, "My only weakness is a list of crimes. My only weakness is...well, never mind, never mind."

  46. Shoplifters of the world...unite and TAKE OVER! Damn, I need to get some more Smiths cds (upgrade from tapes).

    My deepest darkest secret? I have one? Maybe a few ;)

    This is no place to tell those, Matt, you never know when the secret door will SWING BACK OPEN! But, you're kind of right. Sherilin and I have often had ongoing convos here in the comments section. It's kind of like being the last couple of people at a party, after everyone has left and it's nice and quiet.

  47. Agreed. So, pour me another cup of coffee already. :)


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