Saturday, December 23, 2006

Just a quick word

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tis' the Season for Giving

Yeah, ok, I'm back, sooner than expected, because I just can't shut my brain off and this is a great outlet. And...I want to talk about something. The Holidays, but not in that 100% this is great, look what I got, etc, etc, sort of way. I'll warn you...this could be a tearjerker.

It's Christmas, 2006 and my roommate, who is a Psychologist, has 2 families, both single mothers, one has 5 kids, the other has 4 kids. The one with 5 kids is a little better off than the one with 4 kids. Before I continue, I can't divulge names, because a)I don't have their names and b)my roommate cannot break this confidentiality. But I can assure you that these people are real, as there are some things you just have faith in. roommate has decided to create a Christmas for these families. Let me give you a little background. These are just families that are down on their luck or families where Christmas will be a little "tight" this year, the mom with 4 kids, yeah, they sit on the floor to eat, on sheets. The mom with 5 kids, the 15 year old is an accelerated, early acceptance and holds a job at a supermarket to pay for high-speed internet on a second hand computer because he and his sister (who's in a magnet program) need it for school. This mom, when asked what she wanted for Christmas said "towels", yeah bath towels. All of these kids have seen more cornmeal for dinner than I will see in my entire life, because it's affordable for them. These moms depend on the school to feed the children for breakfast and lunch, so that only dinner is eaten at home, on sheets, on the floor, for one family.

Yes, the moms have jobs, but you try raising a family of 4 or 5 on one, paltry salary and maybe some of you have, so I'm not knocking anyone. They do not qualify for welfare or any "luxuries" that many can qualify for. Welcome to the LAND OF OPPORTUNITY and desperate times call for desperate measures.

Between my roommates, me, 2 of my friends, several of my roommates collegues and some good friends, we managed to pull together enough money to give the kids what they asked for on their Xmas lists. No small feat, they're kids, they desire to fit in, they desire to be like their peers, knowing...deep down...they are not like their peers. As a former teacher, that's TOUGH to watch happen. Besides, YOU tell a 5 year old, she can't HAVE a Cabbage Patch Kid. But, we managed to do it, in a short week, more like a weekend and then bought food for the families.

One friend donated a table and 4 chairs, someone else gave a TV and a DVD player, items we take for granted. I can't imagine having to sit on a floor to eat because you don't have the option of a table. Oh nevermind about their beds, mattresses on the floor, maybe that will be my next project.

This was also a time to see who you could count on and who you couldn't count on. Eye-opening really and that's all I'll say about that.

But roommate shared something, no names, again, confidentiality, that one of the moms asked about Life Insurance (this was after she worked for 3 days and didn't get paid for the job because her boss deemed that she "didn't work hard enough), Life Insurance, just in case something happens to her. This woman had planned to take her own life, so that the life insurance policy would pay out to her kids. She had to be told that that's not the way it works, that her children would be separated, because NO ONE would adopt 4 kids all together. This mom had no idea and was desperately trying to do what she thought was right. I still can't wrap my head around that.

But why am I telling you this? Not to bring you down, but to remind you, that even in the darkest days, even when someone steals your thunder, rains on your parade or pisses in your cornflakes, things are not that bad.

So go. Go hug your children, tell someone you love them and be grateful for what you have and for having opportunities to make your lives better. Because life as you know it, can be just a table and chairs away.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just One Thing Before I Go

This morning as I was walking into my office, I found 2 checks lying on the ground, that totaled 989 dollars. That's quite a bit of money and it's the holidays. AND...we all know in major cities such as Atlanta, it wouldn't take me but a few minutes to find someone to cash those checks without checking ID.


I put them in an envelope to send back to the rigthful owners. Oddly enough, they live right down the street from my old apartment. I could drive there, but I won't, I'll just drop it in the mail today, it should get there by Saturday.

On that note, I'm taking a break from blogging, just until after the holidays when I'll have some stories to tell. I can't seem to gather my thoughts lately to form a coherent paragraph, let alone make sense. My last 2 days have been mind shattering and I feel like my brains are liquid.

Oh, I'll keep reading the rest of you all, because I enjoy it, I just need a break.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Say A Prayer

Or do a little dance, or send good thoughts my way, SOMETHING! I'm interviewing internally for a position at my company, it will totally help my career and give me the skill-set to move on to bigger and better things in a different PLACE.

But first, I have to put together the most kick-ass PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow. I've started it, I just have to finish it. The interview consists of a 30 minute one-on-one and then a 30 minute presentation. The "classroom" part of it, no sweat. It's hoping that some asshat doesn't make this difficult for me.


Saturday, December 09, 2006


Or else I'll send the PIRATE after your ass and she'll bring friends.


I've not known HDW very long, but she's one cool lady who's serious, heart-warming, heart-rendering, but always has a hilarious anecdote to tell.


As for me? If you do this, well I'll love you like a fat kid loves cake.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tis' the Season

I'll get to the 8th Grade in a moment, but right now, before I forget I want to talk about the Holiday Season and office protocol.

At my office, we do a Secret Santa. I know you all know how this usually works. You put your name in the hat and pick out a name (hopefully it's not your own name), then you go out and spend, what 10-15 bucks on a gift, or sometimes no limit is set and you get a small gift. I'm ok with that.

This year, the email came around, that said the follwing: (yes people, this is the ACTUAL email with names and company name removed)

Greetings Everyone,

It’s that time of year again. It is my understanding that no one told LaNell they did NOT want to participate. If you do NOT wish to participate, speak now or forever hold your piece.

Here are the rules for this year’s QA/Admin Gift Exchange:

$20-25 limit (more if you so choose)

Each person submits to me a list of three to five things they’d like by 2pm today

Each list will be assigned a number from 1 to 9 based on the order they’re received

After all lists are received, I’ll go around and have everyone select a number

Each person’s recipient will be revealed after they select a number

Gifts will be exchanged on December 18th

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Okay, here's what got me a TWENTY TO TWENTY-FIVE DOLLAR LIMIT? Whatever happened to, oh, being thankful for any small gift you got, regardless of price? Whatever happened to "Hey, I got a Book of Lifesavers"? - I LOVE THOSE THINGS.

The fact that a limit was set, sort of irked me. Not that I don't have it, but we all aren't in the same financial boat and I mean, 20-25 is a tank of gas, some groceries, a case of beer (kidding), but you know what I mean.

So this is what I put on my my list:

I would like to request that whomever gets my name to make a donation to one of the following (1 being the one that’s closest to me) organizations in the form of 20-25 in my name.

The Alzheimers Foundation of America -
The American Cancer Society -
Aids/HIV Awareness especially for Children -

I’m requesting this, because although a gift would be nice, I have everything I want and need (or I can obtain these things) and I have my health.

JR Estelle (of course I used my real name)

So yeah, this is how I asked my Secret Santa to "gift" me. The guy I have to buy for, yeah, let's just say that one of his items was Hennessey. Um, no and thanks for playing.

And now...on to the 8th Grade.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Expounding on WHEEEEEEE

So today at work I was reading a website on the Nintendo Wii that a co-worker sent me and while reading, it dawned on me, that those people at Nintendo are GENUISES.

Seriously, think about it. Video game makers take some of the brunt of the blame for making kids "fat". Let's not take into consideration that it's the parents who don't make their kids get outside and play, exercise, whatever. In fact, I know a 14 year old who is allowed to eat a WHOLE PIZZA in one sitting. Is that normal? I mean does a 14 year old NEED a WHOLE PIZZA? Sad, I wasn't allowed to sit inside all the time and play video games. Oh, we had an Original Nintendo, but my mom limited the amount of time we spent on it. But I digress.

Anyway, the Wii, you have to actually move the controller to move the character and not the joystick people, the WHOLE controller. It becomes and extension of your body. Creepy but cool. You play KnockOut and you jab right with the controller in your hand and your character jabs right. It's an AEROBIC workout. And that's the GENIUS in it. It gets people to exercise without knowing it. HOLY SHIT, why didn't someone think of that sooner?????

Pure Genius and it's fun to say "Wii (WHEEEEEE)" I don't think it was a mistake on Nintendo's part that they developed a gaming system like this, not a mistake, not at all.

I want a Wii.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Confess

There are some things that I can't quite wrap my head around and I think it's because I wouldn't do these things, so why would someone else. One of my largest flaws is that I tend to hold certain people to the same standards as I hold myself. These are pretty high, reasonable, but pretty high.

I try to be a good person, I try to do that right thing, I try to overlook certain things or just brush them off, but...when you do something for someone and then see the reaction to that weeks later, it's hard to not think about things and think hard.

For example, last year at this time, I literally bought 150.00 worth of groceries for a co-worker who is a single mother with 3 kids. Why? Because of the 3 kids. There is no way in hell, I'll let kids go hungry, no way, because they don't have the ways and means to get their own food. That didn't bother me. What bothered me, is that I got not one word of THANK YOU from the mother, but yet 2 weeks later, she was talking about how she and her girls went out for drinks and a night on the town. But can't afford groceries? You can eat out for lunch EVERYDAY (I don't even do that), but you can't afford groceries? You HAVE 3 KIDS all under 10.

Another example, a co-worker sent out an email that she was going to Jason's Deli and if anyone wanted anything, let her know and give her the money. Fair enough. I jokingly, this co-worker and I have known each other awhile and are friendly, responded, "so you're not buying"?, she said, "nope, not for you, I'm just organizing." Fair enough. So I went over to her desk and said "you really wouldn't buy me a sandwich"? She said, "why should I"? with my favorite "I just smelled shit look". I walked away. Just so you know, I gave her 30 bucks to fill her car up with GAS so she could get to work when gas prices were outrageous. You know what? I had to go without a few things that week because of that.

Before you ask, no, I'm not complaining, it just boggles my mind that now I don't even EXIST to these people...wonder why?

7th Grade

Okay, it took me a bit to begin writing about 7th Grade because I had to remember all of my teachers. Yeah, I went from 1 teacher to oh 6 or 7, that's a lot to handle when you're 13.

My teachers were:
English - Mrs. Shevlin - she and my mom knew each other.
History - Mr. Bruno
Math - Mr. Fasulo
Science - Mrs. Berdenko - I still can't spell it right.
Gym - Mrs. Pollack
Art - Ms. Bange (said like banj, but of COURSE we said BANG)

I started playing sports too, intramural and then was asked to join the JV team,yes in the 7th grade.

It was also about this time that I realized I was "different" than the other girls. I didn't like "girly things", I played ice hockey, MOST if not all of my friends were boys, I was always getting yelled at for not "sitting like a lady", (I wonder if Jenna Jamison got yelled at like that? lol) and generally, I was just a big "tomboy".

And because 13 is when your body starts going NUTTY, I became the kid that got made fun of for having bad acne, being a "big" girl (ok fat), and just generally being a dork. As an aside, time has been good to me and all those girls that made fun of me??? Got knocked up and stuck in that dead end town I grew up in.

Although, I was active, I found great comfort in food, lots of food,(at my heaviest in my life I was about 250, but this would fluctuate), but around this time, something was happening to me. I was one of the first to get "boobs" as the boys called them and my cousin took it upon himself to sexually molest me, this went on for 3 years and I never told anyone, because I ALWAYS got told I was a liar, so why bother. I was told years later, that's probably why I ate so much, because I was in control.

Aren't you glad you're reading today?

Don't get me wrong, 7th Grade didn't suck, although, I didn't have many friends, I did ok. Good grades, played the trombone, my grandmother taught me piano, but yeah, everytime I think back to 7th Grade, it's that memory of my cousin that comes through like a freight train.

I'm sorry this isn't more uplifting.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Interjection! (for excitement or emotion or because I don't feel like talking about 7th Grade right now)

Wooo, what a whirlwind weekend. What's that? You want to hear about it? I thought you'd never ask.

Saturday - up at 8, that's A.M. to tutor a 6 year old. I have little to no experience working with that age, but my roommmate thought I could handle it so she directed the mother to me. Great! I took it because my roommate said "5th or 6th" when I asked how old the kid was, meaning 11 or 12, 5th or 6th grade, that's how I took it, but alas, he was SIX. How did it go? It didn't. They never showed, I waited until 10:25. I was a little ticked, because a)it was 25 bucks NOT in my pocket (and my rates are cheap compared to others) and b) I had to push back my holiday shopping time by ONE hour, yeah the horror.

Get home, meet friend, Rachel and we hit the mall. Now, I don't care for malls, at all. I go in, get what I need and get out. I avoid them if I can. So, why did I go? Because my dad just had to have theOne Touch Can Opener. Do you think I could find it online, OH NO. So off to the mall I go.

When we get there, right off the bat, I find the can opener in Bed, Bath and Beyond. WOOO to the HOOO for that short lived escapade. Then we venture inside (insert doom and gloom music here)THE MALL! And, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Of course we enter by the food court, so it's packed with people, but that's to be expected.

First stop, Bath and Body, where I manage to blow a small fortune on TWO, yes TWO gifts. But I got some rockin' free stuff for me, YAY. Merry Christmas to me, from me, LOVE me.

Then we stopped by a Hallmark Store so I could get some cards, I mean I have to mail those out, it's necessary for me to do this.

Well... Rachel had to find a dress for my company's holiday party, so we stopped at Black House | White Market where nothing in that place fit me, but whatever. She didn't find anything she liked and one of the salesgirls was pretty funny.

Then we stopped to get some pretzel bites and a soda because we were both going to pass out, but we were also going to meet my friend Denise at Taco Mac for beer and wings, where I later had Santa's Brew - SEE SANTA IS REAL.

After pretzel bites, we headed to Victoria Secret where all the salesgirls were BYATCHES and no sense of humor at all, damn. Yeah, no it's not for me ladies, so no worries.

We leave the mall, so yeah, ok we people watched and commented, ok I commented, Rachel just laughed. And we went to look for some Ellen Tracey perfume for Rachel at Ulta but alas, we couldn't find it.

After Taco Mac and after going to get Rachel a small tree, we headed home. NINE.HOURS.LATER, but damn I had fun!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

6th Grade

6th Grade - Mr. Watts and yeah, I said Mr. Watts with a great amount of disdain in my voice. I didn't like him, he didn't like me. He also didn't like my parents and because I grew up in a small town, I was often reminded that I was "my father's daughter." Just so you know, my father graduated from high school, but never went to college, not without his fair share of trouble. It was more mischief than physical fights and things of that nature.

Anyway...Mr. Watts reminded me of Groucho Marx. He had that little mustache, that looked like a wooly bear catepillar sitting on his upper lip. He wore glasses and had black curly hair, and now looking back, his humor wasn't funny, he was what we now call a smartass. What did I know, I was 12 and never talked back to my teachers. (Well, yet, anyway ;) In fact, sometimes we called him Mr. Twatts. Yeah, ok, again, we were 12.

In the 6th grade, I was introduced to Billy Joel on a 33RPM, hey it was 1984, we still had record players, tape decks, boom boxes, hell, my Dad's '78 Pontiac had an 8 track (Doo Doo Brown - awwwww yeah!). Me and Sue Clothier and Amy Burnham listened to that record every day and I got into trouble for talking too much. I wasn't the only one, but I was the one that got caught. Well, I had to finish my thought, didn't I? That little problem got me a seat in the corner permanently, facing the wall. So, being bored, I poked holes in the cork bulletin board and when it came time to take some construction paper and decorate for Xmas, Mr. Watts said, "I see Jeri's already picked her spot to hang her picture." So, I made a kick ass wreath, with Elmer's Glue, green and red glitter, I got mad skillz. My mom liked it, so I didn't care. I'm sure she still has that in her Xmas box.

And in the 6th Grade, I got in big time trouble with my MOM! All my friends were wearing makeup and I wanted to wear it too, so...because my mom wouldn't let me have my own, I took hers to school one day, with every intention to bring it home that night and mom would have no idea, right? WRONG. Because like a DUMBASS, not only did some of the other girls use it (but not much), I FORGOT TO BRING IT HOME!!!!

The next morning, my mom gets up to get ready for work, and all the sudden I hear, "where's my makeup?", I didn't answer. "JERIRAEELLIS (now you know my real name, feel free to send GIFTS, I'll send my address), WHERE IS MY MAKEUP?" Oh shit, the FULL NAME, I was in HUGE trouble. I said, "um...I brought it to school and I forgot it and I'm sorry, butalltheothergirlsmadefunofmeandIwantedtoseewhatitwaslike." I said very quickly. My mom was FURIOUS. She said, "let's go, you are going into that school and you are getting MY makeup so that I can get to work." Small town, we knew the janitor, were friends him and his family, he let me in early and even he knew, shit, this kid IS DEAD!

I got my mom's makeup and gave it to her but not before she said "you are too young to wear makeup, you don't even know how to put it on." And, I didn't. I didn't get spanked, but boy I knew my mom was so mad.

Oddly enough, to this day, I don't wear makeup, maybe a light coverup, but that's it. However, I LOVE to watch women put makeup on. I'd watch my mom, my grandmother and now I watch my girlfriend (hi B), put it on. I don't know why I do this, but I do and it fascinates me.