Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's Fashion Week!

It has been a Fashion Week here to beat the band at Hausfrau Haus. The boldness of Ella's creations have reached new heights in her quest to achieve the perfect Oililly meets Goodwill look. I think she has succeeded:
Ella's collection proves that clothes know no season. This little stunner shows such versatility. She is able to be a "girl on the go" and show up to Pre-K, ready to learn about the penguins in the arctic. She'll stay warm when she goes outside for recess, thanks in large part to the high quality tights with the cute little horses on them. In a flash, she can go from coed to party girl at McDonald's simply by removing the sweater.

When Ella first started this collection, she wanted to not only create ensembles that are fun for her to wear, but her sister as well. She took charge of putting together a collection for toddlers like Genna. And while she has also offered to design a collection for her parents, they have politely declined.

Ella also has taken the sleepwear industry by storm. Ella has completely done away with the "less is more philosophy" from the Fall 2006 collection. Why NOT wear two and sometimes three nightgowns together with some pajama pants?! Credit for the pajama pant inspiration is given to Herr due to his insistence that Ella keep her legs warm in bed. Top this little number off with a shimmery pink jacket, and it's off to slumberland! Sleepwear industry insiders are predicting double-digit increases this year!

While Herr and I frequently laugh at Ella's get-ups, I am secretly so proud that she has this quirky fashion sense. She doesn't have any of the hangups that most girls have--that will come, I'm sure. I hope that teenager Ella is going to be like Molly Ringwald in a "Pretty in Pink" sort of way and not like Bai Ling, who provides so much material for those Fug Girls.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hausfrau's Resume Tips

Fifty percent of my time at work is spent reading resumes. Over the course of 12 years in Human Resources, I have learned a thing or two about resume writing. I've even conducted workshops. After reading through a pile of truly shitty astonishing resumes today, I felt compelled to note just a couple of things that should NOT be on a resume. Maybe a few of you are looking to update your resumes. Perhaps this will help you. What can I say--I'm a giver.

1. NEVER list hobbies or interests on your resume. Unfortunately, no one in HR cares that you sing in a barbershop quartet on the weekends. No one in HR cares that you volunteer at a soup kitchen. No one in HR cares that your interests are, "hiking, reading and spending time with family." People in HR want to be able to read a resume to see if the candidate's skill set is a match. They have jobs to fill and they don't have time to sift through a massive list of hobbies that are used as filler on a resume. While this may sound harsh, have you EVER heard of someone getting that sweet job in marketing because of their cooking club affiliation? Yeah, I thought not.

2. NEVER put your photo on the resume. I realize that this has historically been a requirement in countries like Japan and France. It isn't here. Your Glamour Shots photo is NOT going to entice someone in HR to pick up the phone to call. Instead, it will be emailed around to various colleagues within the department. And much discussion will occur concerning the choice of hairstyle, blouse and lipstick that the candidate chose for the photo session. Also, please don't put things like your social security number and your age. It's for your own protection.

3. When indicating that you are fluent in something, please make sure that you are referring to fluency in a LANGUAGE. Please do not write that you are "fluent in Micrsoft Word." That's like saying that you are fluent in sending faxes or getting to work on time. Let's also be clear that Klingon is NOT considered a foreign language in the workplace. The only resumes that get forwarded throughout a company for a good laugh faster than a resume with a photo is a resume that features ANYTHING with Star Trek.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, "I would never put this stuff in my resume." Unfortunately, for every person who doesn't do this stuff, there are three who do.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Have You Seen Me?

I really hope you have. Dr. Hibbard went missing sometime this weekend. Normally, I wouldn't care less about a Simpson's action figure's disappearance. However, Dr. Hibbard is Genna's lovey.

Most children crave the warmth and coziness that teddy bears or a blankie provides. Ella has a couple of lovies, Lambie and Bear. They are "unstuffed" animals made by Gund. If one is ever lost, I can get a replacement lickety-split. Genna, on the other hand, prefers an old stuffed carrot rattle she has had since she was about six months old and Dr. Hibbard, whose nose has been partly bitten off. The rest of the nose was cut with nail clippers so she wouldn't gouge herself or someone else.

Dr. Hibbard was purchased by Herr at a Burger King several years ago when he started collecting the Simpson's Playsets. I am sure that was a special day for Herr since he A) More than likely indulged himself with a Double Whopper with Cheese and B) got to add to his growing collection of Simpson's crap collectibles. Over the span of six years and three moves, Herr's collection was relegated to a Rubbermaid tote in the basement. One October afternoon, Genna came upstairs after playing with her sister. She was holding something and kissing it. She was talking to it and putting it up to her ear as if it were telling her a secret. "It" turned out to be Dr. Hibbard.

Herr and I thought that Genna's lovies were a bit strange, but we rolled with it. We thought it had something to do with the fact that she never really "took" to any of the stuffed animals we gave her as a baby the way Ella did. We thought that she was a late bloomer in the bonding department, so why NOT a Hibbard instead of a stuffed rabbit?! Every night, she would say, "Where Carrot? Where Hibbard?" and we would make sure they were on her pillow in her crib. She would grab one in each hand, turn on her belly, and tuck her hands into her belly. Every morning, she would be gripping Carrot and Hibbard in her hands and insist that they be a part of her daily routine. We even found it cute enough to take pictures of her hanging with them during meals.
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that I should keep an eye on it in case it gets lost. Several mornings I pulled Genna's crib from the wall upon hearing her panicked cries of, "HIBBARD!! Get Hibbard!" while desperately pointing to the floor. I even looked on Ebay a month or so ago, but didn't see one that was the same. I figured I had some time. Apparently my time is up.

If anyone knows where I can score Dr. Hibbard (with the skull in his hands--not the Jekyll and Hyde version that is currently on Ebay) PLEASE let me know.

***UPDATE*** My pal, Chag, emailed me to tell me that I had been mispelling the dear Doctor's name--it's Hibbert. This was great information BECAUSE Chag found an identical Dr. Hibbert action figure on Ebay. At precisely the same time I was getting ready to buy it, I saw Bosco playing with something in the living room. After I saw him prancing around, I ran after him. Sure enough, he had found Dr. Hibbert. Fortunately, Bosco didn't maul him. Unfortunately, the Ebay Dr. Hibbert was already sold by the time I got back to buying it. However, there are A LOT of Dr. Hibbert dolls on Ebay. I still plan to stock up. All is right in our world again.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions. I find the process to be a waste of time. I know that I am too old and lazy to really change many of my ways. I know I will probably always hold grudges. I will always cry when I watch "The Sound of Music." I will always be sarcastic. I will always laugh at inappropriate times. I will always hate to go to the gym.

While I don't promise to change my life while drinking myself into a stupor on New Year's Eve, I DO become quite nostalgic and wonder about some of the people who have been in my life at some point in time or another. While I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have the most wonderful friends in the world, I still can't help but wonder what happened to a few people I used to know.

First, there's Barbara, whom I met in 6th grade at Critchfield Elementary School. I found her to be so fascinating and worldly because she came to our little town all the way from Rochester, New York. And she was Jewish. At the time I was fairly certain that she and the rest of her family were Jewish settlers, braving our christian town to live a better life than what they had. You have to understand--I REALLY don't think any Jewish people lived in our town at the time. And it showed. Once word got out that she was Jewish, some of the kids in my classes harrassed her. I remember one bully in particular would bellow, "JEWWWWW!" when she walked down the hall. The popular girls ignored her. But she always kept her cool. On the one hand, I was thrilled that I wasn't the only person being ignored by the popular girls. My crime had more to do with my Salvation Army wardrobe than my religion. On the other hand, I was embarrased that my classmates were so immature and petty. Besides, I had just read every Judy Blume book in the school library, so I felt as though I knew all about the Jews. And periods. And sex.

At any rate, Barbara and I became good friends until she moved back to Rochester our freshman year of high school. We wrote letters for a year or so, but she quickly became sophisticated again simply by being back in New York. I always wondered about her and hoped she was well. I did find her in college while I did a research project for one of my Journalism classes. We were given the task to find someone from our past. This was before the internet,so it actually took time. Looking back, I realized that this is more like an assignment in stalking, but I enjoyed the prospect of finding her and reconnecting. While we did speak on the phone for a few minutes, the whole thing was weird and we never spoke again.

I often wonder about my last three roommates from college. Emily, Steven, Bruce and I lived in a fantastic house my last year or so at IU. All three of them were opera singers studying their Masters degrees at Indiana University's Music School. I was the only one in the house who couldn't carry a tune. Our house always had laughter and singing and drama which is what made it so much fun. Bruce was this HUGE man whose voice BELLOWED through the house. Steven was tiny and always bringing boys home. I loved his voice but I always imagined him doing Broadway. Emily was this amazingly funny girl who had absolutely no confidence in her ability. The first time I saw her perform, I cried. The four of us had lots of crazy parties and lots of interesting adventures, like the time I had to drive to Louisville on a Sunday morning to bail Steven out of jail for a DUI.

I left the house first when Herr and I moved to St. Louis. We all tried to stay in touch but it became so difficult with their nomadic lives. Steven settled in Chicago and struggled for a long time. I saw him about 10 years ago and he was doing OK. Then he got lung cancer and he stopped answering my emails. Bruce and I saw each other once in Washington, DC where he was performing for a summer. Emily actually lives in Europe most of the year and has performed all over the world. I am happy that I am able to follow her success, and hope to see her perform again soon. I hate that I don't know what happened to Bruce, and especially Steven.

I also thought about my old friend Tonia this year. I went to high school with Tonia but didn't actually get to know her until we were servers at the same restaurant during our junior or senior year. Tonia grew up in a very strict and religious home. We became close during a time when she was rebelling against her parents. She spent a semester in London her sophomore year of college and met a boy who was going to grad school in Kansas. Once she met him, she became wild and crazy. I loved this crazy new Tonia, except her boyfriend called her "Tone-ya." They talked about bodily fluids and lit their farts on fire.

Tonia became a person who LIVED to cross the line, and I loved her for it. A prime example of crossing the line was the time I admitted that I had hooked up with a guy at IU one weekend, not knowing that the guy was dating my co-worker. I was mortified because I really liked my co-worker and I was angry that this guy treated her this way. Upon telling Tonia and my friend Lori about it,Tonia hatched a plan in which we would send this guy a pizza delivery that he would never forget. And she, um, orchestrated the whole thing. Now if that isn't the sign of a good friend, than what is?! Tonia ended up marrying the college boyfriend and we all moved away from each other. Herr and I saw them about 10 years ago when they were visiting Washington, DC. We met them at a very expensive restaurant and watched as they and their friends split a salad and about 4 baskets of bread. I think she became a nurse and I think he is some sort of social worker and an elected official in the town in which they reside. Every time I go home I want to call her parents to get her number, but the thought of doing that makes me feel like I am 19 again. I imagine the disapproval of her mother since I think she blamed Tonia's girlfriends on her changes.

I would be lying if I didn't admit to wondering about some of the boys I dated. The part of me that carries a grudge hopes that several of them were victims of prison rape. Like Matt, who was my date for a wedding until he left the reception with another girl. THAT was a fantastic 3 hour drive back to school the next day. Or Kevin, who hid pot all over the apartment my friend Lori and I lived in without our knowledge. While that may not seem like much of a big deal,he would freak out when he couldn't remember where he put it. Since we didn't know he was hiding pot, he would just have fits of rage instead of telling me wha the problem was. Had I known, I would have GLADLY given it to him as it was apparent he really needed it. I later found out he cheated on me every chance he could. And he smoked crack. Yes, crack.
All in all, I don't like to think about the old boyfriends for very long. In the end, I am always grateful that I met Herr.

While it was great to think back to some fun times with good friends, I don't think I will make any promises to spend 2007 looking for any of them. It's not like any of them have come looking for me as far as I know. Besides, I am pretty happy where I am with the friends I have. And I have to go to the gym.