Monday, December 17, 2007

You don't see anything, but it hurts (ooooh, how it hurts!)

So, for about a week now, I’ve had a stomach ache for pretty much all day, every day. It feels marginally better after I eat a little bit of oatmeal, but that’s about it. It feels like someone’s taking a cheese grater to the inside of my stomach (you may thank me for sharing that image with you). My mom says I should go to the doctor because “that sounds like an ulcer,” and it could be, but it could also be an up to now never experienced by me side effect of antibiotics that I’m taking (I haven’t checked yet). I guess I should find out if it’s the medicine so that I can stop taking it, but I go by the rule of once you start on antibiotics, you finish, so that’s just not going to happen.

Besides, the last time that I had lots of stomach aches (and acid reflux on top of that), the doctors poked and prodded me, took my blood, made me drink nasty things, and dug around in my innards with a scope, and after all that, all they could tell me was, “everything looks fine, but uh, maybe drink less coffee?” (which: ha!). So I don’t know why I should go back now. Especially since today, my stomach doesn’t hurt quite as bad. On the other hand, now I have nausea to go with it. It will be interesting to see where this goes. I’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Affirmative–I poked it, it was damp.

Warning: LONG post ahead.

I just opened up my granola bar package for my mid-morning snack, and of the two bars, one was much smaller than it should have been. Also, it was pie-shaped. And the other bar tasted kind of funny. I ate it anyway (the regular sized one, not the small one). I was hungry.

I should have known that this was just going to be a day of bizarre-o-ness. My morning commute was very foggy. The visibility on the road wasn’t bad–you could see a good 15 car lengths in front of you–but everything on either side of the road was completely hidden by the fog. And above the road was foggy, too. So it was like being in a tunnel of fog. It was strange and creepy, in a fun kind of way. I really enjoyed it. But it was strange.

And speaking of strange, I was running almost an hour late this morning because I slept right through my alarm. That’s not strange at all, but the reason I was so tired was because of strange events last night. Well, maybe not strange. Maybe “unwelcome” is a better word choice.

As Sherlock Holmes (and the narrator of Pushing Daisies) would say, the facts are these: last night I was in my room, trying to figure out what to wear to work the next day and talking to RR. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the wall, and slowly, my brain started to let me know that, hey, there’s . . . a . . . something. There. On the wall. Or, you know, in the wall. When my brain finally got through to me, I stopped mid-sentence and just stared. RR followed my gaze. And we just stood there for a good five second, looking at the bubble in the paint.

It was at least four inches across and quite, quite tall.

“Hmm,” we said. “That’s not . . . that’s not right, is it?” we said.

We got a little closer and just looked at it. We hesitated to touch it, because it could be anything in there, but I did. It was squishy. Yep, we concluded, it’s full of water.

Oh, I should mention that it’s been raining quite a bit lately.

Right. Ok. So bubble of water in the wall. And under the paint, we could see a trail of smaller bubbles leading up to the big ‘un. We’re slow but not stupid. We followed the trail up to the ceiling.

“Oh, dear,” we said.

The ceiling, she was saggy. Saggy and soggy. It looked like that’s where the water had come from, but to confirm, I got on a step stool and poked at the ceiling. Yep. Damp.

So here was our strategy. We got a straight pin and a towel. We, um, for lack of a better word, lanced (ew) the big bubble, and sure enough, a LOT of water came out onto the towel that we’d suspected we’d need. And then we poked at the ceiling, but no water there (probably because it had all pooled into the bubble). So then I stood on the step stool with a hair dryer and dried my ceiling and the wall as best I could. And then while RR emailed the property management company and our landlord, I ran around and cleaned, because now the landlord might be coming by, and we really don’t want him to think that we’re slobs. That took a bit longer than I would have liked it to.

So then I went to bed. I thought about sleeping in another room, but then I didn’t. But poor rr, she was so worried about the ceiling caving in on me that she came in several times, in the middle of the night, with a straight pin taped on a stick, to poke at the ceiling and make sure that it was ok. I did wake up for that. I just cannot describe to you what it feels like to wake up from a deep sleep to see someone clad in plaid flannel pajamas with ruffles on them poking at your ceiling with a stick. It’s odd. But very sweet!! I think I should have slept in another room and spared her the worry.

Anyway, didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. And I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before either because just when I’d been drifting off to sleep, something buzzed my ear, so of course I shot out of bed, did the “is it on me?” dance for a minute, then examined every inch of my room to figure out what did the fly-by. That took a while. Then I went to drag rr out of bed to help me, but she was dead to the world, and she’d been up all night the night before, and I just couldn’t bring myself to wake her up. So I just gave up and went back to bed. But it took me a while to get to sleep after that.

I feel fine, though. Assuming that granola bar was ok, I should be good to go the rest of the day, provided the coffee doesn’t run out.

Oh! And that remind me. Ok, I have definitely concluded that either (a) someone is trying to burn down the building or (b) someone is messing with me. Yesterday, I went into the break room, and to see EMPTY COFFEE POT SITTING ON THE BURNER STARING AT ME. This has to be personal. It just can't be an accident anymore. I immediately charged into the office directly across from the break room to try to find a witness, but neither the resident of that office nor the coworker talking with him had seen anything. Or so they said. I have my eye on them.

I truly do not understand. Why on earth would you put a bone-dry glass container on a burner and turn it on, and then just walk away? And they couldn’t have been trying to make coffee and just forgot to pour water into the coffee maker because there also weren’t any grounds in the part where you put the coffee. So, seriously, what the heck, y’all? It doesn’t make any sense–unless it’s being done on purpose.

Ok, that is all.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Been Gone

I haven’t read your blog in a while. And when I do read it, I either don’t leave a comment, or the comment is basically just “good post!” Sorry about that.

See, recently they’ve really stepped up the monitoring of our innernet use at work, so I’m trying to minimize the time I spend online doing non-work related stuff. And then when I get home, well, things don’t work out for blogging there, either. First, all I do all day at work is read and think about what to write, so when I get home and have to read and think about what to write, I’m kind of burned out and my brain doesn’t cooperate with putting the words together.

Also, starting around Thanksgiving, I developed a cold, or my allergies got really bad, not sure which, but whichever it was, it involved lots and lots of kleenex. So I just kind of sat around once I got home and did nothing but watch t.v. Then rr had a bunch of projects and work all needing to be done at the same time, and that involved the use of the computer.

Then we found out that one of our cats’ cancer had come back, so we had to deal with medicating her, and I spent so much time worrying about it that I just couldn’t face reading about other people’s lives. And this past Tuesday, we found out that in just that week, her cancer had progressed so far that there was really nothing to do but put her out of her misery. And then rr and I came home and ate a bunch of cookies and cried. That took a few days to bounce back from. And this past weekend, I ran around like crazy trying to do all the stuff I haven’t done in a month or two.

So that’s what’s going on with me. But hopefully, soon, I’ll be back around. I hope that you’ve all written interesting stuff so I have something good to read!

T.V. Watch

ABC has some episodes of "My So-Called Life" available for viewing online. In a word, fabulous.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Se What Now?

At my job, I have to sometimes address legal arguments made by people representing themselves in a lawsuit. It’s always exhausting.

Now, I should clarify that it’s not that I hate people who act pro se--people who represent themselves in lawsuits. I actually think it’s great that people who can’t afford an attorney will not let that fact stop them from standing up for their rights. And I love that we have a system of justice that allows for that.

But the thing about law school is, it teaches us attorneys to speak the same language. Pro se litigants, however, unless they are attorneys or went to law school, do not have the benefit of that common background. And these people, though sometimes they make great arguments, often they make arguments I can't respond to.

I’m not exactly sure how to explain it to you without getting into the boring details of my job, so I’ll make up a non-law example. Say that I want to go see a movie, but before I can do that, I need to get approval. The rule is that before I can go see the movie, I must present my proposal to an independent arbiter at a hearing, and then a hypothetical movie-seeing approval board (hereinafter “the board”) gets an opportunity to object to the proposal, and then I have to respond to its objections.

So I say, “I want to go see Dan in Real Life this weekend.” The board might say, “if you go, you can only go to the matinee because, according to your bank balance, you are broke,” or it might say, “You cannot go see that movie because your dad hates Steve Carell.” To those arguments I can respond, “my bank balance lies, and here, I have evidence of that, and also, I have a credit card, and I have evidence of that,” or “my dad doesn’t care if I go see that movie so long as I let him tell me how much he hates Steve Carell, and here’s my dad to testify to that fact.” I can deal with these arguments.

Now suppose that instead, the board says, “You can’t go see that movie because the sky is yellow, and because Britney Spears is a man! One, Two, Three, Four, Twelve, Twenty-Two! Eepples and Benenes!”

What do I do with that? My initial reactions are “oooookaaaay”, “how is that relevant,” and “huh?” How do I respond? I can’t just say, “in the what now?” The arbiter is sitting there, waiting to see what my responses are. So I’m sort of stuck trying to make sense of nonsense.

I really want to go see that movie, but I’m not sure I’m ever going to make it out of the hearing. And that's my day today, y'all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Question for your consideration

I have a question for you. Hypothetically, let’s say that you went to Starbucks and got a mocha. You take a few sips on the walk back to the office, but you save most of it to cheer you up while you work on an annoying project. When you get back to the building where you work and get in the elevator, the woman standing in front of you coughs in the direction of your coffee cup. Do you drink the coffee anyway?

Take into consideration:

  • the mocha is very yummy
  • the mocha is not cheap
  • the woman did not cover her mouth.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It was clean when I put it there

I'm planning to wear to work tomorrow a shirt that smells like the trunk of my car. It smells like the trunk of my car because for the last three days, that's where it's been. And I'm going to wear it to work tomorrow. Yep. That's the kind of person I am. Smells like sweat? Nope. Smells like trunk? No problem.

And now you know.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So bored. If only I had work I could be doing right now . . .

See, this is how lazy I am. I’m sitting here at my desk with work that I have to do. I have put this particular task off for as long as I can. There’s no way around it, I have to do this. I have reached a point in this work where I need to go down the hall to a coworker’s office and get a thick, heavy file and look through it. And I don’t want to do that. So I’m sitting here, racking my brains trying to think of a way around it, and I can’t, because there isn’t one, so really, I’m just sitting here wasting time. Time I don’t have to waste. But because I’m so lazy, I’m still sitting here. And now I’m blogging about it. Lazy!

If only I were the type of person that had no qualms about calling her secretary and saying, “Lois, please bring me the Maschenheimer file.” [note: my secretary’s name isn’t Lois, and I don’t have a file on anyone or anything named Maschenheimer] But I’m not. I can’t bring myself to call my secretary and ask her to bring me anything because that would be just lazy (and it’s not part of her job to bring me stuff, so also I’d be kind of a jerk). I am lazy, obviously (and not a jerk, usually), but my coworkers don’t need to be talking about it, so I’m not giving anyone any ammo. Soooooo . . . yep, just sitting here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shopping For a Cause

I’ve been a fan for awhile of the the company Random Shirts. I love that all of their t-shirts are so . . . random (I can’t really come up with a better description than the one they already chose for themselves). But today, for the first time, I noticed that they donate $1 from every t-shirt sale to towards the fight against poverty and for “orphan prevention” (not sure exactly what that entails, but it sounds good, right?). So the next time you want to buy a t-shirt that says “whoever believes in telekinesis raise my hand,” “si, se habla old norse,” or “winner, winner, chicken dinner,” you know where you need to go.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Update on the Coffee “Brewhaha”

I know you are all dying to know the latest on-dits about the coffee situation here at my office.

Today I walked into the break room, and lo and behold, there was a pot of coffee, sitting on the burner/warmer. In a new twist, the burner was not on. So the coffee sat there and got cold. And a lot of the coffee was gone from the pot. So several people had come in, poured themselves some coffee, and declined to pour the coffee into the carafe. This despite the fact that at some point, it must have been obvious that the coffee was not “piping hot,” as it is when it’s freshly brewed, and in an office of (supposedly) intelligent people, the deduction that the coffee would continue to cool even more should have been an obvious one to make. So although the coffee would not, thankfully, reach the gray, chewy stage, it would require reheating. Reheated coffee is not always that good in the best of circumstances. When what you have to reheat it in is a Styrofoam cup, well, the yummy factor is especially low for that particular cup of joe.

So why the change in the behavior pattern? Trying to shake things up? Did someone at work find my blog and decide to mess with me? This mystery requires some thought (and possibly, as rr suggested in my last post on the topic, a stake out).

p.s. You will not be surprised to hear that I poured out the last of the cold coffee and made a new pot.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lookin' Gooood

I look teeeerrrible today. I didn’t do anything worth having the drawn skin and dark circles under my eyes that I have today. I had dinner with some friends but it did not involve alcohol, and it was over by 8ish. I did stay up too late, partly because my family was stalking me. Argh! Quit calling me! I’m trying to take my shower! Anyway, family stalking, so I didn’t get in bed before rr got home from class, and we talk too much, yada yada yada, I didn’t get to bed on time.

And today, I look like it.

And also, I recently had my teeth bleached at the dentist. Did I already write about that? Well, I got my teeth bleached, but I’m not crazy about the results. And now part of my teeth look more or less clear. Is that ok? I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. Right? I don’t know, I’ve never done this before. But it’s not helping me feel confident about my appearance today.

It doesn’t help that I recently had my hair cut by yet another stylist. And he is yet another stylist who does not understand the concept of “sweepy bangs.” What I need to do, I guess, is look my next stylist in the eyes and say “I have a big forehead, so I need bangs, but I don’t look good with bangs. So I need longish bangs that sweep across my forehead, hiding said forehead without making me look 12. But I need the bangs to not be the kind that start on the far side of my forehead and sweep all the way across, because I can’t pull that off. So I need bangs that start just to the left of my center part and sweep to the right. But that leaves part of my forehead exposed, so I need actual bangs–the non-sweeping kind–there. And this will look fine, and I know this because my former stylist always made it work.” But that takes too long, so I always just say, with accompanying hand gestures, “sweepy bangs. You know? I just want them to sweep across. But part of it, I want actual bangs, so it goes across, you know?” And they do not know, apparently. They say they know, but they don’t. And so I get bad bangs.

Also, I specifically told him that my old stylist used to give me one long layer, but since she left, I’ve had a number of stylists who didn’t do it right, including the last one who made the top layer way too short. He said he understood. And then he proceeded to give me the exact same haircut. Grr. Do not want!

And, finally, what is with “The Office” being an hour long these days? I love the show, but it’s funnier at half an hour. And why has the CW stopped putting full episodes of ANTM on their site?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On the Coffee Burner Warpath: The Pot Thickens II

Hello, daaaahlings. I have been swamped (I know! No excuse!) what with the job and the job-hunting and the suit shopping and the stressing. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really had much time to read other blogs or to comment on them (stressing takes up a lot of time), let alone post something on mine. None of that has really changed (except for the suit shopping), but I’ve got to write something before I lose the few readers I have left. So I will post on something near and dear to my heart: coffee.

I should say at the outset that I know that this is not something I should get worked up about. And I didn't, at first, but this has been going on for about a year. What, you ask? A silent battle between me and someone whose identity I have not yet established. Possibly more than one person. And I don't dwell on it, really, but when it happens, it temporarily gets my blood pressure up until I get distracted by work things and forget about it. What, you ask (again)? I'm getting to it.

We have a pretty simple coffee system here at work. We have one of those industrial-type coffee makers that’s always plugged in and thus always ready to go. All you have to do is put the grounds in the little cup thing and pour the water in, and it will start making coffee. No buttons need pressing, no switches need flipping. Just pour in the water.

Now, it’s possible, even probable, that all the freshly-brewed coffee in the pot won’t get nabbed immediately and could go cold sitting there. That’s why there’s a warmer. The warmer is not on continuously–it must be turned on. For that purpose, there’s a little switch to turn it on, helpfully labeled “warmer.” But letting the coffee sit on the warmer is not so much in the category of “good idea.” You know what happens when you let coffee sit on a warmer, right? It thickens and turns gray and gross. And for that reason, we have a coffee thermos/carafe thing that we pour the coffee in when it’s done. It’s right next to the coffee pot. Convenient, no?

No, obviously not, not for some people. At least once a week, I go into the break room to discover the pot just sitting there on the warmer. This bugs me for a number of reasons.

First, don’t be so lazy that you’re willing to make the coffee but not pour it into the carafe. And I’d say that someone just started the coffee brewing, turned the warmer on, and left (which also bothers me) (what, that’s supposed to be doing us a favor? Do it right or don’t do it at all!), but there is often coffee gone from the pot, so someone was willing to pick up the pot and pour a cup of coffee but not to take the extra step of pouring the rest into the carafe so that the rest of us wouldn’t have to chew our coffee.

But it also bothers me because I suspect that someone believes that you have to turn the warmer on in order to make the coffee. This despite the fact that the little switch clearly says “warmer” and not “brew” or anything like it. And so once, to be helpful, (and I think this will surprise no one), I made a little note that I stuck on the coffee maker. The note very nicely (no, really) reminded people that you didn’t need to turn the warmer on to make coffee and also, please don’t leave an empty coffee pot on the warmer because we don’t want exploding coffee pots or fires or whatnot. This note did absolutely no good. And then someone took my note down. I . . . I don’t know how to take that. Not only did it not change anyone’s behavior, but because I know the note was read but changed nothing, now I know that the bad coffee behavior is willful. It’s intentional and knowing. That’s a crime, y’all. I’m sure of it. AND “INTENTIONAL AND KNOWING” MAKES IT A FELONY. At least, in my book of things I consider criminal behavior.

And that brings me to my third problem with warmer use: the ever-present danger of fires. And exploding coffee pots. And whatnot. The coffee pot itself came with warnings--it clearly says that it should not be heated when empty, and that if it’s heated when empty it should not be used anymore, and dire consequences will result if these orders are not followed. Fires! Exploding glass! Whatnot! And this, I thought, was common knowledge for coffee drinkers. It’s in the great collective unconscious, right? And everyone has at some point been told that you don’t put an empty glass container on a heat source. Right?

Not everyone, though, apparently. Grr. Is someone doing this on purpose just to annoy me? Seriously, how many times do I have to walk down the hall with a stanky, smoking, burned-up coffee pot, looking for our custodian so I can show her the pot and ask her (a) can it be saved and (b) if not, do we have any more, and to talk about how lucky we were that the whole building didn’t burn down? And I wrote about it on my note, to no avail. Willful, y’all. Willful bad behavior. All this coffee ado does not put me in the proper mindset to get work done. What’s a woman to do? I’m out of ideas. I already left a note.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In the category of “people who make me sick.”

In Casselberry, Florida, a 1-year old boy got into the family pool and nearly drowned. His mother found him, hauled him out of the pool, took him into the house, and called 911. Rescuers came and were able to revive him, but he now has severe brain damage and cannot walk, talk, or even swallow.

When the mother called 911, a police officer showed up at the scene. When she went into the house, she slipped on a puddle of water, presumably created when the mother took the child inside. The police officer hurt her knee and went on disability for a few months. The city's insurer, in addition to paying her disability pay, paid for her medical treatment.

The police officer is now suing the boy’s family for negligence.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


"The people involved in Florida stories, and this absolutely does include presidential elections, are bona fide hosed up," Curtis writes. "It's not a lifestyle choice, it's who they are."

That’s an excerpt from a Slate article (“Fark Founder Flattens Fourth Estate”) about Drew Curtis’s book It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries To Pass Off Crap As News. The article itself is amusing, and so is (to which I have been meaning to link ever since I found it recently) (and credit where credit is due–heather already does link to it). Fark provides links to news articles. The articles that it links to are fark (news that’s really not “news”) , so I don’t recommend the articles for their news-worthiness. But they are, how to say this, “easy reading.” So if you want to read something besides TwoP or EW but don’t want to read anything that’s actually news, this is your website.

And the blurbs that describe the articles are often hilarious. Example: “Duct work collapses in school gym. If only there was a tape of some sort to keep this from happening.”

That's solid gold, baby.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fall t.v. update and my day so far

Fall t.v. update:
Pushing Daisies premiered last night. Y’all it was great. It’s not going to appeal to everyone, but it was my kind of show. Chi McBride’s character Emerson Cod is my new favorite fictional person I wish I could hang out with. Unfortunately, ABC doesn’t have it on their list of shows that you can watch full episodes of, and Warner Bros has made YouTube take down all the videos, so if you missed it last night, I don’t know what you can do about it. Maybe they’ll run it again.

My day so far:
First, guess what today’s date is? RR has already called me and asked me if I knew what the date is. She rocks.

So this morning, I think I made some guy at the gas station think I was crazy or drunk or both. If I had seen me, I would have known exactly what I was doing, but I guess he’s not like me. Anyway, here’s what happened. I was driving to the dentist, and I heard this sound, and I swear, it sounded like a cat.

Background: The other day when I was about to get in my car to go somewhere, RR told me to be sure and check under my car before I left because she’d seen a cat under my car the other day.

So here I am driving, and I hear this sound that sounds like a cat. I tried to ignore it and tell myself that it’s just my imagination, but then I heard it again, and I remembered what RR had told me the other day. So I though, ok, 'when you get to the dentist, just check.' But then I heard it again, so I wheeled into the gas station I was driving past. And this is when I got the weird looks from that man.

So, if you are in your car, and you want to look under your car, what do you do? I didn’t want to get out and lay on the ground because . . . well, that doesn’t really need a reason beyond not wanting to lay on the ground, right? I didn’t want to lay on the ground. I’d get dirty and it would hurt my knees and I don’t like the way cement feels and it’s awkward and whatever, I didn’t want to. (Ok, I have reasons). Point it: not getting on the ground. So I did what anyone else would do, or anyone but, apparently, that man at the gas station–I opened my car door and leaned way over until I was upside-down, and I looked under my car. That’s it. No big deal. Just hanging upside-down out of my car for a minute. Well, I sat back up, couldn’t be sure I’d checked very thoroughly, and did it again, but that’s it. If you saw me, wouldn’t you know that I was just trying to look under my car?

Anyway, I didn’t see anything. So I sat back up, shut my door, turned off the car and sat there for a minute. I didn’t hear anything, so I left. I didn’t hear anything else after that. Now I don’t know what to think.

Update: Pushing Daisies is now available for viewing on the ABC website. Go! Go watch! Go go go!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sewing for Dummies

So, I’m thinking that I might try, once again, to learn to sew. And I’m thinking about investing in a new sewing machine to help with the process. I don’t know. I haven’t decided. I’m sorta broke right now. And I’ve never been successful at my previous attempts. But this time, I really feel like I could do it.

See, one of my coworkers is having a baby, and she and her husband are brokeish, and she’s having a hard time finding baby bedding that she likes that isn’t also so expensive that she’d have to, you know, trade the baby for it. And I’m thinking, sheets! How hard can it be to make sheets? And a crib dust ruffle? And, ok, that little bumper thing and the comforter could be a little harder, but still–no zippers! No button holes! How hard can it be?

Seriously. I can do that, right? And then after that . . . work clothes! I can make a suit, right?

Monday, October 01, 2007

In which PBS attempts to show that it’s just as good as A&E

and that, when it isn’t interrupting to do pledge drives in which it airs shows that I hate, it can do things that make me all happy inside.

Good stuff coming up on PBS.

First, PBS will re-air Jane Eyre on December 30, 2007 and January 6, 2008. Y’all, it’s so good. It’s the best version I’ve ever seen. And I think that if you couldn’t invest in the characters when you read the book, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the movie. Although I loved the book when I read it, I sometimes thought that Mr. Rochester was a little, I don’t know, insensitive, maybe? I didn’t get that from the movie at all. LOVED it. Watch it.

And if that wasn’t enough . . . Don’t you just love Jane Austen? Of course you do! I said, of course you do. Well, guess what? In 2008, PBS is airing what it’s calling “The Complete Jane Austen.” And what does that include? It's a lot, y'all. They’re showing Emma, Mansfield Park (thankfully, not that sorry 1999 version), Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth, yea!), and, finally, Sense and Sensibility (a version I’ve never seen or heard of). I’m so excited!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I've been following the situation in Burma (Myanmar), and I'm assuming that y'all have been as well. It's horrible. It's the kind of thing that makes you realize how lucky we are to live in this country, even though it's not perfect. Please keep the people of Burma in your prayers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall television: so far, so good.

As everyone who knows me is aware, I loves the t.v. So I thought I’d write a quick something about the fall t.v. season so far. This will be brief.

Chuck is great. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not from the previews, but I LOVED it. It’s funny and charming. If you didn’t watch the pilot, it’s still available on the NBC website (supposedly) and should be up until the next episode (although it wasn't working the other night. well it was, and then it wasn't), and after that, you can buy it on Amazon. Y'all, it's really great. Go watch it. Between The Office, 30 Rock, and this show, NBC really has my attention. They are doing great things with the funny shows.

ANTM was fabulous. Tyra dressed up in a showgirl costume and sang a song. It was so bad. And this season’s second episode, similarly crazy. I just love how that show defies my expectations every week. Every week, I think, “can’t be more ridiculous than last week,” but every week, it is. At least “Miss J” looks like he got a haircut.

I’ll just quote you a line from the season premiere: “And while I eventually puked my guts out, I never puked my heart out. And I am very proud of that.” Man I love this show. I'm so glad it's back. The summer was just too long to be away from it.

I’m also liking Back to You. It still has some kinks to work out. But Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton are fabulous in anything that they do.

What about you guys? How are you feeling about the season’s shows so far?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On the Upswing

I’m feeling slightly better today. I even had enough energy to read a few blogs today. Yes, I still have a wicked sore throat, I’m still coughing, I’m still stuffy. But last night I actually managed to get sleep in solid two hour blocks at a time, and when I woke up, I went back to sleep fairly quickly, so I’m not also dead tired. So now I have enough energy to argue with my body about what’s going on. Yesterday, RR’s brain was having a conversation with her computer. Today, I’m having a conversation with my sinuses.

Me: So, ok, so we’re a little stuffy today. What should we do about that?
Sinuses: Um. . . we’re all good, actually. No stuffiness. Nothing at all. We’re clean. You know how people say, “keep your nose clean”? Well, you’re good in that respect.
Me: Well, that’s actually an idiomatic expression, it’s not actually related to . . . anyway, if you’re “clean,” then why is my throat sore? There’s got to be some kind of drainage situation back there. And how come I can’t breathe through my nose?
Sinuses: You can never breathe through your nose. That’s normal. You’re a mouth breather, baby.
Me: No, that’s not entirely true, sometimes I can–
Me: . . .
Sinuses: And if I were you, I’d be more worried about the fact that your forehead is peeling again. You look like you have eyebrow dandruff.
Me: That’s not nice.
Sinuses: Breath through your mouth. Just do it.
Me: But today I can’t seem to get air in through my mouth, either.
Sinuses: That sounds like a lung problem to us.
Lungs: Don’t bring us into this.
Me: Well, I guess I could use my inhaler.
Sinuses: Yeah! Inhaler!
Lungs: Don’t you have some saline nasal spray?
Me: Yeah, I do, and that doesn’t give me the shakes. I’ll try that first.
[pause while I spray saline into my nose, grab a tissue when it all comes running out again, and cough furiously ]
Sinuses: De-nied.
Lungs: That’s harsh.
Keyboard: Did you just cough on me?

So that’s my day so far.

Also, I just want to take a minute to thank RR for being the best sister in the world. I can’t possibly thank you for everything you’ve done for me in the last week, so I’ll just pick a few. Thanks for making me Jello, buying me fruit pops, checking in the middle of the night to make sure I’m still breathing, driving me to the doctor, bringing me glasses of ice water, never flinching when I accidentally coughed on you, and giving me lots and lots of hugs, all in a fully sympathetic manner. You're just the best!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Woe is me

For the past six days, I’ve been down for the count with a virus, the second virus I’ve had in a month. Yep, while still trying to fully recover from the first one, I get hit again. Anyway, I just wanted to say if you’re wondering where I’ve been, that’s where. I probably won’t be around for a few more days still because I’m still pretty sub-par right now. But you don’t have to feel sorry for me because I’ve got that covered.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here’s What You’re Going To Do

So, rr and I have been considering attending a KC & the Sunshine Band concert next month. I emailed my brother and a friend of his for directions. I emailed my brother’s friend because I had been told that the lived very close to the venue, so I expected that he’d be able to give good directions. I emailed my brother because he had been there once, and he can tell you how to get to anywhere even if he’s never been there. It’s amazing, and he’s been like that since he was 4. When he was 4, he gave my mother directions to get to a place he’d only been to once, the year before.

I should have known that I really only needed to ask my brother.

Don’t get me wrong. My brother’s friend gave me perfectly competent directions. Those directions would have enabled 9 people out of 10 to get there without trouble. But my brother gave RR directions that are more appropriate for our skill level. My brother (1) has an amazing sense of direction, (2) is very observant about landmarks, and, most importantly, (3) understands that neither (1) nor (2) applies to me or rr. It’s like God took the sense of direction that three people should have and gave it all to my brother, leaving none for RR and me. Accordingly, my brother has long been the go-to guy for us.

Despite that, he almost always, very sweetly I think, overestimates us. He knows we aren’t good with directions, but he has too much confidence in our memories, specifically, in our ability to remember places we’ve been 50 times before. At least, he does at the beginning of a conversation involving directions. And then he comes back to reality. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve had a conversation that went something like this [all places and road names are made up]:

Me: Hey, how do I get to the YadaYada?
Him: You just get on the 101 and take it up to the 12 and exit Norville, it’ll be on your right.
Me: Ok, great. . . Do I know where the 101 is?
Him: You’ve been there, we went there with the family 17 years ago for lunch once. Remember, it was raining, and dad said [insert lots of details about a day I don’t remember at all]. [or worse, it might be something like, “you remember, that’s where your high school graduation was,” or “you know, the interstate you used to live right off of,” something that I really should remember but don’t]
Me: ooook, so, how do I get there?
Him: You just take Interstate 70 north.
Me: And . . . Interstate 70, that’s . . . I get there by . . . by taking . . .
Him: Interstate 40.
Me: Ok, right. Interstate 40. So, I’ll take Interstate 40. Right, ok, I know what you’re talking about now. I’ll take Interstate 40 east and then take the exit for Interstate 70, and I’ll go . . .
Him: North.
Me: and that’s–
Him: Left.
Me: Right, ok, 40 to 70, go left, take that up to the 101. Exit Norville Road. And then I’ll be able to find it?
Him: Take the 101 to 12. 12 to Norville.
Me: Oh. Ok. . . So . . . then. . .
Him: Ok, tell you what. This is what you’re going to do. . .

And then he proceeds to give me directions that will take me longer to get there but are easier to follow, involving at least some streets that I know. He’ll give me landmarks and mileage and approximate wait time at stop lights and the license plates of the cars I’ll pass on the road. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But he gives idiot-proof directions, is my point.

Yesterday, he went straight to the idiot-proof directions, skipping over his usual nod to the intelligence the family supposes us to have. Perhaps it’s because the last time I was at my parents’ house with him, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Me [talking about what would happen if he made one of his vindictive coworkers angry]: You’ll be walking around with one of those things on your back.
Him, Mom, and Dad: ?
Me: You know, those things. [drawing desperate circles with my arms] The round things, with the red? You throw things? [mimicking throwing darts]
Him [incredulously]: . . . You mean a target?
Me [relieved]: Yes!

I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces. It was like they were all thinking, “oh, this is worse than we thought.” Like they all finally realized what I’ve been saying for years, that my brain really does only hold on to the stuff I absolutely have to remember to survive. That rr’s habit of finishing my sentences for me isn’t so much a trait that would annoy me as one that’s absolutely vital to my conveying a complete thought. So maybe, when giving directions to rr last night, my brother was thinking that we were only one step up from having to have our address pinned to our shirts. Whatever the case, he gave us good directions.

I’m only a little nervous about getting lost and having to ask for directions from some guy at a convenience store. “You know, that place, with the building, for the singing?”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And lo, it was the longest day ever.

Is it just me, or is today dragging by for everyone? I spoke to Deals on the phone about an hour ago, and it feels like yesterday. A minute ago, I thought to myself that I could use more caffeine but shouldn’t drink it late in the day, and then I realized that it’s not even 1:30 yet. On the plus side, I have lots of time to get work done today, which is good because I’m behind and moving at the pace of . . . something slow (my brain is also moving slowly today). On the downside, although I only have a little over 3 hours left in my work day, it will feel like 8.

Y’all, I have a cut on my finger that is starting to look a little puffy. I am concerned because (a) I cut myself with my own fingernail, and (b) I cut myself with my own fingernail. By (a) I mean that I am concerned that I have razor-like fingernails (I knew they were strong and therefore not inclined to break; I did not know I could use them to clip coupons and shave my legs). And by (b) I mean that I am concerned because what could I have had on my fingernail that would cause a cut made by it to look all red and puffy? Don’t say fungus.

Don’t say tetanus, either.

Friday, August 24, 2007

This and That

So, I was walking past the county jail today, like I do everyday, and I saw a woman outside in a black evening dress, aqua socks, and flip flops. And I’m wondering if she always dresses like that, or if she just got out of jail and that’s what they picked her up in? I have to say, I hope it’s the former. And if that’s the case, I kind of want to meet her.

In other news, several of my coworkers are leaving for new gigs, and I’m mostly sad about it. We all more or less learned the being-a-lawyer ropes together. We all found out we’d passed the bar together. And now we’re going in different directions, and though we’ll keep in touch, I can’t pop into someone’s office to ask for input on a sticky issue, and none of them will be calling me and beginning with, “this may be a stupid question, but” and following with a question that I also was struggling with but was sure I was the only one who didn’t know the answer. It’s just nice to work with people at the exact same point in their careers as you are. But at the same time, I’m happy for them. It’s good for them, and that’s all that really matters. The good news for me is that my Starbucks buddy is not leaving, so I still have someone to make the trip with every week. So I’ve got that going for me.

Misc. Notes
  • I am not in favor of pizza crust with cheese in it. I never thought I’d say this about anything, but it’s just too much cheese.
  • It is possible for Twinkies to go stale.
  • One of my coworkers and I dressed almost exactly alike today, right down to our purses. Except that I looked like the unkempt version.
  • And for that matter, I really should stop looking like a slob at work. This would require me getting out of bed earlier than 20 minutes before I have to leave. I do not see this happening in the foreseeable future.
  • I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Trash. Coming to a Mailbox Near You.

I’ve been absent, I know. I took a week off from work and also from the computer. It was reeaaaal nice. Mostly, I cleaned. That doesn’t sound exciting to you, perhaps. But I was glad to get stuff out of the house. I have become a woman obsessed with getting rid of things. It makes me happy, so much so that when people try to give me gifts, I get upset. ‘No, no, no! I’m moving things the other way! Out, not in!’ I don’ t actual say that out loud, of course (except to my mom, the poor woman), but I think it. There are exceptions to the "no new stuff" rule. Hils got me a t-shirt that I love, another friend got me a handbag (but I got rid of another one I already had, so no net gain). I wouldn’t turn down a cd or a book by an author I love. But other than that, nothing doing. And instead of missing my things, I just feel relief. I’m sure that my throwoutitis will clear up before I’m sleeping on the floor, entertaining myself by counting bumps on the ceiling, and keeping my one clean change of clothes neatly stacked in the corner, but hopefully it will keep going for awhile. I love that I have discovered that what will make me feel at peace at home is not a bigger place with more closets, but just less stuff.

Of course, it does mean that, in my quest for getting rid of things, I have taken to mailing random junk to friends. I want to send some of it to BF/R, in the hopes of getting the “[JLR], what the hell?” phone call, but I know that she’ll just politely accept it, throw it in the trash, and later, if asked, will tell me that she’s terribly sorry, she feels really bad about it, but the dog ate it. And anyway, I’d just be sending it to her because I know she’d hate whatever it was. But because I won’t be around to see her reaction, it’s just not as fun. Thus, I am sending things to other friends, those that aren’t used to receiving random, pointless “gifts” in the mail from me (that rules out Hils) ("um, thanks for the ice trays?"). And so, at brunch this past Sunday, my friend D asks me why he’s recently received in the mail a dusty, cat-hair covered, plastic jump rope (he left out the description, but it hung in the air, unspoken but heavily present). “Well,” I said with only a slight twinge of embarrassment, “you’d mentioned you were wanting a jump rope.” ‘And,’ I thought, ‘it got it out of the house.’ This is what I’ve been doing.

So, for those of you whose address I know, be on the look out. I will probably not send you something you haven’t previously mentioned off-hand that you were looking into getting for yourself, but you never know. And if you’d like to receive random junk that you’ll be too ashamed to display but feel too guilty to get rid of (‘she did mail it to me, I can’t just throw it out’), just give me your address. Junk mail will be heading your way. But not the Cow-as -Vegas-Showgirl statuette. That stays with me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Brief Letter to That Certain Hairstylist, Who Shall Remain Nameless

Dear Woman Who Recently Cut My Hair;

I know that this was the first time you cut my hair. And I know I said that I wanted my hair to be layered. But I thought that you would be able to tell that I meant for it to have one layer, and a long layer at that, just enough to keep my hair from looking like Alice’s in the Dilbert comic strip (although I have much admiration for Alice, I do not admire her hair). I thought you could tell that from the way my hair was already cut, and, you know, the words coming out of my mouth. I don’t know where you got the idea that I would be ok with you giving my hair a modified shag, with significant amounts of my hair shorter than the rest, so that when my hair is curly, it looks like an inverted triangle, and when it’s dry, I look like Mrs. Brady. I appreciate that my hair can be a challenge and maybe a bit overwhelming, but you should have noticed at some point before it was too late that it just wasn’t going to work. It’s not cool, and I’m not pleased.

Thanks ever so.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

With any luck, it'll be days before she can get to the shredder

My BFF [haha, I love using that term because I hate it. Please don’t ask me to explain that] [OMG, we’re TOTALLY bff!] Hils a/k/a HMC has been trying all morning to use the shredder at her work. She keeps giving me updates, to my amusement.

On her 10 or so unsuccessful trips to the workroom, here are some of the obstacles in her path, in her words:
  • someone's using it.
  • or started the process of emptying it and left the container sitting outside.
  • or is standing in front of it sorting their stuff for the copier.
  • or is sitting in front of it to use one of the typewriters.
According to her, “it's getting very annoying.” According to me, the more times it happens, the funnier it gets as a story. She just came back after yet another unsuccessful trip to the shredder and asked, “shouldn't these people be at lunch?” But see, if they were, then she’d be able to get her shredding done, and I wouldn’t be able to laugh about it. Karma is rewarding me for something. Punishing her, but rewarding me. That makes me happy. That’s the kind of relationship we have. That’s the kind of relationship I have with all of my closest friends. We laugh at our minor problems. And then we talk about things like the correct way to spell “pell-mell.”

Of course, we never make fun of each other on topics that we are actually sensitive about, unless it’s completely ridiculous. Hils can’t get to the shredder? I’ll be mocking her frustration. But if she’s stressed about finals, or about finding an apartment, that’s something I’ll only be supportive about. Likewise, if I am having job problems, she’ll support me. But the fact that I use the word “dude” frequently, the fact that once in college, I ate so much peanut butter that my half of my face swelled up? Fair game.

[That’s probably why I like reading reading Ems’ blog and hearing from her so much. She’s so sweet and encouraging, yet she is not afraid to snicker at my problems. But she’s not mean.]

I guess the moral of this story is, if you're my friend, that means you've figured out what problems I have that I’m not sensitive about (hint: is it something that I have already made fun of myself for?). . . and you make fun of me for them. And you remember that turnabout is fair play. And then happily have conversations with me about the correct pronunciation of the word we just made up.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dear Yoga Booty Ballet video, re: "funky"

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Wishing for Working from Not-Home

My boss is pretty flexible and sometimes lets me work from home even though that’s not an option given to most people in the office (most other bosses don’t like the work from home thing). I usually get a lot done when I work from home because I am uber-productive in my jammies. But I think I could be even more productive if I was working from somewhere else entirely. The beach, for example. Or not even actually at the beach–the sand would probably get in the way. I would be happy to work from a room from which I could smell and hear the ocean. It doesn’t even have to be the beach. I just want to go to some place on a visit and get to work from there during the day but do fun stuff at night, so it’s sort of like a vacation, but I don’t have to take any vacation time. And I don’t have to try to do my hair.

I’m thinking the odds of this happening are somewhere between laughable and fired-for-even-asking. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about it.

BTW, I apologize for the still infrequent posting lately. I don’t know why I’m so tired lately, but I just can’t seem to do anything that involves thinking, and considering that’s pretty much all that my job entails, I have to use all my energy on that. I have considered posting “to do” lists for the sake of having something recent posted, but that just seems silly. Then again, maybe that way I’d actually remember to do the things I write down.

Also, does anyone know how to get rid of gnats? We seem to be having a problem with them in our kitchen. It’s not so much that we have a lot of them, we just seem to always have one or two. We keep everything sealed and always wash our dishes and wipe down counters, so we can’t figure out where they’re coming from or how to get rid of them. We’re getting tired of having to cover everything, and I mean everything–I can’t even leave a slice of bread on a plate while making a sandwich, I have to cover it with a paper towel or something to keep it gnat-free while I scoop the peanut butter out of the jar. Last night one had the effrontery to fly directly into the bag of bread while I was making my lunch for today, so rr and I felt compelled to throw out the whole loaf. This was after I dropped my dinner on the floor. It was not a good night for me, food-wise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's the brain drain. My brain is draining.

I haven’t blogged in a while because all of my brain power has been occupied by work. It doesn’t help that I feel as though my brain is on standby mode, and I can’t figure out how to get it to come back on. I’ve tried to write something several times, but I got nothing.

Well, I do have something, but I’m working on it at home, so for now, nothing.

Let’s see. Think, think, think, as Pooh would say. Think, think, think. Thiiiink, think, think.

Still nothing.

Oh! We bought a new vacuum. Eureka Optima. It’s very light for a vacuum and fairly effective. Emptying the cannister and cleaning the filter, though, is a-noooooy-ing. We also bought a compact carpet cleaner, but the verdict is still out on that one. It does seem to be getting the carpet clean, but I’m not sure it’s having much effect on the spots we’re trying to remove. And it’s a compact cleaner, so it only cleans the carpet one small circle at a time. So we’ve got spot, surrounded by circle of clean, surrounded by dirty carpet. Attractive! So helpful for notifying the landlord that yes, that stain was not there when we moved in!

Um, what else. I’m in the market for a (very inexpensive yet not a piece of junk) new car. My parents are making me go test drive cars, which I guess is a good thing, but it kind of annoys me. I don’t want to drive around with a salesman. It will be an uncomfortable experience, literally, because I’ll have to bite my tongue the whole time to keep from saying, “could you please not say another word for the rest of the drive but make it seem like a natural silence.” I’ll have to be all polite and semi-friendly because it’s not the salesman’s fault that I don’t want him there.

So that’s all that’s going on with me. Stimulating reading, no?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

What's next? Attacking Slip n' Slides?

As part of my job, I have to review recent decisions from a number of different courts in certain areas of the law. In reading case updates, I came across this case, which stated the facts of the case thusly:
The Lanana Creek Trail is a community trail open to the public for walking and cycling. Part of the trail crosses SFA’s campus, and the university has granted an easement to the City of Nacogdoches for this use. Diane Flynn was riding her bike on the trail, crossing the SFA campus, when she was hit by a stream of water from an oscillating sprinkler. The force of the water knocked her off her bike, causing her injury. The sprinkler was part of an in-ground irrigation system on SFA’s campus, and this particular sprinkler head was on SFA’s shot-put field about four feet from the trail.

What kind of freaky sprinklers do they have down there?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bro!

Today is my brother’s birthday. In honor of the occasion, I’m linking to Dancing Spiderman. I know, this thing has been around for years, but it still cracks me up. And it’s appropriate because when we were kids, my brother had a Spiderman cake for his birthday. I remember this because when left alone with it, rr and I ate all the frosting.

Ok, we may have licked the frosting just off of one side. In any event, Spiderman makes me think of my big brother.

So happy b’day to the best big brother ever! We love you!

I'm wondering if anyone would notice if I took a nap.

Have I mentioned that I’m trying to cut back on my coffee intake? Well, I am. In the last month or two, my intake has spiked considerably, and for the last month, I’ve noticed that I have a stomach ache and nausea pretty much every day. My sister constantly reminds me that I have a sensitive tummy, and then I proceed to forget about it and act like I’m all fine and dandy and drink ton ‘o java (me: “I don’t know why I don’t feel well.” her: “I do.”). So after a month I finally realized that, oh, yeah, my stomach hurts and it has every day for weeks, and then I realized that I had been drinking much more coffee than usual, and then I put two and two together. (“So . . . whoever killed Mr. Body . . . killed the cook!”) It’s a slow process for me, that addition thing.

So, anyway, I’m trying to cut back and eet ees keelling me. I cannot remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep due to (a) rr’s constant coughing all through the night, which I can hear very clearly from her room, (b) one of my cats taking to getting on my dresser around 3 in the morning and knocking my stuff off, (c) the cats taking turns being ill, (d) various loud, unidentifiable noises coming from outside in the middle of the night, (e) one of the cats chewing on shoes and an old backpack in an attempt to wake me up, annoy the hell out of me enough to get me out of bed, and cause me to feed her to get her to stop (she’s crafty), and (f) storms. The only one I don’t mind is rr’s coughing, because I want to wake up in case she accidentally, you know, coughs up a lung, because that’s how bad her coughing sounds, like that might actually happen, and I’ll need to drive her to the hospital.

So poor sleep plus less coffee equals this particular chicky extremully* nonproductive at work. But hey, I work for the government, so that’s ok, right? Your tax dollars at work! Hahahahahahaha!

No, but seriously, I need a pick-me-up. This nonproductivity is sure to get noticed at some point. My boss and the senior staff person in our work group give me serious eye-rollings when I say that I’m behind, but I’m looking at the list of stuff they are working on, and I look at the list of what I’m working on, and it’s at least twice as long. And ok, technickully, we don’t have deadlines, so it’s not like I’m going to get yelled at. But everyone knows when you aren’t getting as much done as everyone else, and even though you don’t get in trouble for not getting stuff done by a certain time, you don’t want that reputation as a slacker. And if you have the longest list of unfinished business, people definitely notice. So I am beeehind.

And you’ll notice that right now, instead of working, I’m posting on my blog.

But that’s because I need help! Help, y’all! Tips for productivity! And I am already having trouble fitting into my clothes, so skip any suggestions of A-I-S food.**

In other news, this website cracks me up.*

p.s. I am a rocking girl blogger! I will ‘splain later.

*I can tell that I am tired because I am amusing myself by making up words and spelling things incorrectly. And things that I would normally find just mildly amusing are now uproarious.

**A-I-S stands for “a**-in-seat” and comes from “Everybody loves Raymond.” Or at least, that’s where we got it from. RR and I use the term “A-I-S food” to mean snacks and the like that we eat while we’re studying or working on a project, food that keeps us sitting down. My theory is that the brain activity necessary for eating occupies that part of my brain that would otherwise be distracting me. Like why I draw all over the church bulletin during the sermon. It helps me pay attention. Also, I really like food, so it keeps me happy.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Time to “Spice Up Our Lives” Once Again?

Are the Spice Girls getting back together? Right now, they're just saying that they're going to announce their future plans, but I can't think of what that would be except for a reunion.

I . . . I just don’t know what to say.

Oh, wait, yes, I do.


I have to say that part of me is excited. Don’t get me wrong, I could not stand them the first time around. In fact, I thought they were a joke. Kind of like my initial reaction to crocs. When I found out it wasn’t a joke, I still couldn’t accept them. I spent the rest of the time they were around asking, “really? I mean, really? People like them? Really?” And when they broke up, I thought, “Thank God!” The only thing even related to them that I remember fondly is that a local radio station in my college town had this advertisement making fun of the pop songs that were popular at the time, and the premise was that these would be the songs we’d be listening to in the old folks’ home, so there was this sound clip of an old man, who sounded a little like Grandpa Simpson, singing, “So tell ME what you want, what you really, really want, I’ll tell YOU what I want, what I really, really want” (although the premise was funnier when Margaret Cho did it –“Put on ‘Hungry Like the Wolf!’”). RR and I still break out into that sometimes. His version of “mmm-bop” was also humorous, but we don’t sing that one. Anyway, I couldn’t stand them, is my point, and I’m not excited about being subjected to a new round of their music.

And also, I think their time has passed. Their whole theme, I just don’t know if it would work now. (But then again, I couldn’t believe that it worked then)

That said, why am I so excited that they might get back together? Nostalgia? The potential for an easy target? What is it?

What’s the international sign for “get back to work”?

Do you guys remember “The State,” the sketch comedy show MTV aired in the late 90s? I loved that show. And because I associated it with my undergrad days, I’m very nostalgic about it.

And why do I bring this up? Because for some reason, the theme song [about 55 seconds into the clip] popped into my head this morning. I don’t mind the music, but it’s stuck in there good and proper, and that’s making me want to watch t.v., which they frown on you doing at work.

But I did take the time to verify that you can finally find some of the episodes online, including one of my all-time favorite sketches, “Choking.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An open letter to Jes a/k/a “Chirky”

Dear jes,

I see from your blog that you are currently reading Anna Kareninininina. I have the suspicion, which I cannot shake, that you are reading this book because Oprah suggested it. Please tell me that it’s not so.

Hopefully, I remain
Yours, etc

You know who you are? You're Even Steven.

Good: Eating a healthy breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats, blueberries, and walnuts
Bad: Starving by the time I got to work.
Good: For once having money in my wallet for the vending machine.
Bad: Nothing even close to healthy in the machine. (Pork rinds, anyone?)
Good: Having an excuse to eat powdered donuts.
Bad: The elevator stopping at almost every floor, both on the way down to the vending machine, and on the way back.
Good: Coffee is already made when I got to work, even though the woman who usually makes it is out of the office today.
Bad: Realizing, after drinking some of it, that the coffee is actually left over from yesterday.
Good: Getting to have lunch with a bunch of other lawyers at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try.
Bad: Realizing that I have a gigantic run in my pantyhose.
Good: Remembering that I have an extra pair of pantyhose in my desk drawer.
Bad: Discovering that it’s actually just a pair of knee highs (??!!!!!??).
Good: Today is technically a holiday, so I’m earning comp time by being here.
Bad: A coworker in my “pod” is out today, and I have to cover for her, and I hate her job so much that it makes me feel a little nauseated.

I guess you could say that I’m having a pretty balanced day so far.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It could have been worse, I guess. It could have been dead bodies.

Ok, I have told almost everyone I know about this today, and no one seems all that freaked out by it.

I was reading a case out of a Texas court of appeals handed down back in 2004. Here’s what happened: this couple buys a house, right? They buy it “as is.” Bad idea. ALWAYS a bad idea. This is a perfect example of why. The buyers wanted to have a handicap accessible shower put in down in the basement. The contractor comes in, makes a hole in the wall to do the installation, and finds another room. Actually, he finds two bathrooms, a hallway, and half of a living room, all walled off in the basement. Extra space! That’s good, right? Wrong! See, these rooms were not empty. Nope. They were filled with “garbage, junk, and contaminated refuse, including a trash heap measuring more than six feet in height.” Yep, a trash heap more than six feet in height. The junk stored there included “rusty plumbing fixtures, bathtubs, sinks, commodes, boards, pipes, rocks, and used building materials. The trash was damp and contaminated with mold.”

Hidden room. Filled with trash.


I can’t get past this. I can’t get past the idea of a person who would, rather than deal with having to get rid of all this stuff, just put a wall in front of it. Someone would rather lose two bathrooms and half a living room rather than throw their damn stuff out. These people are out there.

This is a life lesson, y’all. You need to figure out who in your life will build a wall around the problems in their life so that they can pretend the problems don’t exist, rather than deal with them. Find these people, and cut them out of your life before you get stuck with all their trash.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Is it good that only part of me looked fat?

So, we had to have photos taken at work a few weeks ago. We got them back today to review, and I have to say, as far as photos go, these weren’t horrible. I am just not photogenic. Even RR, who thinks I’m beautiful, doesn’t think I can take a good picture. So any photo that doesn’t make me look down-right unattractive is a “good” picture to me. Even though I do not look like a movie star in any of these photos, as far as my low standards go, I don’t hate them. I don't hate them, even though my glasses are on crooked and I specifically asked the photographer if my glasses looked crooked (because they felt crooked).

That being said, I did notice that my face looks heavier than it usually does in pictures. That’s a sure sign of weight gain, when you start to see it in your face. Those pictures have therefore strengthened my resolve to do SOMETHING before I go up another size and have to buy all new clothes.

I just wish that I’d seen them before I ate two (stale) mini butterfingers.

(what? I was starving!)

Will this Saturday be a "hairrowing" experience? I will leave you know.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about Saturday. HAIRCUT DAY, BABY!!! Right now, my hair is just . . . blegk. That’s the sound I make every time I look into a mirror and see it. It also involves me making a face. You have to make the face to make the correct sound, which conveys both disgust and resignation.

I do have to say that I feel just the weensiest bit of trepidation about it, though, because I’m getting my hair cut by someone who’s never cut it before. That’s right, one of the things we women live in fear of has come to pass—my hair stylist up and left me, y’all. That is so not cool. I loved my hair stylist. She was the best. She could actually do things with my hair that made it look good, something none of the hair stylists I'd been to before could do with regularity. She was also cool and sweet, and once I even wrote her a thank you card telling her how great she was and begging her to let me know if she ever left the salon so that I could follow her to wherever she went.

And did I get a phone call or an email? NO, I did not, because she is not going to a new salon, she’s just leaving the work force altogether. I know staying home with her kids is important, good for her, and really, I think it’s probably the best for her situation. So while I applaud her decision for her sake, inside there’s a little voice screaming “nooooooooooooooooooooooo[infinity].” I’m so screwed, y’all.

Or I guess I should say, I'm so (potentially) screwed. Surely I can find one that can actually wrestle my hair into an (armed) truce? And if the woman cutting my hair on Saturday isn’t as good as my former stylist, and least it’s a haircut. So maybe Saturday won’t be as good as it could have been, but it will at least be a better hair day than today. It has to be, right?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A backward poet writes inverse

I'm not saying it's a good effort (the meter's all over the place), but I was inspired:

Today the words on the non-dairy creamer container
nearly made me choke on my coffee remainders.
It seems the primary ingredient is corn syrup solids
which, surprisingly, does not make it olid

The second ingredient wasn’t much better.
I was dismayed to see those thirty-three letters–
Yes, my plans to be healthy were unfortunately foiled
by partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

I don’t drink coffee black, so I guess I’m stuck
using a substance that’s basically muck.
And from here on out I, I hereby resolve
to not discover problems that I cannot solve.

Animate Animus

You know how some people believe that all things, including inanimate objects, have souls? Yeah, I don’t believe that. I just don’t believe that my lipstick has a soul.

But sometimes, sometimes, it seems that inanimate objects must be alive, because otherwise, how do you explain the fact that objects that are supposedly without life are not without spite? If you don’t want to call it spite, then you gotta admit that they have, at the least, a good dollop of schadenfreude.

I say this because sometimes it strikes me that when some object does something annoying, that It’s Doing It On Purpose.

You know what I mean. You yourself think the same thing when your computer just lays down in the road and refuses to do what you need it to do. Nope, I am not going to print, nor will I let you click on anything. Yeah, you’ve yelled at the computer, and you didn’t feel silly yelling at some plastic and metal non-sentient being, because you knew it was fully conscious and deliberately taunting you.

But I don’t think it’s limited to computers. No, it’s all things, all things out there in one giant inside joke, one great big conspiracy to bring frustration into my otherwise zen-like existence. At least, it feels personal when things are making my life just a weensy bit more difficult.

Can’t get the desk drawer to open? Or to close? Sometimes, no matter how irrational, I believe that the desk is doing it on purpose. Open my car door, reach over to the passenger seat to grab my stuff, turn around only to have the car door slam shut now that my hands are full? Ooooon purpose. Magazine that will not stay open to the page I want while I’m on the elliptical? Stack of things that won’t stay stacked? Stapler that is not jammed and is not out of staples but will not staple together two thin little sheets of paper? Absolutely deliberate.

What about you? I want to hear about what out there in the world is Out To Get You.
And now, the thought for the day, brought to you by the Surrealist Compliment Generator:
Your legs are like threads of cotton, though much thicker, and filled with weevils.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coffee envy

One of my coworkers has some kind of portable espresso contraption of which I am extreemully jealous. I’m not sure what it is exactly or how it works, but it looked like a giant syringey thing. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, but as I walked by I saw the tell-tale espresso grounds in the trash and smelled the unmistakable aroma of fresh coffee. Meanwhile, I’m drinking lukewarm, stale coffee. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, jealous.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why the show “Friends” continues to make me laugh

Sometimes you see something that makes you laugh, and then, whenever you see something that reminds you of it in the future, you smile. This is one of those situations for me: whenever I have to draft a document that addresses whether or not an issue is moot, I want to write instead that the issue is “moo,” and then add a footnote that explains, “It’s like a cow’s opinion–it just . . . doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”

On Why My Fear of Hotels Rooms Is Not Unfounded

I feel like I need to describe to you the hotel experience of last weekend so that you don’t just think that I’m a freak.

So we get to the hotel room, and the hallway is very twisty and small and smells like smoke. Right outside our room, the wallpaper is peeling and one of the wall panels is loose. Let me just say that we’ve stayed in this hotel many times before, and it’s always been very clean (as far as hotels go) and presentable. So this seediness was unexpected, and it sort of laid the groundwork for a feeling of uneasiness to creep in.

We get in the room, and thankfully it does not smell like smoke. The floors looked . . . ok, but I wasn’t going to, you know, sit on them or anything. First things first, we decide to check for bed bugs, because you don’t want to wait until the hotel doesn’t have any rooms left or it’s the middle of the night before you discover you just can’t stay there (which is why we always flush the toilet as soon as we get into our hotel room).

So I pull back the covers and peer closely at the mattress. I peered closely because bed bugs are very small. But peering closely at the mattress means you see things you otherwise might not see. I saw quite a few stains, natch, but I also saw . . . stuff. A little dark brown speck of . . . I don’t know what it was. And another one. And a tan . . . something. All very, very small. None of it native to the mattress. And then, because bed bugs are brown, I had to keep looking at the specks to see if they would move. I couldn’t actually prod at them, the classic "dead or alive?" technique, because, gross (ok, I did start to prod one, but then my brain said "AAAHH, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" and my finger said, "oh, yeah, what am I doing? Good call, brain. Don't touch that."). But I did make RR come look at them.

“what’s that?” I asked, pointing.
She looked closely.
“Eeewwww,” she said, and we both felt creeped out. We kind of looked at each other, and I think we both knew that neither of us was really going to be able to relax for the rest of the trip.

That’s when I decided to stop looking so closely. I didn’t see any bed bugs. Or at least, I don’t think I saw any. But what I did see was still pretty scary. And that just reinforced my belief that the hotel maids do not actually clean the rooms as throughly as I would like, and that mattress you are sleeping on is harboring fugitives from the vacuum, unauthorized passengers, stowaways. The previous guests have literally left little pieces of themselves behind, with which you may unwittingly come in contact.

And I think that’s why, spending the next night in my parents' hotel room, I fell into convulsions of hysterical laughter upon discovering the hairs on the sheets of the sofa bed. The mattress had been quite stained, but I didn’t look too closely for any ride-alongs, and just kept telling myself that it would be ok, the sheets would cover the mattress (and I refused to consider the possibility that the sheets weren’t clean or that anything from the mattress could somehow work its way through the sheets). So when I saw the hairs, it was just too much. It was if the hotel was saying to me, you will be exposed to the DNA of the former occupants of this room. Resistance is futile. And it was just so awful that it was funny. I guess.

So my recommendation to you is, look for bed bugs, but don’t look too closely.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


(1) I am writing a mini-article for a legal newsletter. It’s due on Wednesday, and in true procrastinator style, I have not yet started writing it. Yea! Fun weekend for me!

(2) The jeans I wore on Saturday got dirty because I wore them to clean in, and I wound up getting chemicals all over them. The jeans I wore on Sunday spent a lot of time in public restrooms (road trip), so they went straight into the dirty clothes. On Monday night, I got tomato sauce on a pair of jeans. On Tuesday night, I got mayo on a pair of jeans. I’m running out of jeans.

(3) I had disagreement with a coworker on Tuesday, and it involved us getting a little snippy with each other. Yesterday, she came into my office and asked if I was over been stressed, because she didn’t want to come into my office if I was going to be “all stressy and mean.” I really didn’t know what to say to that. I bit back the temptation to say “you have not yet seen me being mean, but you’re about to.” I always forget that to the passive-aggressive types, direct confrontation = mean.

(4) The aforementioned road trip this weekend was with my sister and parents. A good time was had by all, except that I have confirmed that the time is rapidly approaching when I will not be able to travel at all. I am so very freaked out by hotel rooms and their grossity (“grossity.” The degree to which something is gross; the grossness level of something). Responding the recent articles I’ve read on the rising incidents of bed bugs, I checked the mattress of the hotel room very closely. Mistake! I did not see any bed bugs, but I did see other things that made me want to curl up into a fetal position at the thought of touching the mattress, but unfortunately, there was no place for me to curl up on that wasn’t also grossing me out. Then the next night, rr and I slept on the sofa bed in my parents’ room. As soon as I put the sheets on the bed, I noticed several hairs on the sheets. I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t tell my parents what I was laughing at. It wasn’t really funny. I think I was hysterical. I did not get a lot of sleep that night. I’m still a little skeeved by it.

(5) Seriously, y’all, hotel mattresses are disgusting.

(6) RR and I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff, but it just doesn’t seem to be helping. We are still swimming in stuff that doesn’t have a place in our teeny home. We don’t have the space. I’m kind of wishing that I’ll come home one day and find that some of my stuff is gone. Not that I wish my house would be burglarized. More like I wish my mom would sneak in one day and decide for me that I don’t need so much stuff.

That’s it for now! I have some other posts that I’m working on, but I have to finish my article first before I finish them up. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How many weeks in a row is this?

I'm very, very tired of tornados.

Anonymous Quote About Coffee

appearing in a Gloria Jean's newsletter:

"A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent."

I could not have said it better myself.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When Bugs Attack!

What the hell, y’all? So last night, I was going downstairs to take my dinner plate to the kitchen after having eaten my sad little microwave burrito in front of the t.v. in rr’s room (only it wasn’t sad because it had lots and lots of sour cream on it). I passed my Ikea zen prints on the wall. Ikea doesn’t call them “zen prints,” but they are all green and nature and restful and not overly busy, so that’s what I call them. I am lazy and cheap, and so is rr, so we are not averse to kickin’ it old school like the college students we were 10 years ago and sticking the prints directly on the wall with that sticky putty stuff, sans frame. It was dark in the apartment (because of aformentioned cheapness), but with the moonlight coming in, I could see the outlines of shapes.

So as I’m passing the print closest to the top of the stairs, I think nothing of it as I hear a sound like something brushing against paper. I figured I walked too close to the print and brushed against it. But then the noise repeated. Repeatedly. 'Hmm, that's odd,' I thought, and I turned around to investigate. And like in any stock horror film, I timed it so that I turned around just in time to see an enormous bug descending from the print . . . right . . . onto . . . my head. In the ensuing moment of chaos, I managed to comprehend that this was one of those horrible, awful flying gigantor roach things. My reaction was not heroic (as usual).

Ok, picture that scene from Clue, the one where Mrs. Peacock thinks that maybe the cognac was poisoned and starts screaming. Now picture the later scene where Wadsworth and Mr. Green reenact her screaming fit. Yeah. That was me. All that. Arm gestures and all.

I think I did some impressive dance moves, mostly involving swiping my hand furiously over my head, waving my arms around in the air, and shifting my weight from foot to foot as I ran down the stairs. Head swipe, back swipe, head swipe, shuffle, shuffle down the stairs, head swipe, run down the stairs, head swipe, back swipe, head swipe, head swipe, head swipe, jazz hands.


Anyway, I get down the stairs and run into the kitchen, hoping to find the febreeze. Febreeze and it’s main competitor (name escapes me at the moment) are effective at killing bugs, or at least slowing them down long enough for you to stomp on them. No Febreeze in the kitchen, but I did find Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I grabbed it, set it to “stun” (i.e., “on”), and headed to the stairs.

At this point my cat Gabby settled on the landing half way down, all casual and “hey, what’s going on?” and no help at all. She watched me for a minute and then strolled downstairs, parked herself in front of a chair and proceeded to stare intently at a spot under the chair. I of course decided that It must be there. But It wasn’t. I looked, didn’t see anything, swiped at my head and back, looked again, lather, rinse, repeat.

I moved on to staring at the stairs, and after several moments of standing completely still (so as to be able to hear It), I saw It crawl out from underneath the throw rug on the landing. I began my spraying onslaught. I managed to slow It down, but that sucker would not stop moving. It was like It had some kind of super powers. And also? Huge. Finally, It crawled into where part of the rug had folded over on itself. I was glad of this, because it meant that I could stomp on the rug covering It and therefore squish It without actually having to touch It with my shoe. So I fiercely stomped stomped stomped on It. I took a peek, and that sucker was still moving. I covered It back up, stomped as hard as I could a couple of times, peeked, still moving. Barely, but still. I got a hammer and finished him off, very horror movie like.

Half an hour later, my heart was still pounding.

So here are my questions.
(1) Where the heck are all the bugs coming from? (have I mentioned before that we have been having beetles galore? Slow-moving, easy to kill beetles, but still! And one got on my arm the other day! Much screaming.)
(2) Why is rr always in class when I’m attacked by a bug?
(3) Will I ever feel safe in my own home again? Last night I spent the whole rest of the evening doing double takes thinking I’d spotted something else about to drop on me. It just might drive me actually crazy.

Right now, I’m still grossed out about it and don’t want to eat my breakfast blueberry muffin (see previous post on how easily I get grossed out). So what, exactly, should I do to defend my turf? I'm in the trenches, and I need a Maginot line, here, y’all! Only, you know, effective.

Monday, April 30, 2007

BIG hair day

Y'all, I have seriously big hair today. Texas-sized. My curls have de-curled themselves and reformed into a big ol' cotton ball hairdo. Seriously big hair. I walked into the bathroom and scared myself. I wish I was exaggerating.

Also too big right now: my stomach. I ate too much at lunch, and then I had a brownie and a frappuccino. L'estomac, she says to me, "why do you hate me so? I lodge the protest most vehement." And in fact, the protest is loud enough to be heard by others. A loud, gurgling, acid-refluxy protest. Already I have been on the receiving end of an arched eyebrow directed at me by a coworker. And my pants are now too tight. Too much information? L'estomac, she does not care.

Just the Spoon Handles. That's All I Need.

So here’s something. I have this box of plastic cutlery. Notice I did not say “plastic silverware.” That’s like saying I have a cotton leather skirt. You can say “cutlery” or you can say “flatware,” but it’s not “silverware” unless it’s, you know, made of silver. Anyway, plastic flatware, box of.

Recently, I noticed that the box says “72 Total Spoons.” This statement bothers me. I mean, would there ever be a case where they’d say, for example, “60 total spoons and 12 partial spoons?” Would you ever be in the situation where you are on the plasticware aisle of the grocery store, hunting for a box that contains just spoon handles, or just the end part? “Oh, but see, I don’t need 72 total spoons, I just need spoon parts. This box of total spoons does not work for me.” I know they mean that the box has a total of 72 spoons, but adding the word “total” in there just makes it weird. Simply saying “72 spoons” would get the message across. Nobody reading “72 spoons” on the box would say, “ok, but how many spoons, in all, are in the box?” They’d read “72 spoons,” and say to themselves, “this box contains 72 spoons.” Or maybe they’d say, “I need 75 spoons. I have to buy a whole other box for three extra spoons?” But they would not be unsure of how many spoons they would have after buying that box.

I don’t know if all plasticware has this type of description. This box is sold under the Kroger private brand “Nice’n Strong.” It also bothers me that it isn’t “Nice ‘n Strong.” Here, the word “nice” and the word “and” have been contracted to form “nice’n.” That’s not a word, y’all. There should be a space there. I know I’m being overly picky, but when I’m bored at work, my mind wanders, and things start to bother me. I’m feeling all “Yellow Wallpaper” over here.

Do you hear that, Kroger brand “Nice’n Strong” packaging department? You are driving some of us crazy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


From a woman crossing the street with coworkers:
“I’m like a mama duck and you’re the little chicklings.”

Um . . . don’t you mean “ducklings”?

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Cake Has to Go in the Elevator

I have this thing about elevators. To me, they are hotbeds of germ activity. I do not think I am alone in this, but I can speak only of my personal views.

Anyone who knows me or has regularly read my blog knows that I avoid places where I am likely to come in direct contact with other people’s germiness. Elevators, alas, are difficult to avoid. But not only are they germy, sometimes they smell.

I work in a public building, which is unfortunate not just because of the crazy people one inevitably encounters (just yesterday a coworker stopped me on my way back from getting coffee to tell me to go around to the side entrance because “there’s a guy with a black eye out front, talking to people,” and from her tone I interpreted her statement (correctly) to mean “crazy guy out front talking crazy to everyone and he will stop you and speak crazy directly to you”). And this building is not only a public building, it’s a courthouse, so you have people from every conceivable background and walk of life, from the seemingly well-to-do, well-educated people who inexplicably do not wash their hands after using the bathroom to the just-over-from-the-jail-for-trial criminal defendants. And they all get on the elevators.

Needless to say, the first thing I do when I get to work in the mornings is wash my hands. I try to avoid touching any of the elevator buttons but sometimes you can’t get around it. I also try not to touch anyone or anything else in the elevators. Again, unfortunately, sometimes you can’t get around it.

The worst trips are the ones where the elevator is completely full and you stop on just about every floor. I hate those crowded trips because the more people there are, the higher the odds that one of them is contagious, and with a bigger crowd, there’s less room to stand apart from the other passengers. Also, if we stop on every floor, it makes it difficult for me to hold my breath the whole ride. And sometimes there’ll be someone on the elevator who is sneezing or coughing or making some gross phlegm-related noise. That always causes me to try to shrink to the smallest possible size to maximize the space between me and the offender. Of course, if that worked, I could eat all the candy I wanted and I wouldn't have to keep buying new clothes.

I would just take the stairs, but climbing up nine floors in heels doesn’t appeal to me or my problem-plagued feet, and plus the stairs are the mini-flights, you know, maybe only 5 steps to a section, then a landing, then more stairs, and they curve, so it’s basically taking a circular staircase up nine floors. Going even one floor makes me a little sick. Then there’s the fact that the floor with the employee entrance doesn’t have access to the stairs, so to take the stairs I’d have to go in the main entrance, which would mean (a) standing in line and (b) risking having my pepper spray taken away from me by the security guards.

Usually my elevator-phobia doesn’t cause me any difficulties, but sometimes it does. The other day my boss gave me a cake for my birthday. I didn’t want to say anything to her, but I thought to myself, how am I supposed to eat that? It has the go in the elevator! The cake has to go in the elevator! Actually, two elevators, one to leave this building and one in the parking garage. And the cake was just in one of those cake boxes, which are not hermetically sealed. When I got home, I really had to talk myself out of throwing the whole thing away. I knew she’d ask me about it, and I couldn’t lie to her, so I’d have to try it. And it was good cake, once I got past the gag reflex that kicked in after the first bite. I am very suggestive when it comes to being grossed out by food (I had a really hard time eating the cherry vanilla yogurt that I love after my cruel, sadistic brain came up with the thought that how would I know if those are cherry pieces and not chopped-up bugs?).

I’m trying to think of some way to get past my feelings about elevators, but I just don’t see that happening. So obviously I'm going to have to buy some Glad Press'n Seal to keep at my desk.

This does not make me paranoid.