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

Fark!

"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 fark.com (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!