Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's only 10am, and I've already had too much to eat. Gonna be a good day.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I might be unreasonable about this. But I think if you can't work a freakin' coffee carafe, don't drink the coffee.

I have complained many times on this blog about the fact that someone in this office is apparently trying to go all Taliban on us by setting up an IED in the form of an empty coffee pot left cooking away on a hot burner. If you want to burn your own house down or shoot yourself up with shards of exploding coffee pot glass in your own home, I could not care less, so long as you don’t get anyone else hurt. But please, don’t do it at the office. Leave us poor worker ants out of it.

Now I have something related but new to complain about. You knew I couldn’t go a whole week without complaining about something, right? And yes, this is coffee-related.

Lately, whoever has been making the coffee has been, instead of putting it into the carafe to keep it warm and toasty, leaving it in the coffee pot sitting on the hot burner. You know how I feel about this. This used to happen occasionally, but now it happens every single [gosh darn] day. More than once. Why the face, y’all?

Someone does not understand the concept of a carafe. I really, really want to put a sign on the carafe that says, “Hint: I am not for decoration.” Or “if you do not understand how to use this complicated piece of equipment, someone can explain it to you.” Or maybe, “Put the [farking] coffee in the [farking] carafe, you inconsiderate [beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep]. I hope that coffee has formed a solid and you choke on it.”

Yeah, I get a little bit coffee rage-y sometimes. I realize it’s inappropriate. Obviously I can’t say at work what I really want to say, so I vent here. No worries, I will not be blogging in the near future anything that starts with, “so, I went all ‘Falling Down’ at the office yesterday.”

Speaking of Michael Douglas, don’t you just love him as an actor?

Anyway, possibly part of my problem might be that I suspect who is doing it, and this person is an "I am above doing things I don't want to do and my way is always right" type, and I'm not overly-fond of her, and this is just one more thing about which I can say, "well of course she does that." But I do not like to chew my coffee. And anyone who won't pour that [bleep] coffee into the [bleep] carafe either doesn't actually like coffee or is just lazy and inconsiderate and is basically flipping all of us other coffee drinkers the bird. So. Result: coffee rage.

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Music Notes: Sounds like . . .

Is it just me, or does Scott McCurry's "Don't Do It" make you think of Lasse Lindh? I'm not sure if it's his voice or the combination of his voice and music, but every time I hear that song, I think "Oh, it's Lasse Lindh. Oh, wait, it's not."

Not that I don't like Scott McCurry. I do. But this one song always makes me expect someone else.

Seriously. Listen to "The Stuff,"

And then listen to "Don't Do It" (from Like the Sun). (sorry I don't have an embeddable clip for that one).

Can you hear it, too? No? Just me, then? Ok, fine.

I'm hearing musical similarities all over the place these days. The first thing I thought when I heard "Allison" by pop-punk band The Burning Hotels was, "that music sounds exactly like 'A Hundred Hearts'" (which is a great song by The Swimmers from an album of good songs--you should buy it). And then I thought, "I really dig this song." And then I decided it's not exactly like "A Hundred Hearts."

The more I listen to "Allison," the more I like it, and the less it reminds me of The Swimmers.

But judge for yourself. Here is "A Hundred Hearts."

And here's "Allison":

The music is very similar in one part, really almost exactly the same. And I know that's not just me. But both great songs! Support your local indie band!

And on that note, I'll end this with a song that doesn't remind me of any other song (and totally unlike the songs I mentioned above). The Orbans are a Fort Worth band. Buy local, right? If you don't like this band, there might be something wrong with you.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving this year, RR and I had our second annual family Thanksgiving boycott. We had a great time, and the food we cooked was delicious. We are excited about all the fun stuff we'll make with leftovers. But as we were about to dig into to our meal, we realized that we would have been just as happy with a box of cereal and some half-and-half. To us, it's pretty hard to beat granola or sweetened rice flakes.

So now we know what we're doing next year. Try not to be too jealous.

I hope everyone's Turkey Day was fabulous!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I know that damn cat food plate moves into my path deliberately. I know it.

Otherwise, how could I accidentally step on it all the time? This is further proof that everything in my home is plotting against me.

cat plate low res

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Solidarity with South Korea

I had planned to blog about the limited good news that Burma had released from house arrest Aung San Suu Kyi (I say limited because it's not like Burma has made a move toward democracy), but I want to take a moment instead to address the attacks on South Korea. Obama (or at least his press secretary) stated that we stand "shoulder to shoulder" with South Korea. I don't know how much that statement will translate into any actual policies or actions, but I agree with the sentiment 100 percent. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of South Korea. To all my Korean friends . . . I don't think you know about my blog, so you won't be reading this, but I hope your family is safe.

I assume most if not all Americans are aware that the war between North and South Korean never officially ended--they just called a truce. If anyone wants to know more about the craziness (and huge, huge problem) that is North Korea, I suggest you start here (even if you only have time to watch Mr. Hong's presentation and not the whole video). If you don't have time to watch that eye-opening talk but want to read more, go here, here, here, and here (to see video from the Vice Guide to North Korea, go here). It is almost unbelievable. If you want to help out North Korean refugees (who, if they are caught in China, are usually sent back to North Korea to be put in Nazi-like work camps or executed), you can start here. This is what South Korea is dealing with, and, really it's a problem of the whole world.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

All of Your Cookies Are Belong To Me

This weekend, I have eaten at least four dozen cookies. I kid you not. I think that easily answers the question of why my clothes don't fit me. It's only partially my fault because I have absolutely no willpower, and RR simply would not stop making cookies. She was going to a gathering of friends, and they were all supposed to bring cookies. She didn't think she had enough. I pointed out that if there were seven people there, and they all brought only one dozen cookies, then that made seven dozen. That's 84 cookies. I think that's enough.

And then she made more cookies.
Justify Full
And then of course she had lots of leftovers, which she brought home.

And then she left me unsupervised for several hours.

So it's mostly her fault.

Today, I am going shopping with RR and our friend MJ, and they are two of the tiniest people I know, so I will get to feel extra fat. It will be kind of like the time in 10th grade when a friend I'll call Shanna went shopping with me and RR. At that time, I could have stood to lose maybe five pounds. When RR tried on a dress, I thought, "oh, that looks nice on her," but Shanna said, "gosh, you make [JLR] and I feel like a couple of whales." I did not feel like a whale.  That thought didn't cross my mind. But Shanna felt free to speak for me the thoughts she assumed I was thinking. "Your tininess only serves to emphasize the hugeness of both me and your fat, fat sister, who, in my head, I refer to as Humpty Dumptiest."

Today, however, that statement would be kind of true. I'm not overweight. But standing next to RR and MJ, one cannot help but feel whale-like.

Last week I went shopping with my mom. I love my mom, I love spending time with her, and sometimes I even like shopping with her. But oftentimes, shopping with her can be an excruciating experience. When we made plans to go, I told her that I didn't want to be leaving the mall at 9:00 p.m. (when it closed), and she swore she was too tired to stay that late anyway. I guess she was right because we left at 8:50, and I really don't think she could have made it those last ten minutes.

It's my fault, I guess I should have been more clear. I should said, "I don't want to be leaving the mall at 9:00 p.m., and please take that not literally but in the way that you know I meant it, i.e., I don't want to be there for more than one or two hours, and any departure time close to 9:00 is too late."

My dad had been there with us for the first part, but he had to leave after about half an hour. I want to think that it's because he had gotten up really early that morning and was dead tired and not because at the Origins counter, my mom announced loudly and insistently to the lady working there that my dad was "obsessed" with getting rid of his blackheads. I think my dad really appreciated that.

Besides being mildly embarrassing, it's not a completely accurate statement, or at least I don't think so, because in my mind "obsessed with getting rid of blackheads" is not the same thing as "fascinated with pores and also with the way Biore strips work." My dad, my sister, and I are all very interested in things that other people seem to find mundane.

Anyway, good ol' mom was on a roll that night. She also told the employees at every skin care/makeup counter we stopped at that I had The Rosacea. "AND SHE HAS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT SHE PUTS ON HER FACE BECAUSE SHE HAS THE ROSACEA. YOU KNOW, THE ROSACEA. ON HER FACE. MAYBE I SHOULD SAY THAT AGAIN BUT LOUDER." And then I'd do a little half-hearted wave, to acknowledge that "yep, that's me. I'm defective."

Mom is not normally the type to attempt to embarrass her loved ones in public. Quite the opposite, in fact. But then again, Mom knows no secrets. By that I mean, she doesn't see the need to keep personal details private. She is not embarrassed by the whole world knowing everything about her, so maybe it doesn't occur to her that her children and husband are the complete and total opposite.

Turn about is fair play, though. I am pretty sure that I embarrassed her by my abrupt-to -the-point-of-rudeness treatment of the lady at the Lancome counter who was trying to put the pressure on Mom to buy me something that I had only casually mentioned that I was considering buying one day. I don't like pushy people.

I never buy Lancome anyway because in my mind, fairly or unfairly, I think it's for old ladies. This may be because my grandmother uses it. I am about ready to be upgraded to "old lady" status, though. I turn 35 next year, which I don't think makes me old, but let's face it, I've been an old lady inside for years now. And now my feet also smell old. Let me clarify. My feet do not smell like they've been around for sixty years. They smell like the kind of ointment that old people supposedly use. And they smell like that because I use Badger Balm, which smells like the kind of ointment that old people supposedly use. I started using it one day, and then I got used to it, and now I can't not use it. I don't know what it is about me but once I start using some kind of product, if I use it for more than a few days, it becomes mandatory. Years ago, I made it a habit to put on hand lotion before handling paper because I found it cut down on paper cuts, and now I cannot force myself to touch paper if my hands are not sufficiently moisturized. If someone tries to hand me paper when I have dry hands, I just stare at them.

So now I've gotten so used to that stupid Badger Balm that I can't even just put it on at night anymore. I now have to use it in the morning, too. If RR tries to talk to me before I have applied it to my feet, then all I can think is, "I CANNOT HEAR YOU MY FEET ARE DRY," or, sometimes, a more calm but still crazy-making "dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet dry feet." So I accept my fate of old-lady-smelling-feet.

Actually, I think old ladies tend to use perfumed lotions, so probably I smell like old man feet.

And now I will go eat some more cookies.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, which is why I can't talk about work sometimes

Holy fazzoli, HOW has it been that long since I posted something? I guess maybe nothing has happened to me except work. Not that post-worthy things don't happen at work--they do. I discuss it with RR ad nauseam (well, to the point of her feeling nausea, I just get more irritated). But unfortunately, my fear of getting fired or somehow violating ethics rules prevents me from talking about it much here.

So I will just say that sometimes I really think my boss is just messing with me.

On a happy note, today I am going to the store to buy these rice puffy things, the name of which I do not know, which makes it difficult to ask for in the store. We went to one store to look for them yesterday, but they didn't have them. It took a while to figure that out, though, because we don't know what they are called, and "rice puffy things," accompanied by hand gestures approximating their size, is apparently not that descriptive.

So we are going to a different store today. And then we are going to Central Market, which isn't anywhere close to the first store or our home. But we like cashew butter on the rice puffy things, and all other cashew butter pretty much pales in comparison to that of CM. That's a lot of grocery stores. And driving. But I am terribly excited about it. It's going to be the highlight of my day. Sad, but true.

We'll probably have to swing by the parents' abode to say hello, which would normally be fun, but the whole time we're there, I'll be thinking about those rice puffy things just sitting in the car, waiting to be et.

Let's see, um, I finally joined the rest of the world and downloaded Skype. I did this so that RR and I could talk to each other without having to shout if one of us was upstairs while the other was downstairs. That is some serious pigritude, but I am unrepentant. But here was the cool part. I look terrible on the webcam (no surprises there), BUT my eyes show up as this really odd blue color. This was like, crayon, colored contacts, laser beam blue. If my eyes were this color in real life, NO ONE would mess with me. Because I really looked like I might be (a) a supernatural being, (b) possessed, or (c) a robot. It was awesome.

In other News, I am considering adopting old-fashioned Rules for Capitalization. Said Adoption might be accompanied by adoption of old-timey Spelling. No Reason, just sounds fun. And confusing. And slightly nerdy. In other Words, Me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Again With the Bug Death?

A wasp nest is being constructed on our front door. Well, technically the door frame. But in either case, we have to walk under it and stand there to lock or unlock the door. This makes us worried that a wasp will get in the house and sting someone, the "someone" for whom we are concerned varying depending on whether you are talking to me (one of us) or RR (Wally).

It made for a moment of disbelief on my part when we had that conversation, and it became clear that her worries were more for our cat than either of us. I guess I see her point. If a wasp came inside, I'd avoid it, but Wally would go after it and probably find a way to either get stung or just make it really mad and then be totally ineffective at killing it. But I'm not crazy about the idea of having to avoid whichever room the wasp decides to go in until I think it might have died of natural causes. And there's no way I'd be able to get to sleep at night.

Anyway, point is, we're pretty sure we need to Take Care Of the wasps before the situation gets out of hand. For about a week now, every morning as we're about to leave for the day (with RR checking out the window to make sure no wasps are right by the door, then us dashing out, me gently shutting the door and locking it while RR keeps a lookout for trouble), we say, "ok, for real, tonight, we have to spray the wasp nest. For real." But every night we manage to not make time for it. Because spraying wasp nests makes us feel like murderers. Because that's what we are. Wasp killers.

Meanwhile, the nest gets bigger everyday.

In other news, my friend at work is leaving at the end of next month. Sad! Who will be my sushi buddy now? Mmm, avocado rolls. Is there anything better than rice and avocado put together? And also, I will miss her lots. *sniff*

In other other news, we're currently on an experimental homemade marshmallow kick. It's fun, though fattening. And it's cool. It's SCIENCE! (said in best Bill Nye voice)

And I guess I'll end on this little gem. I have finally figured out the one thing that could cure me of my Nutella addiction: throwing it up. Why didn't I think of that before? Yummy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kill or Be Killed, I Guess

I definitely am starting to think that we live in The House of Death. Last night, I killed a bug in my room. Normally, I try to trap bugs and put them outside, but I kind of freaked out because (a) I had never seen anything that looked like it before and (b) this one was heading for under my bed, where I feared that by the time I returned with some trapping device, it would have vanished, and I would never see it again, or more accurately, I *would* see it again, but not until it jumped on me in the middle of the night and tried to kill me. So I squashed it. It punished me by leaving behind what looked like blood stains on my carpet.

I had thought that maybe my killing Mystery Bug was balanced out by the fact that just a few minutes before, I had seen a tiny beetle-type bug scurrying across the kitchen floor, and I decided to just let it be. I mean, it seemed either scared for its life or very purposeful, either way clearly in a hurry to be somewhere else, so it seemed like the right thing to do let it go. And I found out later that RR had seen the same bug and had also opted to let him alone (at least, I hope it was the same bug). But then after I killed Mystery Bug (which, by the way, was difficult to kill, and I felt like a terrible person repeatedly clobbering it with a shoe, WHOMP [lift shoe] “still not dead” WHOMP [lift] “still not dead?” WHOMP [lift] *sob* “still not dead”—at least I didn’t have to use a hammer), I went back down to the kitchen only to discover that a spider had found Mr. Beetle, and unlike me, spider dude was not willing to live and let live with the beetle. RR and I were horrified. We acknowledge that spiders have to live, but it still made us feel like, at a minimum, bad hostesses. “Feel free to live in the kitchen, don’t mind the murderer over by the pressure cooker.”

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking the fire exit."

RR and I just rewatched the old Comedy Central Presents episode with Mitch Hedberg. Man, he was funny. No matter how many times I watch his shows, they still crack me up.

And since I don't really have time to do a full post right now, I thought I'd type up a few of his jokes.

I don't have a girlfriend, I just know a girl who would be really mad if she heard me say that.

[on playing golf] I never got a hole in one, but I did hit a guy. And that's way more satisfying . . . You're supposed to yell "fore," but I was too busy mumbling, "there ain't no way that's gonna hit him."

Wearing a turtleneck is like being strangled by a really weak guy all day.

I bought a donut and they gave me a receipt for the donut. I don't need a receipt for a donut. I'll just give you the money, you give the donut. End of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I just cannot imagine a scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a donut. Some skeptical friend? "Don't even act like I didn't get that donut. I got the documentation right here."

If you have a few minutes and need a laugh, you should check out his bit about restaurant wait lists, which never fails to make me laugh out loud. And it will give you something to smile about the next time you have to wait for a table.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ninja Assassin wins! Rain still looks hot. In other news, the sky is still blue, water is still wet.

I don't watch MTV, and overall I couldn't care less about their movie awards, but I couldn't be more thrilled that uber-sexy-and-adorable Rain (Bi) (λΉ„) won last night for "Biggest Badass." Have you seen "Ninja Assassin"? He deserved the win. And even without the movie, he deserved to win for these abs alone.

I think we should start calling him the Ninja Ab-sassin. Ha! I am so good with the puns.

Anyway, I don't want to be that ripped personally, since I'm a girl and all, but I would like to be closer to looking that toned than to what I am now, which is someone comprised almost entirely of bones and fat. Like good soup stock material, actually. Yet another reason to stay out of hot tubs.

I've never wanted to be famous. In fact, my goal is to try and get through life largely unnoticed by most of the world. I like being able to walk down the street without anyone knowing who I am. Nobody needs to follow me around the Central Market bulk foods section, watching me buy large containers of cashew butter, and then blog about it. ("JLR buys out entire section of nut butters at local upscale grocery store") But I'm beginning to think that I need someone whose job it is to follow me around all day, knocking peanut butter cookies out of my hand and telling me to hit the treadmill. So maybe I need to become famous so that I can justify (and afford to pay for) having someone like that around.

Anyway, congrats, Rain. Even though you are six years younger than me and look even younger than that, if you knocked a peanut butter cookie out of my hand, I wouldn't even get mad at you (note to anyone else: do not even attempt it).

Because you are hot. And even though you are a pop singer, when you can move the way you do, and when you look that good, neither RR nor I will ever mock you for referring to yourself as a "bad boy." Also: like the suit. But don't think I'm going to go see the new Karate Kid movie just because your song is on the soundtrack. That's all about Jackie Chan, who I adore. Hils saw him at a subway stop once and called RR to tell her, but RR couldn't understand her whispers and thought she was saying "something about your hand?" It was a very Chandler-in-the-vestibule-with-Jill-Goodacre moment, which made me love Jackie Chan even more, even though he really didn't have anything to do with that story other than that his name was involved.

On an unrelated note, today at lunch, I took the cap off of my container of coconut aminos (not the bottle it came in, the container I used to transport some to work), and it let out a pop of air, sprinkling the aminos onto my hand (and onto who knows what else that I haven't discovered yet). I hope that it's a sign that I had the lid on really tight and not a sign that the aminos have fermented or something bad, like that time BF/R left pineapple in a tupperware container, unrefrigerated, for so long that the bacteria that grew on it off-gassed enough to blow the lid off the container. But it's hours later now, and so far, so good. Yea for not getting botulism!

Speaking of tupperware containers, right after getting aminos on my hand, I then poured the aminos on the broccoli in my tupperware-knock-off container, put the lid on it, and shook it to toss, and OF COURSE, despite me really believing I had the lid on well, I wound up tossing broccoli right onto my pants. OF COURSE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yes, ok. I shot the sheriff. But I did NOT shoot the deputy.

So, my blog used to be funny sometimes, way back when I first started it. Now I'm usually too tired to do anything but post random stuff that is funny to me and RR but not to pretty much anyone else on the planet. That's ok, though, because she's basically the only person that reads it. So I mostly write stuff for her amusement.

This really, really does not make my blog funny. RR and I have a long list of things that we find really hilarious that even we recognize is, objectively speaking, not even remotely amusing. I don't know if it's because we're sisters or because we've spent too much time together. I’m confident that none of the stuff on that list would make it into a successful comedy routine. This list includes things like accidentally saying words that don’t exist (like the time one of us tried to say "exactly" but we said "presaply" instead*); waving at trees as we drive past them, saying “hi, guys!”; and intentionally using a strong Texas accent when speaking french.

Another item on that list is reciting song lyrics as part of a conversation. I don’t mean quoting them as in “yeah, man, it’s like the song says . . . .” I mean acting like we are not quoting anything, just talking. We still crack up at remembering the time in high school that our friend came into the social studies office and declared with a straight face that life was a highway, and she wanted to drive it. All night long. Why this is so funny to us, I do not know.

The key component to making this funny (to us) is to make sure that you do not use the emphasis and cadence of the song as it is sung. You also have to put on a serious, “here’s a deep thought for you” face. Also, it’s really only funny if the person to whom you are speaking knows what you are doing and plays along.

Of course, we also think it’s funny to repeat back what the other person just said as though we had just thought of it. “I think we should put the pie crust in for 10 minutes instead of 12.” “Actually, you know what? I think we should just put it in for 10 minutes.” “That’s a really good idea, but I think 10 minutes would be better.” “Yeah, I see what you mean, but my suggestion would be to go with 10 minutes.” “Huh. I had not thought about that. Well, I have an idea, how about 10 minutes instead?”

We recognize that those conversations go on way longer than they should.

We also like to do the suspicious eyebrow raise back and forth at each other. But last night for some reason when I was doing this, I got a foot cramp, so just in case those two things are related, I might not be doing that anymore.

Also funny to me: when I try to go to the I'm Not Benny blog, about 90% of the time, I accidentally type "im not beeny." I like his blog because once he mentioned that he has large eyeballs, and though he may have been(y) joking, I could totally identify, as I wear the contact lens equivalent of granny panties.

Beeny. Cracks me up.

Sad, huh?

Not funny to me: carrying the conversation at the weekly work lunch that our work group takes.

I really thought I'd blogged about this before, but I can't find it. Anyway. So. Work lunch.

There are four of us in our work group: our boss and then three of us that report to her. We go to lunch together almost every week. The lunch is almost always at least--at least--two hours. There is no good reason for it to take that long, it just does.

These lunches are exhausting for me because I am an introvert, and I usually use my lunch break to get away from people so that I can make it through the afternoon. At some of my former jobs, I'd sometimes eat lunch in my car just to get a break. But on work group lunch days, not only do I not get a break, but I have to actively participate in the conversation. My two coworkers who are not my boss have told me, repeatedly, that when I'm not there, there isn't much talking. I was very surprised by this, but it did explain why when I can't make the lunch one day, they will almost always reschedule it for a day when I can be there.

We only spend a little bit of time talking about sustantive work stuff. Other than three recurring topics, I don't like to gossip about my coworkers (those topics are: "Further Proof That Coworker A Has Gone 'Round the Bend"; "Further Proof That Coworker B Is Sexist And Also Very Patronizing For Someone With Such A Tenuous Grasp Of The Law"; and "Coworker C: Why So Angry?"). And I don't want to talk about my private life, or anything about pop culture that might give insight into my likes or dislikes or what I do in my spare time (a/k/a private life) because I am a little bit protective of said private life. Perhaps irrationally so.

I've always been this way. Even back in the sixth grade, when I would get a letter from my pen pal, and my mom would ask me who I got a letter from, I was always so offended that she would intrude into something that didn't concern her. Because obviously the mother of a preteen doesn't need to know who her daughter is getting mail from.

It's not much different now. Ask me what I'm watching on t.v. right now. Answer: if it were any of your business, I would have already told you.

I recognize that I'm a little crazy about it. But it works the other way, too. I totally respect other people's privacy. When my boss said she'd be out of the office for a few days because she was having surgery, I did not ask what kind or if it was serious. She might have thought it was disinterest, but it was just me respecting her privacy---if she'd wanted me to know, she'd have told me. It was also a little bit disinterest. I'm kind of a cold person sometimes. But even if this had been my best friend telling me this, I would have just hoped that she'd tell me what kind of surgery. I wouldn't ask because that's information you give out to the people you want to have it.

But the upside of my privacy weirdness, if you have incriminating stuff that you don't want people to know about, when I come over, you can just leave it lying around. In fact, if I had to get something from your desk, and I saw that there was a document on your desk with the heading "Confession" and the subheading "To Be Sent To The Police After My Death," I wouldn't read it. Because I respect your privacy.

Also, I would probably realize that if I read it, I might have to take some sort of action, and in addition to being cold, I am lazy. But mostly, I would recognize that it's just none of my business.

So, anyway, I don't want to talk about my private life with my boss, who is a caring person that I'm quite fond of but who absolutely refuses to recognize boundaries, even when they are pointed out to her. Even when she hits them with her car, puts the car in reverse, and then backs over them. Thus, she is on a need-to-know basis with respect to my personal life.

To make a long story short (too late), due to a lack of safe conversation topics, I am aware that I neither start the conversation at lunch nor provide much material to keep it going. This left me baffled as to why they supposedly all sit there in silence when I'm not there. But when we went out to lunch the next time after they told me that, I realized why. I am the only one that consistently makes eye contact with our boss. I'm the only one that consistently acknowledges that someone is talking, the only one that consistently responds with appropriate facial expressions and vague comments. One of my other coworkers participates some, but only intermittently. I think she keeps her eye on me to figure out when I'm about to snap, and then she jumps in just long enough to give me a breather.

What the hell, y'all? Why am I the one that has to take the bullet? I guarantee you, I am NOT the person there that's the most interested in what is being talked about. Because we are usually talking about coworkers, my coworker's personal lives, or my boss's personal life, none of which I care about (see: cold, above). The other people in my group care, but I do not. And you know what else I recently realized? They always strategically sit so that I have to face her at lunch. They totally throw me under the bus on that. And they make me sit behind her in the car where, I kid you not, she spends more time looking at me than she does at the road. You know, to see if I'm paying attention to the conversation. I have taken to texting either RR or the coworker sitting next to me, just so that I can avoid eye contact on the drive. My boss is nice, really and truly, but I am an introvert, and I get tired from all the people interaction.

So anyway, weekly lunch day: NOT funny.

Also, work-related: a new low on the laziness. I actually avoided working on something the other day because it would have required me to roll my chair about half a foot and pick up a folder, and that seemed like too much effort. No problems with walking to the break room to get more coffee, though.

Ok, bedtime now.

*I SWEAR I have blogged about this incident, but I can't find it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Possibly I am overreacting, but I'm still sad about it

Yesterday started out on a bad note. Not that I really believe in signs or omens or anything like that, but when I walked out to go to work and found my car covered in (presumably) animal blood, I did kind of wonder if the universe was trying to tell me something.

So, I think some small animal met its untimely death on the top of my car. I didn’t notice it when I put my bag in the passenger side, but when I walked around to the driver’s side, I saw a sizeable pool of blood on the top of my car. Not person-sized, but definitely more than you’d see if maybe two animals got into a fight. Then I noticed that the windshield, hood, and side of my car had blood splatter all over them. It was disgusting, and for me, it was almost unbearably sad.

Obviously, I had to go get a car wash, although it almost seemed disrespectful to whatever it was that died. Driving the car . . . well, I don’t know if you’ve ever had to drive a car splattered with blood, but I wouldn’t recommend the experience. I couldn’t turn on my windshield wipers because I was afraid that, instead of cleaning the blood off the windshield, it would just smear it. Then I wouldn’t be able to see, plus I’d look like I’d been in some sort of hit and run accident. So I just had to peer through the blood pattern. I also didn’t want to drive too fast for fear of causing the blood on the top of the car to fly off and hit other vehicles on the road. Fortunately, the car wash wasn’t far.

The car wash experience wasn’t exactly cathartic. I went through one of those touchless/brushless car washes at the gas station. I don’t know how other people would feel watching blood wash down their windshield, but I felt pretty awful. I thought for sure that I was going to either cry or throw up in my car, but I managed to not do either. Of course, the car wash didn’t get all the spots off, so I still had to go use one of those scrubber/squeegee tools at the gas pump. The whole experience was just . . . it was gross, of course. But it was mostly just depressing. Heaping a final bit of indignity on the late whatever-it-was by scraping its remains off with a squeegee so I could go to work and get on with my life.

I wanted to find the humor in it because that’s how I normally deal with unpleasant situations. Even if I’m complaining, it’s usually really just an offer to others to laugh. That’s kind of the whole point of my blog. If I can make myself or other people laugh at a situation, then I don’t mind it, it’s not that bad. But I couldn’t laugh at this. I accept the whole cycle of life/food chain part of living in theory. I get it. But in practice, I’m just not that comfortable with violent death, be it a person, an animal, or even an insect. Don’t get me wrong, I will kill any bug that I think might kill me or that’s carrying disease (looking at you, evil roaches), but I still feel bad about it.

And then of course, all my food seemed disgusting to me after that because everything reminded me of the blood all over my car. It didn't help that I have OCD (ok, self-diagnosed, but . . . trust me), so all day, it's all I could think about and picture in my mind. Buckwheat muffins? Yep. Yogurt? Yep. Grapes? Yep. Tomatoes? Well, obviously. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the tomatoes.

I feel a little bit better about it today. I just keep telling myself that this really is just how life is, and we can’t all live to be really old and then slip away peacefully in our sleep. But I still don’t think I’ll get to the point where I can laugh about it.

Instead, I’m distracting myself by being irritated at a coworker who SAYS she had food allergies but then eats all the stuff that she says she can’t have. And then offers it to me. And then I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “No, I am ACTUALLY allergic to that, and since I don’t feel like stabbing myself with my epi pin today, I’m going to pass. And if you eat that donut in front of me, if you talk to me about eating that donut, if I can smell the sugar glaze on your breath, I SWEAR I WILL KILL YOU.” I find a little bit of irritation goes along way in distracting me from sad stuff. So that’s what I’m going with.

And I recognize that I'm talking about killing someone after whining about the sadness of some animal's demise. Whenever I threaten to kill someone (pretty much daily), whether out loud (other drivers on the road) or in my head (to my coworkers), to use one of my favorite lines from a t.v. show, "that is what is known as an 'empty threat.'" But it does make me feel better, so I don't know what that says about me.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I don't know where I was going with this

So, I didn’t want to work today. If any of my coworkers (a) knew about my blog and (b) read it, they would be responding to that comment with an eye roll and remark that I say that same thing every single day. They would be wrong. I say that almost every day.

But today it’s not just that the weather was nice (before the clouds and tornado-like winds blew in) and I’d rather be hanging out on a patio with my friends, sippin’ a tasty beverage. Today it’s not work in general, it’s the specific work that I had to do. It’s that my work required me to come up with a very basic explanation for a concept that I’ve already explained, thoroughly, in writing. So it was basically a “this concept for dummies” explanation, complicated by the fact that (a) the person I had to explain it to is higher up than me on the work ladder so deference was required and (b) the person is not actually a dummy (quite the opposite), and I didn’t want my explanation to make it seem like I think she is. I don’t know how to take an explanation of a concept, which I already thought was pretty clear, and make it even more basic in a way that does not come across as patronizing. So I spent two hours writing and rewriting two paragraphs. TWO HOURS. Then I took a break, and then I worked on it for another hour. Maybe if I had more coffee, I could better walk the line between enlightening and insulting. But for me, it was difficult.

So that was my morning. My afternoon wasn't much more productive.

So that was my day.

I wish I could say that I had an eventful weekend, but I didn’t. I went to a housewarming party for a friend of mine, and that was fun, but that was about all I did. RR bonded with a coworker’s girlfriend because they both name their plants. And this morning, that coworker brought me in some tomato plants from his girlfriend, so that was kind of awesome.

Yesterday, we went to my parents house for a little while, and I got to be the insensitive, terrible daughter who tells her parents that she won’t take vacation time to help move furniture out of her grandfather’s house. We’ve been planning to take a family vacation the last week of May, but we never got around to planning anything, and now my family wants to use that time to go clean out my grandfather’s house (he just moved into a nursing home). But I have work stuff going on that week that can’t be rescheduled, so I would have get people to cover for me on some stuff that no one wants to cover for me on, and I hate asking people to do stuff for me that I already know they don't want to do. I would do it if we were taking an actual family vacation, which we haven’t done in a long time, but this is something we could just do on a weekend, so I don't see why I should take vacation time for it.

Plus, and I didn’t get into this with them, but it does seem like whenever RR or I (or my brother for that matter) have time off from work, it becomes “help the family paint the living room,” “help the family put in new flooring,” “go on a road trip to visit family,” etc. It’s to the point where, if my mom asks one of us if we have [whatever the next upcoming holiday is] off from work, we are really tempted to lie and say we don’t. Because if we say yes, there’s at least an 80% chance that we’ll get conscripted into spending it doing something for a family member. And I kind of resent that it’s just a given that it’s my job to do this stuff, instead it just being a favor that I’m not actually obligated to do. And it bothers me that my family seems to feel not at all guilty about it.

Which is not to say that my family isn’t great, because it is, which is why I feel bad for having told my mom so bluntly that I just wasn’t taking vacation time. And now I’m annoyed because I know that I’m going to cave and end up going on that road trip to move furniture. This is why I want to move to another country. Stupid law school debt! If not for you, I could move to Taiwan, get some random job teaching English or cleaning houses or whatever, and marry Jerry Yan.

I kid! I would never marry someone who has better hair than I do. Or who was thinner than I am. Or someone who had been in a boy band. And he is all of those things.




But I would happily be the hair stylist to someone who has better hair than me, because I think that would make my job easy and thereby give me immense job satisfaction. Plus, being a hair stylist is a great excuse to do funky things to your hair, and being a lawyer is kind of the opposite of that. I just don’t see there ever being a time in my career where I could get away with dying my hair blue, and that just makes me sad.

Dear Jerry Yan [or anyone else with good hair and lots of disposable income],

I’m very accomplished with the blow dryer. Just ask what little hair I still have that has managed to stay attached to my scalp despite me attacking it daily with a round brush while I’m attempting to persuade it to be straight instead of curly. Also, the flat iron is my BFF. I do not actually know how to cut hair, as you can tell from looking at my bangs, which I tend to trim on my own rather than trek to the stylist because I am cheap and lazy, even though that makes my bangs look wonky.

So if you have need of someone to blow dry your hair but not actually cut it, and you are willing to compensate me highly for that service, you just give me a call. As an added incentive, I will tell you that I'm very good at listening to other's peoples woes with sympathy, an important skill for a hair stylist.

In fair warning I should tell you that, as my sister will confirm, if the hair stylin’ starts going awry, I have a tendency to just walk away and leave you to fend for yourself with a half-done hairdo that can’t really be salvaged into anything presentable. But one time in college I pulled myself out of bed even though I had the worst hangover ever [WORST.EVER] and managed to fix my friend's hair for a dance she was going to. I don't really drink anymore, so there wouldn't be the danger of me skipping work because of drink-induced vomiting, I'm just telling you that I can play through the pain, so to speak.

But please note that I don’t do shampoos.

impatient chick

On a side note, why is my hair getting so thin lately? I’m not THAT old.

I can see that this post isn’t going anywhere, so I’m just going to end it here.

*I'd like to give credit to whoever took these photos, but I have no idea who that was. But these pics came from JY's facebook page, if you want to see more pictures of awesome hair.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why Do I Have This, Exactly?

I have this Tigger mug. This is Tigger:

Isn't Tigger cute? I love the blue colors, and I love Tigger (cause Tigger's a wonderful thing). This is very much a mug I would have bought for myself or been happy to receive as a gift. But I didn't buy it for myself, and I didn't get it as a gift. I do not know how I acquired it, actually. My suspicion is that it belonged to crazy girl Leeann, and Kara and Valerie wound up with it. Then when I lived with them in Austin, somehow I wound up with it when I moved back to Fort Worth. But it doesn't matter, because I have adversely possessed the mug for the statutory period, and he's mine now. Adverse possession, baby!

Sometimes I actually like being a lawyer.

But you know what I'm not happy about having? This:

It's the cover for a Type O Negative cd. Don't get me wrong, I liked "Black No. 1" as much as the next alterna-girl college student in the '90s, but I don't know any of the band's other songs, and I didn't buy the cd. I might have been ok with it winding up in my cd collection, though, except that I don't have the cd. Just the cover. Not sure how that happened.

The cover does have a cd in it, but it's about as far from Type O Negative as you can get. Take a guess what band it might be. Just guess. Can't guess? I'll show you:

Yep, Duran Duran. I don't know why I kept this cd once I discovered that it was living in the Type O Negative cover. Maybe it's because I used to think that I liked Duran Duran. Then a few years ago, I realized that if I changed the radio station anytime one of their songs came on, that probably meant I wasn't a big fan. (I do like "View to a Kill," though.) Anyway, although I don't know why this cd is in that particular cover, I do know that I did not buy this cd, and I do not know how I got it. Or why it's still living in my home. I think neither RR nor I want to take responsibility for it, and we just pretend that it's not there.

Here's another cd cover of mysterious origin.

Now, I do like Shostakovich, so I would have been happy to have this cd in my collection. But I don't. Once again, we have an odd couple match-up. If you hear Shostakovich playing, you don't think, "WTH is this? Turn it off!" But that is what I think when I hear this group:

Again, not sure how we acquired this. No offense to UB40 fans out there, but ugh, I would never have bought this. Sure, "Red Red Wine" is fun to listen to while you're getting ready to go out on the town, but . . . no, I would not have bought this. Ever. EVER. And I don't know which of my friends or acquaintances is guilty of buying this and leaving it at my house, but whoever it is, he or she had better not speak up, because you can be sure I will think less of them.

And that reminds me of the time in high school where a classmate said she liked this song as it was playing on the radio, and I said, "I don't like reggae," (because at the time, I didn't like it) and she said, "this isn't reggae, this is UB40," which was unintentionally hilarious, because I know, right? I will never think of UB40 as real reggae. But she thought "reggae" was the name of a band that I was confusing UB40 with. It's petty, but at that moment, she sort of killed any chance that we would become better friends. Because I love music, and I am just that petty that I cannot be good friends with someone who doesn't love music enough to know what reggae is. Or to keep your mouth shut when you don't know something lest you sound stupid. So. Yeah. At least this cd makes me laugh when I see it.

I really want to get rid of these cds, but I don't want to throw them in the trash, but I don't see what cd resale store would take them without a cover. Right now my plan is to wait for RR to move out one day, and I'm just going to slip them in with her stuff. I guess it's possible that we still have them because RR secretly likes them. In which case, RR, I still love you. You are still a great sister. But we will not be listening to these cds on any road trips.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trapped in my office

I am trapped in my office right now. No, not like before. This time it’s because it’s my coworker’s last day, and he’s leaving soon, probably in the next half hour or so. Right now, he’s standing in the hallway saying his goodbyes to another coworker. I like the departing coworker, he’s very nice, and I hope to keep in touch. But I am horribly, horribly awkward with goodbyes. I don’t like them. They never go well for me. I always say the wrong thing. And do we shake hands, which I’m not good at? Do we hug? We’re not that close, but a hand shake seems weird, and just a wave seems too cold, more like a “have a good time on vacation” than a “goodbye to someone I might never see again.” I guess I could give it a try. Let me test it out in my head.

[picturing myself waving]

No, that’s awkward.

So I’m trying to avoid it. I’m hoping he’ll just leave, and then I can send him an email later telling him what a nice coworker he’s been so that he doesn’t leave here thinking, “well that was weird” and having that be his last interaction with me.

But right now I really need more coffee, so instead of thinking of what a nice guy he is, I’m thinking, “hurry up and leave already.”

This is why RR is known as “the nice one.”

If you are wondering why I'm not getting work done today, it's because I have a bad headache, and all I can think is "coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffeecoffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffeecoffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee," which is not helpful when trying to do lawyery things.

coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffeecoffee coffee coffee [infinity]

UPDATE: he just stopped by to say goodbye, and it was every bit as awkward as I'd feared it would be.

My day today: I think I just got applesauce in my hair.

Whatevs. I'm going to starbucks.

I WAS thirsty, but also I was BORED

Yesterday I had to sit in on a meeting for a project I won't be working on, so instead of taking detailed notes, I just wrote this:

Yes, I was thirsty.

If you write the same word over and over again, it will start to look strange, and, if you are like me, you will start to wonder if you are spelling it wrong. So I started questioning myself, as you can see here:

Yep, I had to write out the word "thursty" to make sure that "thirsty" was correct. And then I decided it was weird that some "thir" sounding words are spelled t-h-i-r and some are spelled t-h-u-r. I made a note of some of them.

If you can't read that, it says "thirsty, thursday, thirty."

So that's what I did yesterday. My life, it is fascinating.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Boring Job-Related Vent, or Why The Thing That Makes Me Good at My Job Makes Me Very Slow at My Job

I spent all day working on a project that was supposed to be easy, and I was very happy because almost nothing I work on is simple. It's like I have the magic touch, only the opposite of that. Even one of my coworkers who I don't work with directly but who sometimes looks over my stuff for me has commented, "how come you get all the weird stuff?" And other coworkers randomly offer me condolences. And like most of my work assignments that are supposed to be easy, this one turned out to the kind of project that lures you in with it's deceptively easy appearance, all "hey, work on me today, I'm a Greenpeace boat, it'll be so easy," and then you start working on it, and it turns out to by very "why the face" and in fact NOT easy. WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?

I can only blame myself for spotting the problem under the surface anyway. Nobody else involved in the matter brought it up. But I spotted the problem, and now I’m obligated to address it. This afternoon, when I went by the office of the senior attorney I work with and told her, hey, I think I spotted a problem, and told her what it was, she said, "yep, that's a problem," and then she looked at me and said, “why do you keep doing this?” Like it's my fault!

But it feels like it is. Because I keep spotting problems that are, shall we say, challenging to solve. I spend weeks working on it, then I give up and go talk to the senior attorney, explaining why it's so difficult to me and hoping she, in her wisdom and longer experience, can give me some guidance, and she inevitably says, basically, “I don’t know what to tell you.” And then we go have this conversation with our boss, and at the end, she’s like, “hmm, yeah, that’s a thinker.”* And then we sit there in silence until someone comes up with something else to talk about, and they think about (I'm guessing) how glad they are that someone else is taking care of that problem.** And I go stare at my office walls for awhile until I come up with a plan. Which I always do. But not before thinking at least once that I'm just going to walk out right then and never, ever come back.

And then I find a solution and everything is great. Until the next one.

So, anyway, I’m a little irritated with myself because if I had not spotted the problem, probably it would never have become an issue to not address it, but now that I’ve spotted it, I have to take care of it. Also, I’m irritated because earlier when I was complaining to my friend and said, “My stupid brain!” I knocked on my forehead with my fist as I was saying it (because that made it more dramatic) and gave myself a headache, which I still have, hours later.

And right after I did that, I dropped applesauce into my computer keyboard. Fantastic.

I really shouldn't be surprised at the way work goes. I've been, for years, the person in the group that ruins everyone's fun by shooting down someone's great plan with a "that's never going to work" and then an explanation of why this person's bright idea is doomed to fail. As you can imagine, I am very popular at parties.

On a brighter note, RR and I were cracking ourselves up today via email over the idea of peeling bananas. We were talking about peeling fruit to reduce allergy reactions, and I told her that I kept picturing myself peeling a banana. Not taking off the banana peel, but getting a vegetable peeler and scraping off the outer layer of the part you eat. For some reason, this was hilarious to me. RR, being RR, thought it would be an excellent idea if I did this at work one day to see if anyone said anything. And I told her that was an excellent idea, but I needed to come up with something to say if anyone did say something. The best scenario is to not explain, but obviously if someone asks, I cannot say, “I just wanted to see if someone would say something.” So far my best suggestion is to say, “I just don’t like the bumpy part.” I think I could say that with a straight face, and RR and I thought this would be very funny.

I think maybe RR and I need more sleep.

*Don't think badly of them for leaving me to fend for myself. The reason they don't have an answer for me is because there is not one.

**Do not think badly of them for that, either. We all do that around the office. There is always, always at least one project that someone else has that you are at least secretly, but usually openly glad that you don't have to deal with. I think the unofficial motto of our office is, "dude, I feel bad for you, but better you than me. Have a donut."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Post Script on That Last Post

I just realized that my pattern of swapping cardigans and shoes when I get to work means that (a) on my way to and from work, the top half of my body is stylin’ but my feet look frumpy, but while I’m at work it’s the exact opposite and (b) this means that there is never any part of my work day when I look put-together. I always look at least mildly frumpy. Even on days where I wear a suit because on those days, I take off my suit jacket as soon as I get to my office and put on my office sweater. My totally cute shoes are always offset by my baggy, wrinkled cardigan while I’m at work, which by the way pretty much covers up most of my outfit. And my when I’m not rockin’ the dad sweater, I’m wearing old lady nurse shoes (because I have old lady nurse feet, so I can wear cute shoes at work because I rarely get my sit-me-down-upon out of my chair, and when I’m in my office I take off my shoes anyway, but for walking, comfort rules).

So if you walked into my office wanting to hire an attorney, you would have a lot of confidence that the person behind the desk was someone who lives in her car and who is only in the office because she broke in to use the computer to troll the comments section of online news articles.

Well, I take it back. For the few hours of every week that I have to be in court, I look reasonably close to “like a lawyer.” I say only reasonably close because let’s be honest, it’s me, and if I remembered to put on eye shadow and lipstick or woke up in time to do my hair, it’s a minor miracle. I’d like to think that if I actually had to interact with the public every day, this would be a different story, but I really can’t say that with any conviction.

As an aside, I might need to hire a lawyer later today because the document I’m trying to read and summarize is propped up on my laptop/docking station, and it keeps sliding down toward me, and I push it up, and it slides back down, and I swear if it doesn’t stay put then I WILL KILL SOMEONE.

I would totally hire someone that looked frumpy, though, because even though I look like I don’t have my stuff together, lawyer-wise, I’m actually kind of awesome.* The appearances, they can be deceiving.

*when I’m not having focus issues, and if it doesn’t involve me getting out of my chair.

Incident Report And A Comment

I've got nothing going on, so I thought I'd offer up an Incident Report (a la RR) and a random comment.

Incident Report
Time frame: last 30 days

On the way down the stairs in my townhouse, I missed the last step and fell. When I was on my way out of town for a conference. And was running about two hours late. Hurt like heck, but I persevered, got on the road, and got to the conference just in time to miss the sessions that I wanted to see that day but right in time for the tour I didn’t want to go on.

This month, I got stuck in my office not once but twice, though neither time was really my fault. I don’t mean “had too much work to do and couldn’t leave,” I mean literally trapped inside my office. I had this felt Easter basket full of coworker bribery (a/k/a kit kats and peanut butter cups) hanging on my door. When one of my coworkers came in to talk to me, she shut the door so we could talk confidentially (because we were talking confidential lawyer stuff and NOT because we were talking about one of our coworkers). Part of the basket stuck between the door and the doorjamb, and this somehow made it impossible for us to open the door from the inside. I had to call a coworker to let us out. And then, not being one to learn from our mistakes, I didn’t bother to move the basket and the same thing happened again a few days later.

By the way, you just don’t know how stupid you can feel if you’ve never had to call someone to ask him to come open your door for you. And then have to call again a few days later.

I dropped oatmeal on my pants two days in a row. And on each of those days, it happened twice. Went to take a bite, somehow missed my mouth, poured oatmeal on my pants, swiped furiously at my pants with a napkin, and then freakin’ did it again with the next bite. This was in the presence of the same coworker with whom I’d been stuck in my office, so I’m thinking that something about her aura makes be even more of a catastrophe than I usually am.

Spilled coffee on my pants one day, tea on a sweater the next day, and the managed to get a mystery item on my cardigan the day after that.

I'm really wanting to try working out using a kettlebell, but I'm terribly afraid I will drop the darn thing on my feet or accidentally fling it at my cat.

Random Comment

On a non-incident-report note, I am the Mr. Rogers of the office. On days that I don’t wear a suit, I almost always pick out a cardigan to wear that matches my outfit, in case my office is cold that day. But once I get to work, I always—always—take off the cardigan I wore in and put on my "office sweater," a large, soft, cuddly sweater that I keep in my office. And then when I leave, I change back. And I also usually wear a one pair of shoes to walk in from the parking garage and then change into fancier shoes when I get here, and then change back when I leave. I have no plans to change this behavior pattern. But I will accept the mocking comments of my coworkers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sneezles and Such

So, my allergies today. Blech. Do you ever have one of those days where, if you tilt your head back, you get a nice flow of mucus right down the back of your throat? That was me today. Yummy! But I’d rather it drain than stay in my stuffy head, so I spent quite a bit of time staring at my ceiling today. And yet I was strangely productive. Of the work kind, not the phlegm kind. I was the phlegm kind of productive all through last night, when I hacked up all kinds of stuff. Yes, that’s gross. That’s why I’m sharing. If I have to be grossed out, then so does everyone else. That’s why I didn't bother to close my office door today and just went ahead and let my coworkers have to deal with it. They all got to hear me sneeze and blow my nose (although if I had started doing that really gross snorfling thing, I would have closed my door because I don’t actually want anyone to throw up).

I almost left work early today because I have a strict rule that when I run out of kleenex, I go home. I draw the line at having to use the incredibly thin toilet paper or the prison-issue paper towels.* I barely made it through with just the one box.

I also drank lots of water and hot tea, and I have a thing about only using public restrooms so many times in one day before the OCD takes over and I CANNOT do it anymore. Plus, I just know that the guy who has the office across from me counts how many times I go to the bathroom. He’s never said anything, but I just know it. He must because after awhile, it would be noticeable to even the most unobservant person. And I have to stop making trips before I think he’s reached the point where he’s thinking, “damn, woman, maybe drink a little less of the water, or maybe get medical help.” It’s kind of like the time we were watching television at our friend’s house, and he said, “hey, it’s been an hour, and [RR] hasn’t had to go the bathroom yet.” I don’t want that happening to me.

You know what I think would help me today? Ginger chews. Not for any reason other than I can’t stop eating them, and now I really want some, so I will come up with a rationalization for buying some. This is strange to me because up until a month or so ago, I couldn’t stand the taste of ginger. Like, drinking a ginger ale when I was nauseated was not a good idea unless I actually wanted to throw up. But these days, there’s not a lot in the candy department that I can have, so I started eating ginger chews, and now, I loves them. I’m still not a ginger ale fan, but I have a feeling that’s gonna change before too long. This just goes to show that taste buds really can adapt. Like, not long ago I bought a jar of Jif peanut butter, which I used to have in the top five of my list of Best Things In This World, and now I think it’s too sweet and not peanut-y enough. I was kind of sad to find that out, but also glad because now I’m not tempted to eat it by the jar like I used to sometimes do (ha ha, just kidding, I would never eat a whole jar of peanut butter in one day and then, hypothetically, have my face swell up ). This makes me wonder if I wouldn’t like Twinkies now if I ate one. I almost don’t want to know. Because Twinkies, though not really fit for human consumption, are awesome.

And since I’m whining about allergies, I will add one more complaint. On Friday, we are having a going-away lunch for a coworker. It’s at a Tex-Mex restaurant that I used to love. And there is literally nothing on the menu that I can eat. So I will have to eat before I go and then sit there while everyone else eats some of my favorite food right in front of me. Suuuuuucks. But it will be worth it to show my support. And also, I should rack up enough pity points that it will get me out of several group lunches in the future, so there’s that.

Let’s end on something positive. Staples now sells argyle file folders (at least in the store I was in recently—I don’t see them online). And we all know that I loves the argyle. And I love office supplies. It’s hard to be unhappy when someone has put those two things together. They are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking some up.

*I joke about our paper towels being like something they’d use in prison, but our hand soap is actually made by prisoners, so I’m not sure that these paper towels aren’t actually the same ones they use, if not in prison, then at least in the county jail.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thirsty, much?

What is the limit on the number of beverage containers I'm allowed to have on my desk at the same time? I need to make sure I stop allowing them to collect there before the labels "pathetic" or "pathetically lazy" can accurately be applied to me.

Work-Related Post With No Real Work-Related Substance

I have had a song stuck in my head for three days. I don't even like it. Or at least, I didn't use to like it. But now, I'm starting to like it. I told one of my friends today that it's like a version of Stockholm Syndrome. It sticks around torturing me for long enough, and I start feeling like, hey, it's not so bad.

I had to take some time away from work today to blog because I needed some distance from it. I really need to get some perspective on what I’m working on right now. What was an almost finished document draft is now morphing into a never-gonna-end treatise on the subject. I can’t seem to stop myself from adding more info. It will surprise no one when I say that I suffer from what I call “over-explaininess.” I’m not as bad as some people out there, but I do tend to go a little long. It's not just the blog posts, folks! It happens at work, as well. And my coworkers appreciate just as much as you do.

I don’t really have much to talk about because I don’t do anything interesting at home and I’m hesitant to talk about work too much for fear of getting discovered and then fired. Not that I would talk about anything confidential, but there are definitely some people here who are a little on the sensitive side. As far as I can tell, they do not actually have a sense of humor. But what they do have is the ability to fire me. So. I don’t talk much about work.

But there are some topics about work that I do feel reasonably safe talking about. They aren’t very interesting, though, but that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

(same old coffee rant)
I would first like to spend just a minute to remind the people I work with (who don’t actually know about my blog, so, yes, this is just me venting) that if you leave the pot of coffee sitting on the burner all day, it congeals into something disgusting. That’s why we have a carafe. Please use it. I love coffee, and, what’s more, I need it, so please don’t ruin it for me, and don’t force me to drink gunk. It’s not like we start with high quality stuff to begin with here, so the experience is already pretty much downhill from the moment the brewing starts. Also, I would like you to take a moment to read up on how the coffee brewing process works, so that you will understand that (1) if you don't use enough grounds, the coffee will be bitter, and (2) when you put your cup under the drip to take the first part of the pot of coffee as it brews, you are taking the part that tastes the best and leaving less of the flavor for the rest of us, because (especially when you don't have enough grounds) the part that comes out last is the part that's bitter. So thanks for that, all of you. You should know that for a few seconds of every day, I hate you just a little bit.
(/same old coffee rant)

I managed to get our of our work group lunch this week. Victory! I won’t get into why that makes me happy (see coworkers with no sense of humor, supra). It just really, really does.

[warning: nerdy legal writing discussion begins here]
And continuing on the topic of talking about work without really talking about it, one of my coworkers edited something for me today, and he tried to tell me to change a citation from something that was correct to something that was wrong. Look, dude, I know you don’t know this about me, we’re not that close, so let me just tell you this now---do not mess with me on the Bluebook. The BB is my BFF. We’re tight, man. But he totally had me doubting myself, because wouldn’t he make sure he was right before telling someone else that she had made a mistake? I should have known better. This is the same guy that once tried to change my “Id. §” to an “Id. at §.” You do not “id. at §” statutes, dude, you “id. §” them. Sheesh. I admit to accidentally making BB errors sometimes, so I’m not going to judge if you forget to italicize “see” or occasionally forget your pinpoint cite. It wouldn't be right for me to judge you for your mistakes considering how lazy I’ve gotten about proofreading my own writing. But if you are going to tell someone she’s wrong about a rule, shouldn’t you make sure she’s actually wrong? So that kind of bothered me. This is just another reason why I don’t like editing anything for most of my coworkers. I spend soooo much time making sure that I’m right about anything before I’ll tell anyone to change something that it takes me way too much time. But apparently some people do not feel that pressure.
[end of nerdy legal writing discussion]

Now let's talk about coworkers and binge eating. I’ve noticed something about my coworkers and myself when it comes to the matter of free dessert.

About my coworkers:
Let’s imagine that somebody brings in some dessert for everyone to share. Let’s say it’s a cake. At first, everyone comes in and takes some, so a good portion of it is taken pretty much right away. But then people start coming in to the break room for seconds. But nobody wants to look like That Person, the person who eats all the cake, so people just take a little bit, or they don’t take any but keep coming in to look and see how much is left, only taking some if it looks like it’s going to be all gone soon. So the day goes by, and after the first round of snacking, the amount of cake that’s been consumed stays pretty stable, riiiight up until the end of the day. Then, suddenly, around 4:30, all gone. It's like there is this collective agreement among all office workers that whatever is left at the end of the day is fair game, and you can't be judged for taking whatever you can get your hands on, so everyone rushes in to grab some as soon as it's late enough to qualify as the end of the day. You could go in at 4, even 4:15, and they’ll be pretty much the same amount as there was after lunch, but by 4:30 or 4:45, no cake. Well, I say no cake, but sometimes there’s a teeny, tiny piece left because nobody wants to take the last piece (and note that this piece will be left, sitting on a table, uncovered, all night, and yet the next morning, someone will eat it). But basically, it’s gone. Which means that there are people who are sitting around their offices spending the day planning out when would be the best time to take more cake, judging what time to go into the break room so as to be able get the cake before someone else does but not so early that they look bad. I’m not judging because I’ve certainly done that myself for really fantastic dessert before. I’m just saying that it’s apparently really common.

About me:
I am petty, and I like messing with people. This is what I’ve learned about myself. Because if I am the person that brings the food, I sneak into the break room about 3:30 or 4:00 and take everything that’s left back to my office to take it home with me. Even if I don’t really want it. And if anyone says anything about, “oh, is the [fill in the dessert here] all gone,” I either make vague, noncommittal, “oh, I don't know, is it?” comments, or I outright lie and say it’s all gone, even though I’m usually very uncomfortable with telling lies.

I don’t do this every time, but, yeah, it happens. Because there’s a part of me that thinks, look, if you want to be the person that eats several pieces of cake in one day, I’m cool with that. It’s not a good idea, but I’m in no place to judge. I have, on more than one occasion, consumed an entire large bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups just in the time it took me to drive from the grocery store to my house (for obvious reasons, I’m not allowed to eat these anymore). But you gotta own it. Just be that person. I’m just not going to help you if you want to pretend that this isn’t what’s going on, that you aren’t obsessing over food–food!!—and getting really weirdly possessive and predatory about eating way too many empty calories. Especially if you are going to then tell me that I don’t get enough nutrients in my diet and proceed to give me advice on eating a balanced diet. Not that that’s ever happened. But if it did ever happen, that might make me enjoy messing with you by taking your food away and then denying it, which you can't challenge me on even though you want to because that would basically be an admission that you have food issues. Hypothetically.

So that’s basically work these days. I don’t want to give the impression that I dislike my coworkers, because I actually really, really like 95% of them. Just not the 5% who don’t know how to make coffee.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Song(s) of the Day

Today, I'm cleaning the abode, which makes me feel better but isn't exactly exciting. When I'm doing heavy-duty tidying, I like to have some music playing that makes it seem more fun. What about you? Need some pick-me-up music today? Maybe one of these will work for you.

(1) "Home," Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. You can listen to it on their myspace page. Yes, they are a bunch of hippies, but that doesn't bother me (and no, Deals, not because I'm one of them---still shaving! still bathing! don't wear patchouli!), and I hope it won't bother you.

I don't know where I was when this album came out last year because I totally missed it. But I'm trying to play catch-up---I've had this song playing more or less constantly for the last month.

Not your style? Try this one:
(2) "Down The Road Tonight," by Hayes Carll.
I just love Hayes Carll. I'm a little sad I didn't go see him when he was in town recently, but the show didn't start until 10pm. 10pm!! I'm old, y'all. I can't stay up that late.

I'd also recommend "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart," "It's a Shame," "Good Friends," and "Beaumont," but they don't fall into the "pick me up" category. If this song doesn't make you bop around your house, you must be dead inside (or at least you must be in the throws of depression).

Want something a little bit more smooth? Can't go wrong with Robert Cray:

(3) "24-7 Man" and "All the Way," by Robert Cray.
Take Your Shoes Off may be one of the most perfect albums of all time if you like your music with a dash of the blues. Well, even if you don't. When it came out, "24-7" was on rotation at our house pretty much, well, 24-7. "All the way" is slow, not at all bop-around-the-house music, but it's got soul, man. As RR said, "if it's a nice Spring day, it's sunny, the house is clean, and I've got nothing to do, this is the only song I want to listen to."

I hope these songs help you forget that it's Sunday, which means we all have to go to work tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Incident, as we are calling it

Last night, I got to tag along with some friends (thanks again, you guys!) to see Eddie Izzard. In a word: awesome. I had such a great time.

In other news, let’s see, what’s been going since last we met? Hmm. Not much. The holidays were pretty uneventful.

Oh, yeah, I haven't talked about The Incident yet. Cheese and crackers, y’all, I owe RR big time. BIG TIME. If it weren’t for her, I might be dead.* (link contains NSFW language). Ok, I may be exaggerating slightly. But here’s what happened.

See, because I am sick and tired of feeling like dirt all the time because of my allergies, I signed up to get allergy shots. You know, you go to your doctor and get injected with minuscule amounts of what you are allergic to, and then when your body gets used to that, you start getting injected with slightly less minuscule amounts of the allergens, and so on, until eventually you have trained your immune system not to freak out that "holy moly, it's duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust!!!!!"

On a side note, I hope it helps with the cat allergies soon because Wally has started doing something RR and I call “upcreep.” He used to sleep down by my feet, and, in cold weather, behind my knees (or, if I made the mistake of sleeping on my back, then on my knees, and if you’ve never had 10 pounds sitting on your knees, pressing them slowly but persistently backward in the direction that knees do not bend, be glad). But lately, he’s started creeping upward in his quest for prime cuddling real estate.

It started when the weather got colder. He’s always turned into velcro when it’s cold, but this year, man, I have one leg under the covers, and he’s already trying to climb up the sheets that I’m holding up to get under. It’s very pitiful. So, I guess the knees don’t generate enough heat, and maybe he was informed that women have most of their heat not at their extremities but to keep their innards warm, because he started creeping up to sleep on my stomach. Which, hey, great, let’s just think of that as a diet aid because you can’t eat too much at night or too close to bedtime if you want to get any sleep with ten pounds standing on your stomach and if you don’t want to, you know, throw up, or, best case scenario, spend the night with excruciating acid reflux. And if you think I can just roll over and get him off of me, you are mistaken. He’s very good at shifting his weight.

Anyway, then he started creeping up to “the girls,” if you will, which also, DON’T WANT TEN POUNDS PRESSING DOWN. If I slept on my side, he creeped up to my upper arms, and ten pounds on arm=arm falling asleep. But now he’s almost to my collarbone. I think he’s either trying to get to my axis of snorgling, or it’s part of his master plan to suffocate me one night. Either way, he seems pretty pleased with himself.


So, on the Monday before Christmas, RR and I had taken the day off because we had not done one bit of Christmas shopping, and we wanted to knock it all out in one day. RR agreed to go with me to get my allergy shot first. By now I’ve worked my way up to only slightly diluted shots. I didn’t feel great that day, and they say don’t get your shot if you don’t feel well, but I’d done it before, and it was on my to-do list. So we go, wait the 15 minutes they make you wait after your shot, and leave. So far so good.

Then we go right around the corner to get Einsteins coffee, where this incredibly rude couple practically slams the door on us going in and then takes freakin’ forever to decide on their bagel order, because oh, I don’t know, maybe I want to breakfast bagel, do you have any more of the plain ones? just the plain ones? like in the back? hmm, I don’t know, so, hmm, and SWEET BEANS AND RICE I JUST WANT COFFEE. So, hated them.

Anyway, we go a few minutes up the road to our first shopping destination. While we were there, I started coughing a bit. No big deal. But I kept having to cough. And I kept coughing for longer, and it was like one of those coughs where you get into a loop, and the more you cough, the more you need to cough. And I thought, what the frak is going on here? And then it dawned on me, thank God, that maybe there was the sliiiiightest possibility that it was in some way related to my allergy shot. Not wanting RR to be alarmed, but thinking it might be a good idea if someone else knew what might be going on, I nonchalantly mentioned to RR that I could maaybe be pooossibly having a bad reaction.

She, of course, was exactly as alarmed as I thought she’d be, but I insisted, hacking all the while, that we go to the store next door because they had candy. RR looked skeptical but agreed not to drag me bodily to the car, keeping her eye on me the whole time. I agreed to let her drive when we left, though. You know. Just in case.

So as we were leaving the candy store, the coughing got worse (this whole period since the coughing began in earnest probably wasn’t more than 5 minutes or so?), and then the wheezing began. Wheezing that started out sounding like an asthma attack and then moved into wheezing that made me think, “crap, was that me that just made that sound?” RR wanted me to use my epinephrine pen. Me: (cough) No (wheeze) I’m feeling better. RR: [Skeptical look]

RR said she was driving me straight back to the doctor. I said she wasn’t. She reminded me that she had the keys, and I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. I didn’t want to look like one of those people who assumes she’s about to die when she gets a paper cut, so I asked if she’d just call the doctor’s office, and if they agreed that they needed to see me, then we’d go. So she talked to them and, yeah, they made me come back.

The whole drive there, I was all, “I'm feeling better!” and "I don't want to get on the cart." RR: [not buying it]

I really did seem to be wheezing less, or at least, the sounds started to sound like wheezing and not non-human sounds. So I fully expected the doctor’s office to be all, “well, let’s take a look at you, hmm, yep, sit here for a few minutes, and if it gets worse, we’ll do something.” Instead, I walked back to the nurses’ area and said, “my sister just called about —“ and before I could get any further, the nurse cut me off, said, "Yep, let's go," and took me into the little evaluation area, where three nurses started taking my vitals and asking for details (maybe it was a slow day at the office). My doctor, who I love, was out on vacation, but her practice partner, who is also great, was in the office that day. He came in and asked me about exactly what happened, and when I told him about it, he asked if I’d used my epinephrine, and I said no, and he and the nurses said, exasperated, basically, “FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, WHY NOT?” And I tried out my “feeling much better” line and said I was just waiting to see if I got to where I couldn’t get in any air, because surely that is when I could be certain I was having anaphylaxis. And the doctor’s kind but firm response involved the phrases “by the time” and “would be dead.” So, basically, DON’T wait until you actually cannot get any air in to use your epinephrine. It maybe will not go well to try and use your epinephrine after you've passed out.

So then, yeah, I started to cry. I just felt so, so stupid. Plus, I felt like crap. You know, from the anaphylaxis. And stupid. And then they all looked like they felt really bad for me, the poor crying stupid woman, and one of the nurses handed me a bunch of tissues with this "there, there," pitying look. They were sweet. It was so embarrassing.

Somewhere in all that they gave me a shot of epinephrine, and then they kindly but firmly reminded me that taking your epinephrine when you don’t need it won’t cause any health damage but not using it when you DO need it will.

Then the doctor asked if I needed a breathing treatment, and I said, “No *wheeze* *sob* *wheeze* I’m feeling better.” Seriously. What is wrong with me? But he just gave me a look, kind of like the look your parents give you when you’re a kid and you say that yes, you did brush your teeth, when really you hadn’t. And I said, ok, yeah, maybe, treatment, yes. And so they gave me a breathing treatment and some other kind of medication. And after the breathing treatment, the doctor asked how I felt, and I said much better, and he said, “See, now I don’t believe you.” Which, of course, I deserved. But I DID feel better. Shaky from the epinephrine and the breathing treatment, still a little reaction-y from the shot, but no longer like I was facing (bum-bum-bum) Certain Doom! After making me sit there for a little longer, and pretty much every nurse there coming to check on me (they are all so sweet), they finally let me go.

The positive that I’m taking away from the experience is that I feel like I have permission to take a bad reaction seriously and not feel like I’m a hypochondriac for using the epinephrine. The lingering downside, however, is that RR was right. And everyone at the doctor’s office told her so. And, in front of her, asked me, wasn’t I glad she was there with me? Which I was of course. But now I will never get to be in charge of my own health again. Anytime I think I don’t need to go the doctor, this is going to come back to haunt me. She’ll be all, “you’re not alright, you had a ‘sode.

But I’m glad that she was there and that she’s all paranoid about my health, so I guess I’ll just have to take it. And also, this past week, the shoe was on the other foot (how's your finger, sis?), so there's that.