Sunday, June 27, 2010

Heading for rehab

posted Tue, 30 Oct 2007

SH: My neck really hurts!

Me: Would you like a hot pad?

SH: No. [three minutes later] Ouch. This really, really hurts.

Me: Would you like some motrin?

SH: No. [three minutes later] [pitiful moans]

Me: Are you sure you don’t want some motrin?

SH: No. I don’t want to become an addict.

[Repeat over three days, with SH surrendering to the drugs on day two, but going cold turkey on day three. Why? “I don’t want to become an addict.”]

Seen and not heard

posted Mon, 29 Oct 2007

Skating with SH.

Bossy, on the road to being a socialist kid: No helmets!

Me: We’re grownups. We’re allowed to be stupid.

What I should have said: We’re grownups. We pay our own health insurance. Now shut up.

He knows me so well

posted Mon, 29 Oct 2007

After a huge supper at The BBQ shop, the leftovers of which have given us three more meals.

SH: It’s the end of the month. I have to go to Baskin Robbins.

Me: What does it being the end of the month have to do with it?

SH: Because this is my only chance to get the flavor of the month.

Me: Which is?

SH: Jamocha Oreo and chocolate Oreo. But I really shouldn’t.

Me: I’m not the boss of you. I’m not the food police. If you want ice cream, get some.

SH: I’ll be back in ten minutes. I’m walking. Do you want some?

Me: No, I don’t need it. Besides, I don’t like Oreos.

SH: How can you not like Oreos?

Me: They’re dry and icky. Besides, why would I eat a store-bought cookie when homemade is so much better?

SH: But Oreos are different.

Me: No, they’re not. My mom never made us eat Oreos. She baked really good cookies.

Ten minutes later, SH walks in and hands me a half-eaten cone.

SH: I know you said you didn’t want any, but do you want a taste?

Me: Of course.

The Devil Wears Prada had nothing on this lady

posted Thu, 25 Oct 2007

I wish I had recorded this conversation, because my friend is so funny in how she tells the story, but all I can do is give you the facts.

Kristy and I were sharing temp horror stories. She had a temp job once where the boss

1. Insisted on having a pitcher of ice water ready on her desk every morning. The water had to be a certain temperature – not too cold because she had dental problems. Kristy had to take the thermometer from the boss’s desk drawer and take the temperature of the water before the boss arrived and make sure it was just right.
2. Required Kristy to type the letters because she didn’t want to wait for her memos and letters to be printed on the shared laser printer. She would give Kristy only one sheet of stationery at a time, so if Kristy made a mistake (which, let’s face it, if you’re used to a computer, you’re probably not as careful as you would be if the typewriter were your only thing), she had to ask for another sheet of stationery.
3. Had Kristy open every piece of mail, staple the envelope to the letter, then create a file for each letter, even if it was junk mail. Kristy was not supposed to read the letters, just prepare a stack of manila folders every day.

Kristy and I agreed that many people must be accustomed to working with idiots when they get a temp and don’t know how to deal with someone of normal or even above-average intelligence, but then we wondered if there were really that many clueless people out there.

Oh, yes, Kristy remembered, there are. She knew someone who sent faxes of the blank side of the paper for her first month on the job. When she finally figured out how to send them the right way, she became concerned that she was sending one upside down, so removed the document from the fax machine and put it back in the other way.

He stopped loving her today

posted Wed, 24 Oct 2007

At a friend’s, talking about how long men hold crushes:

SH: But unrequited love doesn’t last for years.

Me: Oh come on. How long did you carry a torch for Sally? (The woman he was crazy about in college and whom he visits, along with her third husband, when he goes to Dallas for work.)

SH: That’s different. Besides, I’m over her now.

Me: Men and boys can wait a long time to get what they want.

My friend, to her fifth-grade son: Will, how long have you liked Missy? [back to us] She’s adorable. He has good taste. I think he’s liked her since second grade.

Will [not even looking up from the game he is playing in the living room]: Since kindergarten.

My friend: Do you still like her?

Will [rolling his eyes]: Yes!

Me: See?

She was not nice to mice

posted Tue, 23 Oct 2007

I am sick and tired of paying Walgreen’s “we are super convenient, usually have what you want, are open 24/7 and have a great business strategy so we can charge you higher prices” prices for rat poison, so I went to Home Depot to get an industrial-sized box.

What I am really tired of is rats. I have not seen them, but have heard them snickering under the floor and have seen the expensive rat poison disappear a day after I put it out. Four blocks. Gone overnight. And yet the rats – or whatever they are – live. If I could capture them, I would send them to the D-Con research labs. Except that would mean I would have to touch rats, and ever since the fourteen rabies shots in my tummy* after I was foolish enough to play with the mouse in the window well after my mother told me not to and the mouse bit me and my mother knew, even though I had wrapped that bloody finger in Kleenex at my friend’s house, I have not been particularly fond of rodents or interested in touching them.

So I am at the Home Depot, in which I should have bought stock years ago, along with stock in Walgreen’s, and examining the rat poison for the package with the biggest skull and crossbones, and I read something on one of the packages that struck me as odd. The claim is that this poison did not contain the blah blah anticoagulant.

I am assuming they meant that this was a good thing in that the rat would not bleed to death, but why would they think that someone who is buying rat poison is worried about rodent suffering? I surely am not. I don’t care. I could have bought a little humane rat trap and released the rodents into the wild or into the next block over, but then they would just go into someone else’s house. I don’t want to move the problem; I want to end it.

Not only do I want them dead, I want them to die a painful death for the annoyance they have caused me. I have had to spend money on rat poison that I could have spent on chocolate. Or the heating bill. Something important. I don’t care if they hurt. I would squash their heads myself if I could do so without getting my shoes dirty.

I now await the nasty messages from PETA.

* And now I read that the anti-rabies series from 1969 probably wouldn’t have even worked if I had contracted rabies. Great. Painful yet ineffective. (Although had I been in my mother’s place back then, I would have done the same thing. Who knew?)


posted Wed, 17 Oct 2007

At the assisted living facility where my almost-95-years-old grandmother lives:

Granma: How old are you again?

Me: Almost 44.

Granma: And how old is that boyfriend of yours?

Me: Ummm... 42.

Granma: Well, you better get cracking!

Three minutes later:

Granma: How old are you again?

Me: 43.

Granma: And how old is your boyfriend?

Me: 42.

Granma: High time you got married, both of you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Always the last to know

posted Wed, 10 Oct 2007

Remember the part where I wrote about the people not wanting the house because it had only one bathroom for two persons? And I thought that was ridiculous and stupid?

Looks like I was wrong.

I am finally reading my new issue of People, which was not delivered until today, even though it was on newsstands last Friday. I left a note for the mailman asking why I used to get it on Friday and now don’t get it until Monday (or later) but I guess she didn’t know that the paper attached to the mailbox was for her (I guess that was a stretch that someone would put a note for the mailman on the mailbox) and didn’t answer my question.

She did, however, leave the magazine, which contains this revelation from Rosie O’Donnell’s new book about her time on that tv show that I have never seen and do not care to, much as I know my true destiny is to loll around all day eating chocolate and being entertained.

She said, complaining about her dressing room, “My whole life was ruined because there was not a private bathroom.”

Well. Now I understand how important it is to have a ratio of at least one bathroom per person. How could I have been so wrong? When someone I respect as much as R O’D speaks, I listen.

From the frying pan into the fire

posted Wed, 10 Oct 2007

And then, dear reader, it got worse.

There are tasks worse than filing.

You read that right.

Worse than filing. What could possibly be worse than filing four years’ worth of documents, you ask? (Who lets her filing get backed up four years? The people I was sent to help, that’s who, although not sent to help with new and improved processes but sent to enable the current bad processes that led to four years' worth of backed-up filing.)

What’s worse than filing is removing the continuous-feed paper from a 24” tall box, opening the first page, and flipping through until you see the end of the sales history for that account. Then you tear the page and put the Aardvark Inc pages in a stack and look for the next account.

24” of thin computer paper.

Six boxes. One of them damaged in shipping so the papers have been torn and restuffed out of order back into the box. Six times 24" is -- well, a lot. I'm too tired to do the math.

It’s paying the health insurance, it’s paying the health insurance. And it’s only one more day.

A romantic conversation with my sweetie

posted Tue, 09 Oct 2007

SH: One of the people we met with today is a transsexual.

Me: Is that the kind that likes to wear women’s clothes or the one who cuts it off?

SH: It’s someone who changes sex.

Me: What direction did this person go? In or out?

SH: He was a man and is now a woman.

Me: Has he been chopped yet?

SH: I don’t know! He has breasts.

Me: Facial hair?

SH: Not that I noticed.

Me: What does he look like? Does he look better than me?

SH: No! You look way better. He looks like guy trying to look like a woman.

Me: What do you think is on his passport?

SH: I don’t know. Genetically, he’s a man. Are you allowed to choose which sex you put on your passport?

Me: What was he wearing?

SH: I wasn’t paying attention. He’s decent technically; that’s all I noticed.

Me: A skirt? Pants?

SH: Pants.

Me: Heels or flats?

SH: Heels.

Me: Makeup?

SH: Yes.

Me: Did he have long nails?

SH: I don’t know! I don’t pay attention to things like that!

Me: But you know I am going to ask these questions. You should have looked so you could have been prepared. Was there any vibe?

SH: Vibe?

Me: You know. The vibe there is between men and women.

SH: No! If anything, he had negative femininity. He sucked femininity out of the room.

Me: How tall was he?

SH: 5’9”, 5’10”.

Me: I’ll bet he has a hard time finding shoes.

Maybe it`s TWB

Maybe it`s TWB
posted Tue, 09 Oct 2007

So I’m out working in my yards, trying to figure out how to get grass to grow in the yard and not in the flowerbeds, when my neighbor comes over. She tells me that she has shown our in-between neighbors’ house, which is for sale, a few times because she has a key and the realtor has become embroiled in a nasty divorce and asked if she could rent the house herself, which does seem like a tiny little conflict of interest.

Any interest? I ask, always wanting to keep my finger on the pulse of the real estate market in my neighborhood.

Although who wouldn’t want to live next to this shrine?

“A few people have looked at it,” she said, “but they all have the same complaint.”

The crummy yard next door? I wonder.


“I showed it to this young couple – no kids and they said, ‘But there’s only one bathroom!’ I told them my husband and I lived the first ten years of our marriage with one bathroom and did just fine.”

“Families with three kids lived in these houses when they were first built,” I said.

“I grew up in a house like this, three kids, one bathroom.” She sighed.

SH and I get along just fine on one bathroom when he’s here. He has two bathrooms at his place, but we use only one of the showers (less cleaning). Are people so in need of instant gratification that they can’t wait three minutes if they have to pee?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bloody but unbowed

posted Tue, 09 Oct 2007

I dread going to “work” today, where my captors will probably ask me to make staples from scratch, as was the sharp-toothed baby in the Lemony Snicket series who was forced to be the secretary for the headmaster of the awful boarding school.

What fresh hell is this?

posted Mon, 08 Oct 2007

Day 5 (although it seems like Day 50,000) of my captivity

My tormentors have tried everything to get me to talk: They have made me file papers in a storeroom where the files are not really in alphabetical order and then forbidden me to put them in order. “No! Do not put 7-11 in the S’s; it stays in its place between Eaton and FedEx.” They did the same with 3M. Shouldn’t it be under the “T’s?” NO! It goes before “Amgen!” [They might have had a point - numerals before letters.]

They have made me create filing labels with an old typewriter.

They have made me erect boxes and fill them with papers until my hands and forearms bled.

But I have not yielded. Our country’s secrets are safe with me.

Today, they cranked it up. They made me photocopy, staple and collate.


The copying. The stapling – only to unstaple again for the next iteration of the task, which would be more collating. Collating of papers that were out of alphabetical order! The sheer monotony of it all.

But I did not break. No matter how many times they asked me to “confess,” I refused. Even if the Geneva Conventions do not cover those out of uniform, making me subject to their cruel, cruel torture, I am stronger than they are. Give me liberty or give me death is what I say. They will never get a word out of me.

Ordering people

posted Sun, 07 Oct 2007

My Serious Honey finally said the words I’ve been waiting so long to hear – the words any woman longs for and hopes for and imagines:

“When you get here next week, we’ll throw away all the old magazines I’ve accumulated.”


I am an organizer. I hate clutter. When you’ve moved about a gajillion times in your life and have had to do most of the moving yourself, you decide very quickly what you can live without. Me, I can live without almost anything. I need a bed and a table and a dresser, but I don’t keep books or magazines or letters* or Christmas cards or old clothes that don’t fit and never looked good on me anyhow. I do keep empty boxes and those cute little gift bags that you use instead of wrapping paper, but that’s because I am cheap and re-use them. If I didn’t have an attic in which to store them, though, they would be gone. Yes. I am that ruthless.

SH, on the other hand, has moved very few times in his life. He also has the clutter gene.*2 To his credit, his clutter is organized, but it is still clutter. He has a lot of stuff. Lots of old t-shirts that have sentimental value: “That’s the t-shirt I got from the first time I went to Summerfest!” or “From that project I worked on at Apple!” or “From that thing at college!” Note that he does not wear these t-shirts; he just has them.*3

But, as I said, his stuff is organized. The magazines are stacked neatly in piles 30” high. The old coupons that expired three years ago are all in one group on top of the boxes that have never been opened. Napkins are stuffed behind the knife block. His stuff has its place.

Still, it takes up too much room. There is nowhere for me to put my stuff when I am there (OK, he did clear out a lot of his closet and one dresser drawer and I am – mwah! – so proud of him for that!) and it’s hard to get around his office.

I am thrilled at the chance to clear some of the clutter out. I’m good at clearing and organizing: the temp filing/cleaning out the office job I had last week? They had budgeted over a week to get it done.

It took me three and a half days. I don’t know if they were expecting an idiot or if I am just truly amazing. I suspect the latter.*4

Even my friends tell me I should become a professional organizer. They point out that 1) I am organized and 2) I love telling people what to do. Getting paid to get people to bend to my will would be the dream job.

For the nonce, though, I will do it for love.

* Youngsters, people actually used to put words on paper, either by hand or with a typewriter, which is a machine like a computer but with no electricity or interweb involved, and then put the paper in an envelope with a stamp and let the US Postal Service deliver it. The getting of a letter was a special occasion and the letter would be re-read many times. Receiving a letter was such a special thing that some people saved their letters; after they died, their descendents read all their private business and sometimes even made the letters into books.

*2 Yes, it’s genetic. If tidiness and minimalism were the result of nurture, my brother would not live as he does.

*3 Although as the woman who keeps The Red Shoes just because she likes owning them, even if she never gets to wear them, I probably should not be throwing stones.

*4 A friend pointed out that I was being paid by the hour and should maybe slow down. Not a chance. I like organizing, but not enough to drag it out. The whole point is to get it done.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How to make money at the movies

posted Fri, 05 Oct 2007

1. When the reel changes and the new reel is being played upside down, backwards and with no sound, go downstairs and tell the popcorn girl about the malfunction.
2. Return to auditorium.
3. Wait three minutes for movie to be fixed.
4. Return to popcorn stand and tell the next person there (popcorn girl has left) that the movie is being played upside down, backwards and with no sound. Ask him when it will be fixed.
5. Wait for his answer.
6. He doesn’t give one, but original popcorn girl returns. Ask her when the movie will be fixed. She tells you, “The projectionist says there is nothing he can do about it.”
7. Ask her what the heck she means. “Talk to the manager,” she says, and points at an older man.
8. Tell the manager the movie is being played upside, backwards and with no sound and that the projectionist says there is nothing he can do about it.
9. Wait for manager to call projectionist on his walkie-talkie.
10. Watch manager shake his head, roll his eyes and sigh. “Go to Guest Services for a refund,” he tells you.
11. Go downstairs to Guest Services. Tell Guest Server that in addition to the refund, you also want a free pass. “I cain’t do that,” she tells you. When the manager calls her on her walkie-talkie to instruct her to refund ticket money to anyone who complains about auditorium 22, tell her to ask him if she can give me a pass.
12. Collect ticket money and free pass and leave. Decide not to bother returning to see the movie again because it wasn’t that great.

Unemployment has some advantages

posted Fri, 05 Oct 2007

What I don't miss about corporate America

The jargon: “Level set me on this.”

The requirement that one perform miracles:

Boss X: “I’m not comfortable with your using my computer.” (To make file labels.)

Me: “A typewriter might work better anyhow.”

Boss X: “See if you can find one.” (Then leaves for a two-hour meeting. Keep in mind I had been there for a day and a half and knew no one.)

The stupid management decisions:

Nice employee: “Boss X wants us to start scanning every document we get before filing it or sending it to the warehouse.”

Me: “But you get hundreds of documents a week.”

Nice employee: “Yes. Our storage company actually has a scanning service.”

Me: “So Boss X would rather have you guys spending your time scanning instead of actually attending to business?”

Nice employee: “Um, yes.”

The suffering:

When you have the 3:00 drags and all the coke machines are out of diet Dr Pepper.

What I do miss

The money

Maybe they use the same filing system as the library

posted Wed, 03 Oct 2007

In what alphabet -- in what world -- does “Seven-Eleven” come after “Domino’s” and before “Eaton?” How about “3M” coming between “Apogee” and “AutoZone?” What am I missing here? I didn’t think filing for $11/hour would be that complicated, but apparently, I don’t know the proper alphabet.

On a related note, Macy’s sent me a postcard asking did I remember how much fun it was to work there last Christmas and don’t I want to do it again?

I’ll have to get back to them on that.


Another great benefit of doing nothing but handling paper and boxes for three days is that when you chop onions for your watery bean soup with no meat, because that is all you can afford on $11/hour, you know right away that you have the good, sharp onions. I decided to go with dried peppers instead of fresh once I had this information.

Why wasn`t I born rich #3,273

posted Mon, 01 Oct 2007

I do not know how you working people do it. Working stinks. I mean it. It’s a drag and it’s boring and it makes you tired. Why do people do this again?

Today I started a two-week temp job. Yay because I need money (unfortunately, working with Lindley has not made me rich), boo because I would rather be at home, eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. No, I don’t have a TV, but you know what I mean.

What I want to know is how someone (my temp boss’ predecessor) ran a group for ten years and never filed. I’m talking about six years’ worth of vendor statements stacked on the credenza. Drawers full of mashed copies of emails (no date, no subject – what customer was this about again?). Random items paperclipped or rubber banded together. Handwritten notes. Vendor contact names and phone numbers from 1998. Yeah, Cathy Jones in Receivables is surely still there.

So I spent all day sorting through papers, trying to understand this industry. (I can’t tell you what it is – I signed a confidentiality agreement. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.) All I got out of it was a lot of paper cuts, but then, that means there was a lot of paper, which is what everyone needs to use so I’ll have a pension some day. (Trees are a crop – repeat after me – Trees are a crop.)

I’m ready to retire. This is too hard and it cuts into my interweb time.

There are women dying of lack of chocolate somewhere!

posted Tue, 02 Oct 2007

Why would someone do this? In case you can’t really tell, this is a photo of cupcakes in a trash can. On a trash can. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time trying to get the perfect photo because a Kroger lady and her husband were sitting on the bench by the trash can eating their Kroger Chinese takeout and they were looking at me funny for taking pictures of a trash can. If they hadn’t been there, I would have eaten a cupcake. Oh, like you wouldn’t.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stay away from my boyfriend

posted Sun, 30 Sep 2007

SH went out the other night, as is his wont when I am not there and he is so, so lonely that he must drown his sorrows in beer and karaoke. He sat alone at a table, minding his own business, drinking his exotic, high-hops tap beer and thinking about how much he missed me and how empty his life was when I’m not around. He was so lonely and bored that he was actually people watching, which is something he rarely does – it is usually up to me to point out the woman whose skirt is tucked into her pantyhose or the girl with “JUICY!” written across her butt, which is just the look I would want my pre-teen daughter to sport, or the lesbian couple wearing tuxedos and shouldn’t they be in dresses because tuxedos are for men and black tie means formal for your sex and not literally black tie unless you are a man and women in tuxedos look as bad as women in khakis and polo shirts.*

There was a woman – let’s call her Boyfriend-stealing B—OK, let’s call her Barb. Barb sat at the bar alone and rebuffed approach after approach. After a while, she came to SH’s table and asked if she could sit with him. Her story was that she was on a date with the guy who ran the karaoke show, but karaoke show guy was not interested in Barb in person – this was their first live date after meeting on She had driven up from Chicago to meet karaoke guy*2 and now things weren’t going so well.

OK. I can understand how a woman might not want to be sitting alone when she is supposed to be on a date and how maybe sitting with SH would deter the would-be Lotharios from hitting on her. I can’t understand why she just didn’t leave if it was clear that she and karaoke guy weren’t going to work out, but obviously, it was because she had designs on MY MAN. That, of course, is completely understandable because SH, with his baby blue eyes, dimples, cute butt and sexy smile, is totally babalicious and women look at us when we are together and shoot daggers at me with their eyes, all the time wondering, “What’s he doing with her? He could do so much better, like me!”

But they leave us alone because I work out and could take them down and they know it.

So Bi—I mean, Barb, sits with SH. Because the bar is full and there are almost no empty seats, this other guy joins them. When Barb goes to the bathroom, Other Guy tells SH he thinks Barb is hot and he wants to get into her pants.*3

When Barb returns, OG mentions that there is a band next door. “We should go!” Barb says. SH declines. He didn’t like her, he told me. She was totally Type A hyper and way too thin.

Jennifer Anniston thin? I ask.

Yeah, but angular, he said.

Then I have a good 30 pounds on her, I told him.

I like how you look, not how she looks, he said. I don’t like women who are bony like that.

Good. Good answer. I am built for comfort, not for speed.

So Barb and OG are getting ready to go to the other bar. Barb asks SH for his card. Don’t have one, he says.

“That’s OK,” she tells him. “I’ll track you down.”

Which she does! Girlfriend googled my SH, got his phone number and CALLED HIM!*4

SH was nonplussed. He wasn’t sure why she was calling him and wasn’t sure what to say to her.*5 I suggested he could have just said, “I have a girlfriend,”*6 but he said he was so surprised at the phone call and then wasn’t sure if she was interested in him THAT WAY or if she really just wanted someone to go sing with.

OF COURSE she was interested in him THAT WAY. That’s why she went through all the work to find and call him.

SH just put her off, though. She gave him her number and told him she would drive up from Chicago if he wanted to go out. Umm, OK, SH said, then called to tell me the story.

Poor girl. She needs her own SH, not mine.

* I should note that the reason I have the luxury of people watching when he and I are walking somewhere is that he is doing the hard work of navigating and I am just following him.

*2 First clue – if a guy is really interested, he’ll do the work. I went out with this guy in Miami for a while. He lived in Ft Lauderdale (we met on the commuter train) and would take the train to Miami, then walk the two miles from the stop to my house, even though I had offered to pick him up. On our first date, he repaired my dryer, which gave me a false sense of our compatibility – I had major appliances, he had mechanical ability – and I dated him longer than I should have.

*3 Maybe not those words, but that’s what was going on.

*4 Second clue – if a guy is interested, he’ll call you. My mother spent years trying to convince me of this, but I ignored her and ignored her, all to my distress. Chasing boys never brought me anything but heartache. If they want you enough, they will find you. SH got my numbers from our mutual friend the day after we met – then waited THREE DAYS to answer my email, so I thought he was messing with me. He told me that he had been caught in a snowstorm in Minneapolis and had suffered through flight cancellations and getting to the hotel at you know, 4:00 a.m. before going to work at 8 for 12 hours, but I still think he could have answered my email, don’t you? It all worked out in the end, though, and he’s the best boyfriend in the world.

*5 Because he is such a cutie! Because she wanted to go out with him! Because Bi— wanted to STEAL MY BOYFRIEND!

*6 I do understand him on this one. I have had guys ask me to lunch or suggest some activity and I haven’t been sure if I was being asked on a date or a “just friends” thing. I have always hesitated to say, “I have a boyfriend,” because what if they weren’t asking me for a date and then would roll their eyes and say, “Oh, right! AS IF I would be interested in dating YOU!”

Small victories #114

posted Wed, 26 Sep 2007

At the grocery store:

Clerk: Is that 20 items?

Two guys with a full basket: Ummm. We don’t know.

Clerk: This is the express line. You cain’t have more than 20 in there.

Guys: What if we write two checks?

Clerk: It don’t work that way. I stop at 20. They’s other people in the line.

Why must I suffer this way?

posted Fri, 21 Sep 2007

You know what ticks me off? When I come from a long day at work – 11:00–7:45, where I did almost nothing but toil on the invoices for the client from hell, including her outstanding payables from May and I can’t even charge her interest, even though it says at the bottom of the invoice that we will charge 1.5% per month for past dues, because the designer is scared the CFH will pitch a fit and refuse to pay anything, and find nothing in my mailbox.

It’s Friday.

People magazine is supposed to be here.

All I want is to sit down with an apple and peanut butter (OK, really with a brownie, but I took them* to work today and surprise! five women ate the entire tray) and read the trash, but the new postwoman doesn’t deliver my People on Friday; she waits until Monday. I know she’s holding out on me, probably keeping the magazine in the PO break room so she can thumb through it while she drinks her Mountain Dew and eats her Ho-Hos. I know it’s available on Friday because Lawrence, my former mailman and the best mailman I ever had, always brought it on Friday.

Can’t a working woman get a break around here?

* They were supposed to be all vegan and healthful – ha – healthful brownies, which might be why Kroger was discontinuing them and I got the box for only $1.00. They wanted me to use margarine (which I have never in my life had in my kitchen) and no eggs, but brownies taste better with butter and eggs, so that’s what I used and darned if they didn’t taste too bad.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some things never change

posted Thu, 13 Sep 2007

Words of wisdom from my sweet grandmother, who moved into an assisted-living place. (She is in the same place where my other grandmother – the beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking one – was before she died and where she and I watched the Elvis impersonator together one afternoon – it’s slim pickings for Elvis impersonators in northern Wisconsin, but the old folks were very polite.)

I bet you have some nice flowers in your yard. I miss not having my own yard, otherwise I like it here, but sometimes I miss my own cooking. So enjoy it while you can….

Aren’t you going to get married pretty soon? Don’t you want a family of kids, etc?

Beauty school dropout

posted Wed, 12 Sep 2007

It has been a year since SH last highlighted my hair (highlit?). He did a great job, but that highlighting was on top of a couple of “I wonder what my hair would look like red?” and “Oh – not so good – maybe I’ll cover it with brown” and “Well, that didn’t work – maybe I just need a different shade” experiments.

The last few haircuts I’ve had, the hairdresser has run her fingers through my hair and ordered me never to color it myself again.

It’s a little bit spooky in the school – kind of like the aftermath of the French Revolution.

So I have abstained for a year. I even returned the L’Oreal highlighting kit that I bought at Walgreen’s last January to the store today. I couldn’t believe they took it, but it was worth a shot, now that I am not going to be turning my own hair into straw.

But my hair has looked awful. Drab, mousy, shot with gray. Ick. Then there were the bad haircuts on top of it. (Some of them self-inflicted – apparently, I will never learn that lesson.) Yet I couldn’t bring myself to spend $120 to go to my wonderful former hairdresser, Geri, for a cut and highlights. That’s an awful lot of money for someone who tries to figure out protein complementarities and who waits for peanut butter to go on sale (except for the chocolate peanut butter, but I haven’t bought that in months) to save money on her grocery bill.

Then, after I saw a sign in the window promoting pedicures for $8 on an episode of “Whose Wedding Is It Anyhow?” it occurred to me to google “pedicure” and “Memphis,” which led me to the local beauty school.

This is the good deal! Sure, it’s mostly little old ladies getting their wash and set, but I’m not going to complain as long as my haircut is $7 and my highlights are $44. It took the girl an hour and a half** to put in the foils, but it all blends perfectly.* This should last for a good long time. Well, several months, anyhow. Maybe I’ll have an income source by then.

* “Oh yeah, you blend.” I know what movie that’s from. Do you?

** Which was long enough to eavesdrop on several conversations:

“Milking is cruel to a cow! We don’t eat anything from animals at our house.”
“You’re an economics professor? Yeah, we had to talk about the Constitution today here at school because all federally-funded schools have to talk about it today.”
“By the time you finish the year at beauty school, you have like an equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. If you take the hours for a degree – 120, well, that’s how many hours we spend in beauty school. But we just do it all at once in a year.” (She worked in "1,500" hours as well, but it still doesn't add up to me. Sure, 120 credit hours but how much time did you spend outside of class preparing and studying? I'm not sure there is a lot of homework in beauty school -- no disprespect, because I am impressed with anyone who can cut and color hair and not have it be a complete disaster, but if I had spent all the time studying that I should have in college, I would have put in 1,500 hours in just one year.)

Amateurs or just rude?

posted Tue, 11 Sep 2007

Going through security at the airport this morning, a woman cut in line. I was ticked off because I hate linecutting on principle and because she was messing with me now. I muttered something about it to SH and the guy behind us, who had managed, as SH and I had, to figure out that the line did not begin at the corner of the table but curved around it.

Then the woman took off her jacket and raised her arms. Armpit hair. Lots of it. Gross.

It is difficult to get a good photo of a line cutter when you are far away and don’t want the line cutter to know you are photographing her. This is the hairy-armpit linecutter. The other one looked like a perfectly ordinary frumpy suburban matron. Evil comes in many disguises.

“She’s obviously in a hurry,” excused the guy behind me. “She didn’t have time to shave.”

Then she took off her knitted hat, the one that completed her ensemble of black leggings, a wispy yellow skirt tied with a huge pink ribbon, a black tank top, a purple bra (how do I know she was wearing a purple bra? Because her straps were completely visible), black boots and light blue socks.

When she removed the hat, it was pretty clear she had been in too much of a hurry to wash her hair, too. For like the past week. Or two.

The security agent examined her container and said something that inspired the woman to swear, turn to her companion, and say, “Screw it. We’re not going.”

Then she marched away from the line in a huff.

Ha. Sometimes justice is served immediately.

But the show was not over. I reached the corner of the table and turned to slide my stuff onto the conveyor belt. A middle-aged woman cut in front of me.

“Excuse me,” I said, as I tried to push my stuff past hers.

“I’m in a hurry and I’m next,” she retorted.

“No, you’re not,” I said. “The line ends back there.”

“This is where the two lines merge,” she said.

“No, ma’am,” I answered firmly. “There is only one line here. One entrance, one line.”

“Well, this is where the agent told me to go,” she snapped.

I doubted it – gate agents don’t tend to encourage queue jumping and don’t discourage people from using common sense to determine where the end of the line is, but I wasn’t prepared to punch her in the nose and didn’t see the point of making a scene, even though I was completely morally right. So I just rolled my eyes and muttered, “Line cutter!” under my breath. I hope she missed her plane and that her luggage got lost.

A bucket for m`sieur

posted Mon, 10 Sep 2007

What the engineer who does not want to let his landlord repair the leak in his apartment ceiling does to prevent another monitor and keyboard from being destroyed instead of throwing away (or moving) five years’ worth of Car and Driver, The BMW Car Club, Wine Spectator, Aviation and Traveler magazines, along with five years’ worth of neatly-stacked mail, clearing off the desk and moving it so the handyman can get at the problem:

Is there no vice too sordid for the Catholics?

posted Sun, 09 Sep 2007

Contrast the Lutheran lunch this morning to the parish festival at St Gregory the Great this afternoon.

The Packers

Lutherans: Game in Sunday school classroom to get people to stay past noon
Catholics: Game in Sunday school classroom to get people to come before 3:30


Lutherans: Hotdish and brats
Catholics: Candy apples, corn dogs, ice cream, fried mozzarella sticks, fried cheese curds, and brats


Lutherans: Soda and coffee
Catholics: Beer on tap


Lutherans: Insipid praise music (in their defense, they usually have really good music at SH’s church)
Catholics: Three bands on three stages (although most music in church stinks)


Lutherans: Kickball
Catholics: Liquor raffle, pokerino, bingo and seven other kinds of gambling

General ambiance:

Lutherans: Khakis and polos, no smoking
Catholics: Black leather pants and Harley t-shirts, long ponytails (on the men) and mullets (both men and women), Packer shirts in abundance and (this is the worst part, so brace yourself) smoking

It`s the Right Thing To Do

posted Fri, 07 Sep 2007

SH is now sorting through his jeans. We have put nine, yes, nine, huge shopping bags of shirts in the car to take to charity, but my work here is not yet done.

The old jeans that haven’t been worn in ten years might need to go. Granted, SH has a point that he can sell old Levi’s – I saw some on eBay going for over $200 a pair. Sure, the homeless need clothes and hotel soap and shampoo, but twelve pairs of old jeans times $200 a pair is nothing to sneeze at.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with the jeans except some of them are a little bit out of fashion.

Or don’t fit.

Or don’t hug SH’s nice butt the way I would like. For the record, SH likes loose pants because they are more comfortable and I totally understand that. I’m just saying if you have an asset, you should show it off.*

But when he pulled out the straight-leg Levi’s 31x32 and told me he didn’t like that style, I told him I would take them off his hands and put them into my own closet.

“Those are way too long for you,” he pointed out.

Well, sure, but I can roll up the cuffs. Or hem them. I am handy that way.

But when I tried them on, they swam on me.

How can this be? I wear a 31 or 32 waist in regular men’s jeans.

“These are relaxed fit, aren’t they?” I asked him.

Yes, they were, he admitted.

They’re not real 31s, are they?


“Relaxed fit” is Levi’s code for “We know your waist size has increased since college but you don’t want to admit it, so we are helping you with your denial. Eat all you want and keep buying the same size!” I didn’t think there was a way around men’s sizing, what with using actual inches for everything, but Levi’s found a loophole.

* Even though I don’t want him showing off too much. He already gets hit on in his loose clothes. He went out to sing last night (I stayed home and went to bed early) and two women hit on him. One of them walked up and put her arm around him! A little bold, don’t you think?

I don’t blame her, though – he is a cutie.

(Yes, he told both of them he had a girlfriend so just lay off, buckettes.)

I am lucky SH doesn`t like skinny women

posted Fri, 07 Sep 2007

I am still atoning for the evening when I persuaded SH not to get the dessert of Mississippi Mud Cake made with Valrhona Chocolate and topped with espresso gelato.

We weren’t five minutes out of the restaurant when he sighed wistfully and said, “I wish I’d gotten that dessert.” He has continued to bemoan the lack of that dessert since, even though I promised to make him an entire Mississippi Mud Cake when we got home.

I had been able to dissuade him with logic, but logic has nothing to do with the desire for dessert. I had pointed out that we had eaten only half our meal and that we had awaiting in the hotel a huge brownie, an Oreo-chocolate bar cookie, one of the two chocolate-chip cookies the hotel had given us upon checkin, and a dozen fig bars we had bought at a produce stand earlier that day (SH does not count fig cookies as cookies because they have fruit in them and because these were made with whole-wheat flour). We also had a pound and a half of cheese, three bottles of wine, and a loaf of bread from the same bakery whence the brownie. I also pointed out that $8 is a lot to pay for a piece of cake.

When we had supper with Luke and Kim, I kept my mouth shut when it came to dessert time. We were stuffed from the shrimp and lobster risotto and the steak (served with blue cheese mashed potatoes – yum!), but the dessert looked fabulous.

Yet SH decided on his very own that dessert wasn’t necessary. He decided this after telling Luke and Kim the entire story of my dessert fascism, but still, he didn’t get the dessert, which was good for me because when he gets dessert, it means I get to eat off his plate. My theory is that all the calories stay on the dessert-orderer’s plate, but observation has not validated that theory.

Last night, when we drove past Culver’s on our way to the I Tappa Keg party that was not to be because about a gajillion other people read the same story in the paper and by the time we arrived, the bar was full, SH noticed that the flavor du jour was Kit Kat. “We’ll have to try that after supper!” he said, apparently forgetting that we had already finished two pints of Kopp’s custard from his freezer in the past two nights and that we had gone to Leon’s the other night. I said nothing. Nothing. Everyone has to die from something and I suppose death by chocolate is one of the better ways to go.

I think it`s part of the Bill of Rights

posted Thu, 06 Sep 2007

The other thing I have been doing is sorting my California photos. I had forgotten about this one:

Whoever wrote “Having to urinate is a right” at the top of the sign has probably never owned a piece of property in his life, or has probably never cleaned a public restroom.* Sure, everyone has to pee, but your right to pee ends where my property rights begin. Is it not totally obvious that this sign is in the People’s Republic of Marin County, home of the organic hemp clothing, the honest beds and the biodynamic grapes?

* I have cleaned more public restrooms than anyone should have to clean. When I was little, my grandmother owned a Shell station. She let me and my brother clean the bathrooms a few times. Smart lady – taking advantage of something we thought was an adventure. After we cleaned the sinks and re-supplied the toilet paper, the mechanics would let us get coke for free from the old vending machine. My later bathroom-cleaning experiences weren’t so fun – when I was a lifeguard during the summer in college, we had to clean the bathrooms as part of our duty. Nothing like cleaning a public toilet for the grand pay of $3.25/hour to make you think that perhaps another year of college wouldn’t be such a drag.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"This one has pineapples -- it`s staying"

posted Mon, 03 Sep 2007

SH and I just completed the emotionally exhausting task of sorting through his closet to choose shirts to send to Goodwill. He pulled out each shirt and evaluated it – the long-sleeved shirts (which consists of argyle shirts, striped shirts, plaid shirts, and funky pattern shirts), the polo shirts (same subcategories as long-sleeved shirts), the short-sleeved shirts (same subcategories as long-sleeved shirts), and the shirts that went out of style ten years ago but might come back in. Someday.

After several spirited, friendly discussions (“I don’t care if you don’t like the color/style/sleeve length, I’m keeping it”), SH selected 39 shirts out of more than 100 to be donated. Some of the decisions were difficult, but became easier when I pointed out that somewhere, there is a poor man who can afford to shop only at Goodwill who would be perfectly happy to wear that band-collar shirt that SH hadn’t worn for almost ten years.

As I was folding them, SH asked, “Are you folding those because you love me?”

“No,” I answered. “I’m folding them so you don’t have a chance to change your mind.”

I’m hoping to work on the t-shirts and the shoes before 2008, but I am not holding my breath.

Buy stock in Kleenex

posted Thu, 16 Aug 2007

At the Junior League Thrift Shop. I am trying on a top with a very deep-V neckline.

Other customer: That looks cute.

Me: Yes, but I really think it needs a bosom.

OC: You could always wear a padded bra.

Me: This is a padded bra.

OC: [long silence] Oh.