Saturday, September 29, 2007

Five Reasons Why Michigan May Not Suck

I found this post in my drafts file. Not to say that it magically appeared there or that my blog site was hacked. I did write it. Well, I started writing it and then realized that winter is coming.

1. Because yesterday morning on my way to the grocery store I saw a pack (gaggle? flock? flight? flightless? herd? pride?) of wild turkeys crossing the road.

2. The speed limit on most highways here is 70mph. I'm sure that doesn't sound like much but when you combine it with the fact that budget constraints have decreased the amount of highway patrols in force, this works out great for me and my

3. Um... at this point I'm kind of struggling.

4. Fuck it.

5. I can't think of anything else right now but I'm in a good mood and I don't want to ruin it.

Seriously people, it starts snowing here around Halloween.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I don't want to leap too far ahead...

but if I get this job we're getting a fucking housekeeper.


At 1:36pm EST someone called to phone screen me for a job. It's the really cool job that I wanted so badly and happen to be perfect for. I applied for it several weeks ago and wrote an angry post about it the day they sent me the rejection email. In the post I mocked my own cover letter. Literally, because that post is my actual real cover letter to that actual real company about the actual real job that I am perfectly suited for (super-powers aside). No, seriously everything in that job description completely matched my qualifications and I didn't even have to dick around with my resume before I sent it. That never happens.

Now I am scared that I may have created some bad ju-ju with the post and am considering deleting it. Is that kosher or are there blogger rules regarding integrity that would create worse ju-ju by deleting?

Either way they sent me a rejection email so I was not expecting to hear from them:

Thank you for your interest in our company and your recent submission to our Perfect Position. We have reviewed your resume and have decided to continue our search for candidates whose skills and experience more closely match the position. We encourage you to review other open positions at our career site and wish you the best of success in your career search.
Thank you.

I mean that sounds like a kiss off to me, a polite kiss off, but nonetheless...

So imagine my surprise when I saw that company name of my caller ID this afternoon at 1:36pm EST. And god dammit if MDH didn't work from fucking home again today so that I could not get into the office to the fucking computer to view my in case of emergency phone screen interview cool answer cheat sheet at the ready. I should've printed the stupid thing. I at least would have liked to pull up the job description to have handy. Yes, I copy and paste job descriptions into Word docs in case I forgot what I've applied for, don't you?

Somehow I muddled through without coming off like too much of a twat. I hope. I didn't say twat or fuck to the HR screening lady so that's probably good.

I did however cry a little and squeal a lot when the phone screen was over and then was shushed by MDH because he was on a fucking call and was upset about the noise I was making. He was only an asshole for a few seconds before he realized why I as so nutty and apparently remembered that he was on the phone with his brother and not Bill Gates or the Pope or anything.

After that I was so excited that I called my mom. I was feeling that powerful.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Five Minutes To Bridezillas

Most weekday mornings MDH wakes up at around 6:30 or 7am walks to the other side of the house and makes himself a bowl of cereal. I wake up when I hear him get in the shower and then I go out to the kitchen to make the coffee and feed the cat. By the time he leaves for work I'm on the treadmill. After that I head into the office to look for work anywhere from 1 to 3 hours and then it's off to loafing I go.

I won't bother to tell you how I spend the rest of the day. It's just too embarrassing. Not soap opera embarrassing, but suffice it to say I don't do much. These days mostly blogging (I'm having a lot of fun, thank you).

This morning I heard MDH get out of bed and then slide the pocket doors that divide the bedrooms from the rest of the house closed. I went back to sleep thinking I would wake up when I heard him come back to take a shower. Well, he never showed up and I slept in until about 8:30am. Realizing of course as soon as I woke up - oh shit he's decided to work from home today. Now I know I will be irritated with him the rest of the day.

I love him very much blah, blah, blah. I think I've written a few times before about how much I am in love with and appreciate my husband. Yeah, yeah, he's amazing and terrific. But that doesn't stop me from hating it when he intrudes on my turf. The house and the computer are mine from 8am to 6pm on weekdays dammit.

In the last 4 months I have become the Rainman of couch potatoes and my routine of sitting around all day doing nothing has been violated. I don't expect you to feel sorry for me. Not in the least. I know exactly how ridiculous I am. I know it and that is excactly why I got all pissy. When he works from home I am forced to acknowledge my laziness and general lack of drive and it pisses me off. I like living in denial much better. It's easier on my lower back too.

Anyway today was the most productive day I've had all week and I can't tell you how much I resented it. I did 100 times more housework than I normally do and even made him a special lunch, a grilled cheese sandwich and wedding soup. Not only that but I kissed him on his forehead as I served it to him in the office.

Yeah, I know.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sad Songs & Waltzes

Somehow my iTunes got all buggered and I hadn't noticed but there was a lot of music that was available on my iPod but not in my iTunes music library. It was fairly easy to fix. I had to move some files and then reassociate those songs with the file location.

In the process though I ended up listening to snippets of quite a lot of my music. I tend to focus intently on this kind of activity and lose track of time and things that are going around me. I forget to eat (hence my handle and why I don't own a game system) and go to the bathroom etc..

When I woke up from this task a few hours had gone by and my nose was all sniffly and I noticed a pile of wet kleenex next to the keyboard. I had been crying off and on throughout the entire thing. Weird. But not because I was particually sad or anything like that but because of the music. I scrolled back through the list of songs that I had been dicking around with and listening to and it made sense.

Here in sort of alphabetical order by artist (according to the file names not the iTunes names) is a list of songs that make me cry like a baby girl baby even if I just hear a snippet:
  • Until You Come Back To Me - Aretha Franklin

  • Prettiest Eyes - Beautiful South

  • Must I Paint You A Picture - Billy Bragg

  • Hesitating Beauty - Billy Bragg & Wilco

  • Sad Songs & Waltzes - Cake

  • Heaven - Cigar Store Indians

  • Mint Car - The Cure

  • American Dreaming - Dead Can Dance

  • Our Love Is Here To Stay - Dinah Washington

  • Squeeze Me - Dinah Washington

  • Man Out Of Time - Elvis Costello & The Attractions

  • Tampa - Gipsy Kings

  • Polkadots & Moonbeans - Hot Club of Cowtown

  • Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans - Miss Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

  • Horizon - Let's Active

  • Wildwood - Paul Weller

  • The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - The Pogues

  • You're My Best Friend - Queen

  • I was going to say Grey Gardens, but the entire fucking Poses album makes me cry - Rufus Wainwright

  • Overjoyed - Stevie Wonder

  • In Love For The First Time - The Style Council

  • You're The Best Thing - The Style Council

  • World Before Columbus - Suzanne Vega

  • Earn Enough For Us - XTC

I'm sure there are plenty more, these are just the ones I just happen to listen to today.

Oh yeah, enjoy the picture at the top of the pretty floating lady. She makes me cry too if I look at her long enough.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #5 Special! Early Tuesday Edition

The Electric Flameless Candle
Where I come from we would call this a lamp. Some other names I've come up with for this item:

The Incarcerated Arsonists Candle

  • The "Money To Blow" Complete Waste of $18.50 Candle (yes, it costs $18.50 plus shipping)

The I Love Candles But Don't Have Enough Breath Left In My Body To Blow Them Out Candle

The Napper - I'm Not Allowed To Have A Tea Kettle Anymore Either Candle

Feel free to leave your own name for this plastic treasure. I love your input.

Silicone Concealers
As a person with breasts I have to admit there have been times (cold times) when I too have been a little self conscious. Not so much about the fact that my nipples were rock-hard (that's just nature doing it's thing), but more that they were cock-eyed and pointing crazily in completely different directions. Still however, it didn't occur to me that this is such a problem as to actually buy a special device to fix it. Spending $10.98 of my husbands hard earned money on silly-putty nipple cozies seems a bit extreme. If you're that stessed out about high-beams I guess these are cheaper than moving to Miami.

PS (and wink, wink) - A proper fitting, slightly padded bra also does the trick ladies.

Gift Card Maze
The description in the catalog says, "Gift Card Maze turns a gift into an incredible challenge! Once you insert a gift card into the box, your recipient will have to figure out the maze in order to get it out". Well that's just mean. If you're going to make me work so hard why didn't you just get me a part-time job for a present? You and your gift card can fuck right off.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chuck A What?

Michigan is just simply a terrible place to be unemployed. The job market here is skimpy, especially for someone with my very obscure specialty. I've given up all hope of finding anything remotely similar to the work that I am supremely qualified for here.

In order to adapt to my environment I've expanded my horizons and have been applying to all kinds of jobs. Mainly things of an Analyst persuasion, things that don't involve any travel, and also some Office Manager, Admin Assistant stuff just so I feel like I've applied for something. I even created a special resume that highlights my old Office Manager job experience from before I had my degree.

The thing about finding jobs these days is that it mostly seems to take place online. The search, the application, the cover letter, the emailed auto-response. When I apply for something online I immediately check my email to make sure that I get that auto response. Otherwise I have no way of knowing whether or not, well anything. You send out all this personal information about yourself into the ether and then get nothing back but an impersonal blurb, a very reassuring impersonal blurb, if you are lucky and the places you apply have any manners what-so-ever.

The following is an auto response email that sets my ass to chapping each time I get it, which is each time I apply for administrative assistant jobs with a certain employment agency I've created an account with:

"We found your resume online and would be interested in speaking with you further regarding your qualifications and experience."

I read this first sentence of the message and even though it's from the employment agency about a job that I probably don't want, I say to myself, "Yeah!! Finally, somebody noticed me!"

Then I read the next sentence and I want to chuck a turd through their window.

"If you are within the (local) area you will be considered for opportunities as they arise, however at the current time the job market is not bearing your skill set."

This message by the way is usually received 2 or 3 days after I applied to the posting and have already gotten the auto-response telling me they have received my application successfully.

So which is it assholes? Do you want to speak with me or are you telling me to take a hike? I can take rejection. Really, I can. But don't get my hopes all up about your shitty* job and then make me disappointed a few words later that I'm not suitable for it.

I sent them an email back about it (seriously, I did and this is real):

Hello Employment Agency,
I'm a bit confused by this email. I get it every time I apply for a job on your website. It says two very different things. First that you would be interested in speaking with me further, and then that there's nothing for me. The first sentence gets my hopes up then in the next breath I'm all bummed out. So which is it? Are you interested in speaking with me or not?
Thanks for reading this!
The Lady

and this was their response:

Dear Lady,
The response you received was not an auto-response. It came from one of our staffing managers, who after reviewing your resume had determined that your current skill set was not what we were looking for at that time. Although, it may have been interesting to us, it just wasn't what we were looking for at that particular time.
I do hope this helps explain things.
Employment Agency

Initially this exchange made me feel pretty smug, but over time has only fueled the paranoia described in the post below.

*I was a receptionist, office manger, secretary, admin assistant for many, many years, so am in no way saying those types of jobs are shitty. They certainly are not. I'm merely saying that having to apply for all over again, a job you previously performed full time while studying your ass off nights and weekends for 6 years to get out of doing, is shitty.

Bitter & Paranoid Much Lady?

I hate looking for a new job even more than I hate being unemployed. It's getting to the point where I've become paranoid that all the HR departments in this town have ganged together and had a meeting about me.

HR Tool #1 - Get this Lunch Lady joker. Who the hell does she think she is?

HR Tool #2 - Yeah I know with all those fancy confident sounding words in her cover letters. She seems a right prissy, self-important bitch.

HR Tool #3 - I think we should put out an APB to all the other Tools in our bilious HR network to file her desperate emails as SPAM.

HR Tool #2 - That's a great idea, but I think we should also punish her by letting her find out, through various sources, that people much less qualified than her are getting hired for jobs she wants all over town.

HR Tool #1 - Ah, ha, ha, haha hee! What fun I am having at her sorry expense. You know I suspect, in addition to being prissy and self important, that she is also quite stoopid.

HR Tool #3 - Ooh! Shoot. Meeting adjourned. I've got to get busy planning the mandatory attendance Mid-Winter/Fall Season Gathering of Employees for a Rubber Chicken Dinner, Sparkling Cider Toasts and Bogus Prize Giving To Brown-Nosing Toadies.

HR Tool #1 - You mean the Holiday Party?

HR Tool #3 - No, no we'll have the real Holiday Party after all that employee bullshit. Hey you guys wanna get together for lunch?

HR Tool #1 - Sure but let's make it a long lunch. I've got an interviewee coming in on his own lunch hour later. I'm planning to leave him sweating at reception for a very long time so that he'll be late getting back to his current job. I've also gotta spy on him for awhile and see how much he fidgets and checks his breath. That's always such a hoot!

HR Tool #2 - Sorry can't. I'm busy covering up executive ass-grabbing in a sexual harassment case. Gotta write-up the ass in question for poor performance. You know the drill.

End Scene
If you have read this post and work in the field of Human Resources I hope that you have enjoyed this hilarious spoof of some ridiculous Hired Ranchers having a crazy nonsense conversation. Please click here for a copy of my resume. Whoo hoo! What fun, eh?

If you have read this post and work in the field of Hired Ranching well I just don't know what to say really. How embarrassing. I'm sorry if I have offended you and your profession.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fluffy Bunnies & Big Toothless Grins

Since my last few posts were about violations of my person and personal space such as mouse invasions, back-yard trespassing joggers, and accidental spit drinking, I thought I should take a break from my recent outbreak of rage. Although, I have to say, I've enjoyed sharing all my drama on this blog tremendously.

You may not have been able to tell it from my posts, but I have a really great life and am generally an upbeat kind of person. I whine a lot about not having a job, but have you noticed that I haven't mentioned anything about taking a job bagging groceries at the market down the street or flipping burgers? We are financially stable on one income and that's nothing to bitch about. That'll be #1 on my list of things I'm thankful for and happy about. Here are the rest in no particular order:

2. The opening of Fresh Market in Grand Rapids - at last! One stop shopping for duck confit and chocolate croissant.

3. Indian Summer - it seems like the leaves are taking their sweet time to change color and drop, which keeps me shielded that much longer from our neighbors out back. We're talking picture windows and a chain link fence. Each autumn our leafy subterfuge falls away with all of our privacy. If you click on the photo to the left you will more clearly see the picture window in my dining room and the vegetation that prevents us from having to speak to our neighbors all summer. You're probably thinking - buy some curtains Lady! Well, I will when they do. Until then we will just have to take a chance on seeing each other in our underwear while we're brewing coffee at 6am.

4. Good Friends - (as opposed to bad ones?) I've got some and have finally met some new ones here in Michigan since I quit working. I have time for them now that I'm not taking off all over North America every week. I didn't know how badly I needed them. You guys know who you are too. I also want to give a shout out to my old friends who have never abandoned me so far away. I love you all so much.

5. Loving Partner - I'm already getting mushy here, but I've never felt more loved and appreciated by any other human being, including my parents. Not only am I loved and appreciated, but I can give it all right back to him. He makes me laugh too -

6. Treadmills - this amazing device allows me to move my body at controlled speeds and inclinations for a length of time of my own choosing in the privacy of my own home. Insert joke about loving partner here.

7. iPod - makes the treadmill more tolerable and if the right music is playing enables me to stay on the treadmill for periods of time extended beyond my normal 45 minutes. This makes me feel like a rock star. An aging, pot-bellied rock star in ripped and paint splattered sweat pants, but rockin' none the less.

8. Ankle Fusion - this life changing (although sometimes controversial)surgery has made all the walking on treadmills and anywhere else, like across a room, possible . Living a pain free life is nothing short of miraculous.

9. Other peoples children - I don't want to be a mom and never really have. I've reached 40 without having children because it hasn't ever occurred to me to do so. But that doesn't mean I don't love kids. I'm the auntie of all time. That's Sammi, rumored to have been conceived at my wedding by my friends B & C.

10. A tie between DVR on my TV and being well dressed (ripped sweatpants don't count because I never wear them outside of this house) - I leave you here so that I may watch last nights episode of What Not To Wear.

I am considering re-titling the post below:

A Very Long Post About How I Accidentally Drank Spit & New Work Rules

What do you think?

UPDATE 9/23/07 12:28PM - My husband has asked me to amend my previous statement that we are financially stable on one income. Apparently all this time I have been deluded and we are one Target trip away from living in a van down by the river. Goodie! More things to bitch about.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New Rules

Since not much is going on in my life lately, as I have mentioned before, I will be pulling a story for you today from my past. A disgusting story from my recent past that gives me a reason to be glad I am not currently working. If you are the least bit squeamish stop right here. Come back and visit another day and I will do my best to amuse you at that time, but today for some reason this is the story that is foremost in my fat head and I'm typing it out come hell or high water. I may even hit the "Publish" button.

You have been warned.

My last week of work had the the unfortunate coincidence of also being the week that my supervisor decided that I would be a good candidate to have the newest member of our team tag along with me to observe my work. I was really good at what I did (oh, shut up - there is documented proof) so they did this to me quite a lot. In my cloud of emotion from quitting I totally forgot that the dude was coming with me until I got off the plane and heard his cheerful voice mail message on my cell phone saying that he was waiting for me at our hotel and very excited to meet me.

Norman Newguy had no idea that I'd quit my job hours before and I didn't see any reason to tell him. I decided that I would be completely professional and keep that information to myself and give him the best on-the-job learning experience possible. After all, it wasn't his fault I was disgruntled.

I met with Norm about 30 minutes after arriving at the hotel. I asked if he minded if I smoked, he said not at all, so I lit up (my one week of cheating after having quit in December) and proceeded to tell him what I expected from him throughout our work week together. The rules that follow are based upon things that I finally figured out must be said out loud and made clear to new employees after several previous less than stellar experiences:

  • You are observing only and are not to pipe in or interrupt when I am speaking unless it is of extreme emergency such as the building, me or a member of the class is on fire. If you are on fire, please stop, drop and roll and keep the noise down.

  • If I have left a topic from the training guide or outline un-discussed I have done it for a purpose and do not wish for you to publicly point out my omission. You may ask me about it later in private if you wish, at which time I will make you feel stupid for questioning my logic.

  • We, meaning YOU are to follow the rules of the clinic at all times. If the staff are not allowed to have a beverage at the front desk then neither are you. If they are not allowed to chew gum, then neither are you, etc..

  • We, meaning YOU, do not accept invitations from clinic owners or staff without discussing it with ME first. YOU do not go anywhere outside of this practice (bar, strip club, home) with the clinic owner or staff without my permission.

  • When I tell you "No" what I really mean is "Are you out of your stupid mind?" and do not wish to be questioned about my decision.

  • You will not approach any animal no matter how cute, cuddly or harmless looking without permission from either the clinic staff or the pet owner. If you disobey this rule and are bitten and/or scratched I will admonish you later in private and make you wish you were never born. Do not expect any sympathy no matter how serious the wound.

  • You will not leave your belongings strewn about the clinic and will take away with you each night what you brought with you each day. Do not leave your breakfast, lunch, laptop, car keys, cell phone, soda, or any other tangible item in the clinic for someone else to eat, spill, lose, drop, break, or (in one instance involving an incontinent clinic cat) pee on.

  • You are not to gross out or act like anything, ANYTHING, you may see is beneath you. It's a vet clinic, kid. There will be poop, blood, guts and many other oozing oddities. I suggest watching several episodes of Emergency Vets if you have a problem with this.

  • When you are on the job you are asexual. Do not flirt. Do not make any kind of overture that may be construed as being of a sexual nature. Do not refer to any persons body or body parts, tattoos or clothing (this is a point I tried to make especially clear for male trainees as most people who work in vet clinics these days are chicks).
  • Oh, and don't wear black clothes. They're just a magnet for pet hair.

I think that covers most of it. Do you understand? Good. Let's have some fun!

Ordinarily one of the beautiful things about my old job was this - I did it ALONE.

The next beautiful thing about my old job was this - I was in complete CONTROL at all times. Doing the job alone helped to guarantee that I was in control. My voice, my decisions, my time, my choice of restaurant, and so on.

What interesting things you must be learning about me by knowing these particular facts, eh?

Here's something else about me: I have tremendous patience and empathy for grown-ups who are learning new things, having been one myself for most of my adult life. If not in real life, in professional situations my goal was always to remain calm, no matter how nutty or overstimulated my trainees were getting. It's not unknown for me to dance or sing to get people to refocus and stop freaking out. Most people don't adapt to change (learning new comptuter system) easily and tend to act like nut jobs. Poor lambs.

Another detail that is crucial to this story: The clinic where this training occurred had a kick-ass coffee machine. More of an elaborate brewing system really. I noticed it the minute we walked in the door and couldn't wait to test it out (once I'd established it was permitted of course). It was similar to what you see on the right here only it had a huge compartmentalized contraption around it containing coffees, teas, hot chocolate, froth packets, straws, stirrers, and cups. I suppose it's really the cups that caused the problem. Well that and complete brainless, thoughtless, idiotic, syahoaogaglakg!!! Gag, gag, gag.

Excuse me, please.

Moving on. Are you sure you want to keep reading? Very well then.

The coffee machine was relatively new for the clinic too, so everyone was as in love and impressed with it as I. Unfortunately I never travel with my own mug after my favorite one broke in my suitcase a few years ago. I, along with most of the clinic staff was using the paper cups that were located in the compartment contraption. Norm was too, only I didn't realize he wasn't drinking coffee.

Now if this were not my last job I would have had to add a new rule.


You may see where this story is leading.

After two days of Norm by my side in the clinic I was feeling very positive about his future. He was polite, charming, professional, followed the rules and it seemed to me that he may not be a pain in the ass after all. In fact I found him to be quite helpful.

We had finished the classroom style portion of the training and were sitting in the owners office going over some manager type stuff. Whatever it was you can be assured it involved me talking, pointing, ignoring Norm and concentrating on the client while Norm listened and was generally being a very good boy. I announced a recess and casually reached over for my coffee cup and took an enormous, queen-size swig.

And then I died a little inside.

You may have gathered if you've been reading this or any of my other posts that I'm kind of a priss.

It's hard to be prissy when you realize you just drank a big swaller of someone elses spit. Not just spit either. But spit mixed with menthol flavored chewing tobacco.

Spit mixed with menthol flavored chewing tobacco that has been resting between the cheek and gum of Norman Newguy for christ only knows how long.

It was body temperature warm, it was menthol-ish, it was slimy and I wished I was dead. I somehow maintained my composure and calmly clicked my prissy kitten heels to the closest bathroom where I immediately began retching up the vile mixture, thereby reliving the experience all over again in reverse.

Upon my return I could barely manage to say to Norm, "I'm going to step outside for a moment would you please come with me?"

In the parking lot I led him to the rental car without a word and bade him to get inside. I in the driver's seat, he in the passenger seat, I simultaneously gagged and screamed at him while he bleated out unaccepted apologies. I loudly pointed out to him how very lucky we were (HE was) that it was ME who drank his vile swill and not the clinic owner, who was also drinking out of the same type of paper coffee cup.

The rest of it was something like: Remove the tobacco from your repugnant mouth and don't ever, ever, ever, EVER DO THAT AGAIN. Anywhere, at any jobsite, alone or unsupervised ever, ever, EVER.

Why am I sharing this delicious story? I'm not sure.

A better question may be, why have you continued to read it?

What's the lesson here? Maybe it's this, look before you drink. Or maybe it falls into the category I've featured before about being direct and specific. Ask your new employees if they chew tobacco and if they say yes tell them not to. Or if you work in the bowels of hell where (I still can't imagine) tobacco chewing is permitted, tell them to clearly label their makeshift spitoons with some kind of warning.

Don't assume like I did that people (I say people so as not to be sexist even though I have yet to meet a woman who chews tobacco) who seem perfectly charming and normal have enough sense not to leave cups of their own expressed bodily fluid laying about for dimwits like me to chug.

Apparently the rules must be laid out more specifically than anyone realized. If you have to tell someone that it's not okay to roll diced dried weeds in your mouth for hours on end and then spit the remains into a paper cup within reach of woeij;vnaiv gag, gag, gag. Sorry.

We might was well lay down these rules of work behavior that people may have been taking for granted as well:

  • Don't shit on the floor or anywhere but in a toilet. When and if you do please flush the toilet and watch to make sure your entire contribution has been dispatched.

  • Don't use the key to the supply cabinet to clean your ears.

  • Don't microwave onion and stinkloaf sandwiches in the break room at 8:15 am. It's not okay at any time, but less okay at that early hour.

  • Don't take off your shoes ever, for any reason or length of time. Your feet stink and nobody needs to know this about you.

  • Don't pick your nose and wipe the results under your chair. We see you. You don't think we can and you are wrong. You are a genuine pig and nobody needs to know this about you.

I think that covers it, but just in case:

  • Don't move or speak

  • Don't even open your stupid mouth or make eye contact

  • Don't make me tell you again

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mixing Business With Leather

I realize that I may be inviting all kinds of creepy attention to my blog with that title, but isn't it great? It's a line from a Beck song called Hollywood Freaks that popped up on my iPod (working fine so far) playlist this morning while I was on the treadmill. Then later I was shuffling around some papers in my top desk drawer and came across the business card of the nice lady that sold us our loveseat a couple of years ago. Our leather loveseat. Coincidence? The woman herself was a bit leathery and wore lots of turquoise jewelry. But the best part is her name:

Bunny Leatherman

She wasn't on my list either. How did I miss that? Of course she is on it now.

I wonder what other kinds of leathery things will come across my path today. My neighbors (the elderly lesbian snowbirds) Pat and Kay haven't left for Florida yet, so maybe I'll stop over and say hey before they leave for the season.

PS, Don't type in "leathery skin" in a Google Images search. Just don't.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I've Got My Eye On YOU

I nearly forgot to tell you about the vision that passed before my office window this morning. Out of nowhere a middle-aged woman dressed very much like the jogger character from Diner Dash, sweatsuit, headband, headphones, traipsed through my backyard in broad daylight. I was stunned. It was like I'd seen Sasquatch.

What outstanding balls! We have a quarter acre lot away from the road. Our lot and the lots of every single one of our neighbors, both sides in front and on all sides in back are fenced in. You'd have to run a gauntlet of gates, thorny bushes, wooden planks, big mean dogs, and in our case a pile of rotten old cord wood, a 10 person hot tub and an enormous deck. Jogging through my backyard is something you would really have to go out of your way to do.

Besides that, people in my neighborhood (and I'm beginning to suspect most people who live in Western Michigan) have handguns, shotguns and bows and arrows and shit.

What the french, Toast?

It's entirely possible that she does this every day and that our back yard is part of her route. This may have been going on for years and I 'd never have known because I typically don't open the shades in the office until around 10am or so. The trespass occurred at around 8:15am.
She was cheating in a foot race by taking a shortcut through our yard.

Or Maybe:
It was casual Wednesday for the gas meter readers. Very casual.

What? I have no idea why a person over the age of 17 would do this.

I do know that I will be taking my tea and toast on the deck tomorrow morning. I'll be Tivo'ing BBC News and watching for the parade out back instead. I'm sincerely hoping she'll come by again. I'm not going to hurt her or probably even say anything to her at all. I will definitely make eye contact though.

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #4 - Things Found In My Own Home Edition

Treebeard Figurine
First of all I must qualify that it's not mine. It belongs to my spouse. Shamefully I admit, I have allowed it to sit in our kitchen window for the last 3 years, collecting tiny cobwebs in it's tiny plastic branches and scaring the crap out of any small children that ever come visit. Occasionally I forget that it's there and it scares me too.

Talking Yoda
It's ears, mouth and nose move while it talks in the voice of Grover from Sesame Street. This creepy item also belongs to my spouse. Shamefully however I have allowed it to sit on the dresser in our guest room for the last 3 years and when the mood strikes me I turn it on to freak out the cat. Fortunately we don't have that many guests.
YODA UPDATE 11:10AM - I hadn't looked at Yoda in awhile so decided to head into the guest room, call over the cat and have a go at at feline freak out. I noticed that our Yoda is now sporting a UMass headband and a quarter inch layer of dust. Why won't anyone come visit us?
YODA UPDATE 1:09PM - Went back into the guest room to tackle it with a swiffer, removed Yoda's headband (what a great band name) only to find underneath it a silver yarmulke bearing the embroidered words: The Wedding of Lynn To Jeffrey, July, 30 2006. Did I mention that I'm lousy at this housewife thing?

Quesadilla Maker
My only excuse for this is that is was an unregistered for wedding gift. Shamefully, I was excited to get it and used it several times before I realized I could use a handy invention called a skillet and get the same results.

To be fair I've added another item that's technically mine so that my spouse and I are 2 for 2 in the "why do we own this nutty thing?" competition I have created in my own mind (we are equal partners in this marriage after all). I paid quite a lot for this device that is great for chopping fresh herbs. I wanted it for a really long time and was so excited when I finally bought one that I also ran out and bought a huge bunch of parsley so I could begin chopping immediately. Newsflash to me via my spouse - a knife works for this task just as well. I have no shame to admit in owning this item. I cost too damn much and I have too much to prove. I use it all the time to justify to my spouse my need for it. That friends is why we have been eating so much damn tabbouleh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fucking Mice

I want to go live in a hotel.

Last night when I was putting away trivets and such after dinner (the lamb was deelish) I opened the big giant gadget drawer under my cooktop and discovered a rather large pile of wood shavings strewn about my gadgety cookery things and my clean kitchen towels and potholders. Motherfucking mice had eaten the bamboo handle to one of my tea strainers.

I found a dead one in the garage the very day we moved in. Of course it was completely disgusting, but after I finished screaming I kicked it into a flower bed (and then avoided watering or weeding in that bed forever afterwards) and didn't worry much about it again. Until several months later in the fall when I picked up the box of trash bags I keep under the kitchen sink and discovered a rather large but neatly stacked pyramid of cat kibble. For a split second I was astounded thinking that somehow the cat had done this and that over the years he had been hiding his genius.

Soon I realized that not only was our cat much dumber than he had let on, he was also slower, older and fatter than I cared to think about. Also probably quite humiliated as undoubtedly mice were casually strolling by him relay style back and forth from the cupboard to the other side of the room to his dish in order to amass such a stash while he watched helpless and ashamed. In Ollie's defense though he was pretty old, nearly 18, and not in the best health. He developed some pretty serious liver problems the following summer and we had him put to sleep.

Then we got Turtle. He's our current kitty and quite the mouser. He's young and spry which helps. It still disgusts me that I need to have such a cat and by the way it's certainly not why I got him. I can always tell when there's a mouse in the house because he pursues it with so much intensity that he won't sleep or eat. He will stare at the baseboard under the dishwasher for days on end and I have to shove him a little with my foot to get any dishes in or out of there. Most normally Turtle is where ever I am. When he is not I know we've got a problem.

In the fall and winter months we probably have a mouse every 2 months or so. And what are you supposed to do about them? I don't want to put down poison because then they'd all be dead but also stinking up my house for eternity. I also don't want Turtle to bite into a poisoned mouse. You'd think that working in the veterinary business would cause me to use a live catch trap, but no. I want those suckers to die, die, die. Quickly of course. Until last night I want them dead but not suffering. Dispatched quickly and painlessly. Today is different.

Flashback to a couple of falls ago:

After I discovered the kibble pyramid I went to Lowe's and bought an expensive battery powered trap to electrocute them. It was kind of space age and used about a hundred batteries, but I liked that I didn't have to see or touch the mouse. According to the package directions a light would come on to tell me there was a mouse in the trap. I envisioned being able to, in one clean motion, flip the trap open with the tippy tip of my pinkie finger and wing the body into the neighbors bushes without ever having to touch or look at it.

After I loaded all the batteries I placed it in the cupboard under the kitchen sink behind the box of trashbags, but sticking out enough so that I could see that blinking light. I checked it every day for a week and got nothing. And then the week after, of course when my husband was out of town I smelled that smell. It's unmistakable as anything but dead critter. I'm embarrassed to say that I let it go for a couple more days because the thought of a dead mouse is more disgusting to me than a living one. Why didn't the god damned light blink??? Shit!

I finally got up the courage to poke the trap with a stretched out coat hanger so that I could see if there was a tail sticking out the back end of it. There was. And not only that, but the fucker had been dead for so long that it had begun oozing out decaying body goo that was now all over the cupboard for me to wipe up. Shit, man. Fuck.

Here is exactly what I want:

  • I want my husband to come home this very minute and take care of this mess for me.

  • I want all the mice in this house to magically disappear.

Since there was no one at home to hear my demands (if a tree falls in the forest, etc.) I had to calm down and create my own plan of action.

The plan involved the grill-set oven mitts that go up to your elbows, the extra-long grill-set hot dog tongs, an entire can of Glade Clean Linen room spray and a kitchen towel tied around my face. My Ninja-like flip and wing plan didn't work. The trap didn't open that easily and dead body was stuck and wouldn't allow itself to be winged. I also realized as I was standing at the edge of our property by the neighbors bushes in broad daylight (daylight is always "broad" when you are trying not to be seen) that their dog was standing 3 feet away looking right at me. Thankfully he was too stunned to bark at the crazy shuddering lady with the oozing trap, hot dog tongs and brightly checkered Crate & Barrel kitchen towel covering her face.

I ended up throwing the entire trap away, along with the tongs, mitts and towel. I believe that this entire process took about 5 or 6 hours and when it was finished my hair had gone entirely white.

Back then I was disgusted and afraid. Today I AM PISSED OFF. Back then they were invading the place I store trash bags and dish soap. Today they are invading a place where I store the tools I touch every day and use to handle the FOOD I feed my FAMILY.

Today I am open to any (realistic) suggestions that involve death with as little mess as possible. From now on suffering is allright with me. This is war.

PS, I've been using the spine-snapping plastic traps baited with peanut butter, but the mice are now able to get all the bait without snapping the trap. Motherfuckers! Seriously, what else have you got people?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Four Squares

I'm not feeling very creative today and slept in too late for anything interesting to happen, so have decided to take a little break and steal someone else's (some guy) idea for a post.

Four Jobs I've Had In My Life:

1. Sales Clerk at Pier 1 Imports from 1986 to 1988. I learned a lot by working here, but mainly that people are mean. Especially during the holiday season. I also learned that asshole parents will let their asshole children run around like animals and expect sales clerks to babysit while they are shopping. Asshole parents will then yell at the sales clerk because their nasty, misbehaved, asshole children have hurt themselves after knocking over an end cap full of hand blown Polish stemware while playing tug of war with a hand stitched Chilean hammock.

2. Accounts Payable Clerk for a small industrial parts distributor. It was a family owned business and the family was a bunch of solid pinheads. It was boring and they treated us like monkeys, but I met my best friend Amy there. She worked on the other side of the cloth wall that separated the A/P cubicles from the A/R cubicles. One day my first week of working there I heard someone singing the Smiths song "What Difference Does It Make?" and when she got to the line "I smoke 'cause I'm hoping for an early death", I stood up to see who it was and sang the rest of the line, "and I need to cling a hing hing to some-thing". Then she stood up and we sang the yodeling part of the song together. We've been best friends for 14 years. A port in the storm, that girl.

3. Office Manager for a subcontractor. I was the only woman among 25 men. I learned a lot about men there. Mainly that most of them are sex-crazed cretins to be avoided at all costs. I know more about men than I care to actually. Ladies let me tell you, if you knew what they were really thinking about you, you would spend every waking moment of your life creeped out and beating them with your purse. But since that's no way to live I looked for their brighter sides made sure I was friendly with all of their wives and/or girlfriends and we all got along just fine - and I put a pad lock on the ladies room door. Oh yeah, I had the best boss here. He was like my brother. He's the one who inspired me to get my degree and got me signed up for tuition reimbursement. He was a great guy and I'd work for him again in a minute. I owe him a lot. He was not a cretin.

4. Traveling Software Trainer. Life on the road sucks but the work was rewarding and I was really quite good at it. I found my calling as a teacher you might say. I didn't have an office to go to every day, saw my boss and other co-workers once a year and mostly kept control of my own doings. I'm just not cut out for the road. I gained 50 pounds and lost the will to leave the house. Seriously, I was worried I was turning into an agoraphobic.

Four Countries I've Been To (in order of most recently visited):
1. Canada - Toronto to be specific. Love that city!
2. France - Paris
3. Bermuda
4. Mexico

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. Home's not bad. I love being here, especially in my kitchen whippin' up some good grub. I'm a terrific home chef. Tonight we're having braised rosemary leg of lamb with tabbouleh salad and pommes frites, which is just a fancy way of sayin' french fried per-taters. 'Ceptin' of course that I make mine in the oven. Nothing is fried in my kitchen. This household has cholesterol issues.
2. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay on Oahu. It costs $5 to snorkel all day in a sheltered cove and is also a film location for the Elvis movie Blue Hawaii.

3. If I could I would go back in time and visit Amy's back porch circa 1998. We all still smoked then and sat on the back porch puffing away, talking and laughing about stupid shit.

4. On the back of my cousin Julie's horse Freckles. This would also require time travel because Julie sold her 5 years ago. I'm not much of a rider, but I liked Freckles best because she was predictable and didn't mind that I only rode in large circles and didn't do jumps. She seemed to enjoy the break from Julies kids who treated her like a fucking theme park ride.

Four Foods I Like To Eat:
1. Caprese Salad, or in redneck speak - toe-maters drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with basil, salt and pepper and if I'm real lucky some fresh rolled mozzarella cheese (that's pizza cheese, for any of my family members who are reading this). But only if the tomatoes are just right. I also like them drizzled and sprinkled on a toast sandwich. Like a BLT without the B or the L (or the mayo).

2. Fresh asparagus that has been blanched (quickly bawled) for not more than 1 minute. Tossed with garlic sesame sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Served chilled. In the summer I pretty much keep a Tupperware container of this in the fridge at all times to munch on throughout the day.

3. Corn on the cob doused with lime juice and lots of salt.

4. 9 grain toast with real butter and strawberry preserves. Toast and jam. It's the only thing I use real butter for. Like I said, cholesterol issues.

At this point I'm wondering why am I so fat? These all seem pretty healthy and wholesome food choices. Maybe the oil and butter, eh?

Four Personal Hero's
I don't like this one much, but I'll give it my best. It changes frequently and I'm suspicious of the word "hero". Most of mine are dead, as live people often let me down.
1. My best friend Amy. Mom, scholar, wife, ex-wife and a raggy bitch. I love her awful. She's exactly the kind of mother I would have wanted to be had I decided to travel that path. She's firm but fun and her daughter is a delightful child to be around. Amy is also one of the funniest, smartest and most generous people I've ever met.

Dorothy Parker - I know she was a slutty, drunken manic-depressive, but what wit, what spice, she was the cat's pajamas.

Georges Sand - although I don't care much for her writing I always admire slutty women who were ahead of their time.

Coco Chanel - another slut ahead of her time with great taste in clothes. L'elegance c'est moi!!

Four Books I've Read Recently
1. Currently re-reading The Aspern Papers by Henry James. I'm on a Venice kick lately.

Just finished First Among Sequels by Jasper Fford. I'm a big fan and have read all of his books and feel strongly that you should too (if you're at all into fiction that is). I order his books in advance, pay full price and wait wide-eyed, with my face pressed agained the front window until they arrive.

Harry Potter and the I've Already Forgotten, oh yeah, Deathly Hallows.

What Is The What, by Dave Eggers - I waited until it went on sale and I really shouldn't have. It was an awesome and true story. Totally worth face pressing and full price.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Try To Save It For Special Occasions

  • I didn't get married until I was 35. Naturally, for me anyway, I dated a lot before I met someone I could tolerate long enough to marry. Frankly I thought it would never happen and had gotten to a point where I really didn't care much. I get irritated really easily and most of the guys I dated ended up bugging me soon or later. Mostly sooner. I'm going to get just a bit mushy here and say that my husband is amazing. He's never boring and only slightly irritating, but I'm sure no more than I am to him. He is my all time favorite person in the world and my best friend ever. He's really cute too.

    There was a moment that changed my life that occurred after my husband and I had been dating about 6 months or so. I don't remember the exact circumstances (and I'm warning you in advance to get your filthy smut mind out of the porny gutter) but I said to him, "Here is exactly what I want", and proceeded to spell out for him exactly what I wanted and the order in which I wanted it done (walk to corner, get ice cream cone, eat it sitting on the steps overlooking the playground, etc.).

    I'm not sure I had ever said that to any man before. He said it was the single sexiest thing that I or any woman had ever said to him and has worshipped me ever since. (Really, my friend Amy once busted him worshipping me as he was listening to me talk shop at a party. She said he only used one hand though cause the other had a can of beer in it, but still.) We've been together for 8 years and married for 5.

    You may put your filthy smut mind back into the porny gutter for only a moment while I tell you that it works in all situations. That's as personal as I'm willing to get here.

    I share this revelation with you in hopes that it will bring you the same joy that it has brought me. My loving partner in life no longer has to guess what the hell it is that I want and I don't have to waste any time being angry because he doesn't understand me. Fuck mystery, I'm too damn busy. Being passive-aggressive by nature, I had no idea of the power of such a simple gesture and the impact it would have on the rest of my life.

    I try not to be too greedy with my tremendous power but I rolled it out today and as a result we have had an amazing and fun day. I began to cast my spell yesterday by saying, "I really think we should leave the cave tomorrow." To which my lovely spouse replied, "What do you have in mind?" To which I responded, "I don't know but I'm showering the moment I roll out of bed and I'd like to leave pretty early." There, I have set the expectation before he even goes to bed of what will occur the next day.

    Now, if you are a person who tends to be indecisive I have no help for you. You gotta know what you want before this little trick of being completely honest and forthright will work for you. There is, by the way, room for compromise. Before I started spouting my statement of intent I began by asking what the football schedule for today looked like. Turns out the Patriots don't play until 8:15pm this evening. I've got all day to have my needs attended to.

    Phase 2 begins by following through with the previous nights statement. If you're going to be honest and forthright to get what you want you not only have to know what it is that you want , but also must be prepared to follow through with the original plan. You can't cop out at the last minute or your partner won't know when to take your demands seriously. So, true to my statement of the the previous evening I got up and showered. By the time my husband got out of the shower I had a plan engineered.

    Here is exactly what I want:
  • I want to get showered and ready to leave the house asap tomorrow morning, but only after we have woken up naturally without an alarm clock. Done and done.

  • I want to get in the car and drive to the lake and park the car in the grocery store parking lot (we live close enough to walk but wait for the next step and it'll make sense).

  • I want to walk around the entire lake, taking where passible the routes off the main path that are closest to the water.

  • When we have finished walking I want to get sandwiches from the deli and eat them on our picnic blanket in the park by the lake. (Hence parking at the grocery store, closer to the deli)

  • Then I would like to go home and have a long nap. After which you will mow the grass in the back yard and I will wash a load of laundry.

  • I would not like to cook dinner this evening.
We compromised on phases 2 and 4 by parking closer to the park and eating lunch at a restuarant with a deck overlooking the lake.

So, we walked 5 miles in the beautiful sunshine, had a lovely meal watching sailboats on the water on a day that sports is on all day. Not bad, eh? I'm a lucky, lucky girl and I come by it honestly.

Football Season Has Begun

And now I am utterly alone. My husband has been watching sports all the ding-dong day and I have been relegated to the office where I've been reading and writing blog shit. Some of the stuff I've been reading is really pretty good and I have found one blog in particular that makes me laugh my silly ass off. I know I could've said LMSAO, but I only just recently learned what that means and I don't like to seem too eager. I also suppose I could've (and should've) spent the day doing useful housewifey things like laundry, floor mopping etc. But reading strangers blogs is much more fun. Besides who am I if I've done all my chores and have nothing to feel guilty about?
If you've got a minute pop in and visit Cooper Green Lying Bastard. Coop is apparently into one of my favorite website sources for goofy 50's and 60's advertising graphics and pictures of people with crazed looks on their faces in front of food. He uses a happy freckled sketti eating face in his blog profile. Nice. Except you can't see the sketti in his picture. The graphic at the top is just for you Cooper Green.

Other favorites I've come across and am only just now deciding to "tag" or so they say in the blog lingo (I'm new here and it pains me to use the word "tag" and I absolutely refuse the use the word b-l-o-g-o-s-p-h-e-r-e):

Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke - this guy hates Marmaduke.
Some Guy's Blog - it's a Northern Michigan thing and he's funny.
And not to leave out the ladies I like this blog because she's a saucy single mom from the midwest - Churlish Figure.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

iPod You Said We Were Through

So here's a little update to the iPod drama. After spending about an hour in a nightmarish link-loop on HP's support site where I click a link about ordering a replacement battery and that link sends me to a page about how to lengthen the life of your battery, and so on blah, blah. I finally googled "replacement iPod battery" and came up with a site that sells exactly and only that. For just a little over $25, including shipping, I got a kit that includes a battery, 3 special tools and elaborate instructions.

I have always wondered how the hell you would change the battery of an iPod because the body of the contraption is completely seamless and there is no little clip or switch or thumb-pad that would make it appear at all possible for it to ever be opened. Needing the battery replaced has always been something that I simply tried not to think about.

The replacement battery kit arrived in the mail on Thursday at about 2pm. I laid it on the dining room table and left it untouched and separated from the rest of the mail which I also placed on the dining room table. I walked by it a few times as I went about my day, eyeing it warily, poking it with a stick. I finally decided suck it up and at least read the instructions at around 6pm.

It seemed harmless, at first. I mean, how hard can it be to change a battery, right? The package contained the battery, of course, and 2 little green Teflon tools, a tiny, tiny screwdriver and the instructions folded tightly on thick, shiny paper. As I unfolded the instructions my first thought was, "Jesus, this is one huge piece of paper, it probably has instructions in 10 languages." My next thought after the unfolding was complete was, "Okaaaay. These instructions are all in English. Shit, man. That's a lot of steps (16 in all). At least there are color pictures."

I stopped abruptly and quickly refolded the instructions and jammed everything back into the package, after reading step #9 which literally says:

"If you are lucky, the battery will come loose with a "snap". If you are not lucky, you may need to use a hair dryer to heat the battery up to get the glue to loosen it's hold. Good luck!"

I'm not kidding about this. Those are real quotation marks around a real quote from step number NINE of SIXTEEN (16!!) steps of instructions on how to change a fucking battery. The end of instruction #9 says Good Fucking Luck!!??!!

Last night after dinner I asked MDH if he would help me with the task of changing the battery. Of course he agreed and we turned on all of the lights in the den and began our journey. Step one, no problem. "Begin by placing your iPod on a soft work surface". Arm of the sofa works just fine.

Step Two is all about using one of the tools to create an opening to get the shell off. "Don't get discouraged", it says. Well, it was discouraging. He and I took turns. One of us holding the little tool, the other trying to twist and gently bend the iPod to create the slightest gap for the the tool to slide into all the while trying to heed Step Two's warning not to slip and cut our hands with the little tool. I was freaking out thinking that we have one chance to get this right or all will be lost. As if we were trying to diffuse a bomb.

After what seemed like an exhausting 30 minutes and turned out to be 2 minutes of working together on Step 2, I was ready to give it up and ordered MDH to stop. He was determined however to carry on without me and refused my direct order. This made me get whiny and start crying. I began to pry the iPod out of MDH's hand like a 4 year old, he pulled it back toward himself until we were in some kind of asinine tug-of-war. This exchange began to freak me out even more.

And then it happened. As we were pulling and tugging I noticed the iPod had changed. "WAIT!!! Stop! Stop! Stop! Let - Go - of - IT. There's the menu!!!"

Somehow my iPod was magically cured and decided to start working again. Somehow the twisting and pulling made it work again. Somehow it needed a chiropractic adjustment. Thank god, because MDH and I would've definitely killed each other before we ever made it to step nine and the hair dryer.

If At First You Don't Succeed

It's safe to say that I've had a pretty weird summer. Jobless, in flux once again over our living arrangements (ie, MDH's job interviews in cities all over the country), and Jess's illness and eventual death pretty much all add up to a miserable season. To top it all off, the underlying theme to my summer has been the slow leak of my self worth. In all the job searching I've been doing all summer there haven't been any call backs.

It's weird not to be working and weirder still to not have a single bite from any employers. I'm fabulous, so surely there is something wrong with every HR department in this city if they can't see it. My cover letters are getting more and more bold and still nobody is noticing. I was talking with my friend Stephanie about this earlier in the week and the only conclusion we could come up with is that they are simply not being read. I've very seriously considered sending out a cover letter in all caps JUST TO SEE IF ANYONE WILL NOTICE ME!!!! Maybe I should just start outright lying and see if that works.

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to let you know of my interest in the Perfect position you have posted on

My background is diverse and includes all of the skills and qualities you have listed in the posting. I have a great deal of experience working with and analyzing data, am an expert level user of most MS Office products including Excel and Access, and am also omniscient which comes in extremely handy for long and short term projects that require multi-tasking.

Most recently I have been working as a Software Trainer and Management Consultant in the veterinary industry. My outgoing personality, solid knowledge of small businesses, computers, and relational databases and the fact that I have the ability to know everything and be everywhere at once have been the key to my success in this position. I have a knack for problem solving, excellent communications skills and a magic cape that enables me to not only fly but also become invisible at will.

Your advertisement piqued my interest as my ideal career path will incorporate my unique combination of analytical skills, people skills and dark magic. In fact I could easily be described as an “outgoing analytic”. I hope, for your sake and for the sake of your children, when you read this along with my resume that you will be interested in talking to me in person about the opportunities you have available and how I can be an asset to your organization. Otherwise the angels will weep for you.
Thank you for your time and attention!
Satan Herself

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #3

Jumbo Univeral Remote
Ahh... This item is designed to make you smile isn't it? I can see where it would solve a lot of dilemmas for some folks - lost remotes, can't see the buttons, shred of dignity left, etc.. It also brings to mind the time that my Grandma Greene picked up the remote control to our TV and tried to call my uncle Dan with it. The channel changed a whole bunch of times and she held the device to her face and kept saying "Dan? Dan?". I treasure that memory and picturing her doing it with this remote makes it even more special.

"Cucumber" Eye Pads

You may as well go all out and put a picture of a hat on your head, dry off with a picture of a towel and eat pictures of food. A jar of 24 of these beauties go for $12.98. A real cucumber goes for about a dollar or less. If you buy these and live within a 100 mile radius of a grocery store you are officially an idiot. Maybe not though, if you paid for them with pictures of money.

Farting Slippers
It's already a good day if I don't fart every time one of my feet hits the pavement. But then again, maybe these slippers could help mask the sound of the real ones. I also must bring to your attention the artful fart-poof graphic photo-shopped into the picture. Don't you love the idea of going for a jog in these things?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Jess Died Today

My mom just called while I was still editing my iPod post. I'm so very sad. We are going to go to Oval beach tonight for sunset to say a few words and have a moment. We took her there when she came to visit us here in Michigan - she had never been to a beach.

My iPod Has A Puss On

I remember seeing a poll in some women's magazine a few years back. It was something like if there were no electricity what would you be the most stressed about living without. iPods came in a very close second to the Internet followed by cell phones. Refrigeration and air conditioning lost out to iPods and cell phones. Hmm. Now that I've written that out it sounds wrong. I mean the article was a long time ago and I could be remembering it incorrectly. It's also possible that I imagined the whole thing. Well real or imaginary poll aside, although I wouldn't choose the internet over refrigeration I might have to do a coin toss for my ipod and all it's nifty accessories.

MDH got me my iPod two birthdays ago. I wasn't exactly thrilled and didn't see how I'd use it. I had a perfectly good CD player in my car and we have a 200 disk CD changer in the den. What would I do with an iPod? In the span of a year I was won over. I even ended up putting a cap on my iTunes account so that I can't spend more than $50 per month on song downloads. Last year for my birthday when he bought me a Bose docking station and new headphones I squealed like a hog and leaped for joy. At first I thought iPods were a total waste of money and disk space. A year later just like the people in the (possibly fictional) poll, I didn't see how I could live without it.

A few weeks after I recieved the iPod, Apple came out with the video model that you can watch movies and tv shows on. This summer they've come out with the iPhone. That's all fine, but I still love my iPod. I'm a loyalist and don't need all those bells and whistles anyway. Too complicated.

Yesterday my iPod stopped working. I took it out of the Bose cradle and listened to it with headphones for 40 minutes while I worked out and it was 100% fine. Then when I put it back in the Bose dock it looked like this:

It's called "sad ipod" and it ain't good. My iPod has a puss on.

I went to Apple's iPod support website and tearfully followed every instruction for every scenerio and nothing was working and finally the auto responder said I should contact my local "genius counter". Apparently that's what they call tech support in the apple store. I made an appointment, although I intensely dislike the term "genius counter". It sets the bar pretty high but I decided to buck up and keep an open mind. You know I'm messed up over this because MDH agreed to go with me and not only does he hate the mall like poison, it's also the first Sunday of the year where pro football is on all day AND the Patriots are playing.

Here's how I pictured it would go:
I arrive and they are waiting for me. A young boy with a curly hipster hairstyle and those big giant earring stumps named Ian or Elliot smiles kindly at me and gently takes my iPod. He installs a new battery and then gently hands the iPod back to me as good as new. He feels bad that I have been upset over something so silly and throws in a new iPod case at no charge. My iPod works fine and MDH and I stop for a steak lunch on our way home. MDH does not complain once about being in the mall.

Here's how it actually went:
Before we left the house MDH complained that all the apple stores seem to be located in malls. We arrived 20 minutes early to the mall and I stopped on our way to the apple store to touch a pair of plaid mary-jane flats on display at a shoe store. MDH started to moan and pitch a fit about being in the mall. I removed my index finger from the shoe and we pressed on. When we arrived at the apple store and I met my "genius" named Elliot, a young boy with curly hipster hair but no earrings or smile of any kind. He would not look me in the eye. When it was my turn he asked me "so, what's up?" like I was there for a casual chat to catch up on good times. I told him about the sad iPod and he said, without looking at me or my iPod, "Oh, that's really bad". Not very reassuring, genius. When I put my iPod on the counter he barely looked up from his computer monitor and said, "thats an HP iPod we don't service those". Tears started to well up in my eyes and I'm not sure what happened after that. I'm fairly certain that MDH took over but didn't get very far. The next thing I knew we were walking to Bar Louie for our steak lunch and he is beating his chest about bad customer service while composing an angry letter to Steve Jobs out loud. Bar Louie doesn't have steak on the menu. I was too upset to leave and go somewhere else. I had a chicken sandwich and an enormous mojito.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Nobody In Their Right Mind Would Need This #2

The Hair Cutting Umbrella
Note the "don't make any sudden moves" look of frozen terror in the eyes of the man wearing this contraption. No doubt he's anticipating the top quality hair style he's about to receive with the giant sewing scissors. It could also be that he's plotting how to bolt from this situation with as few facial lacerations and as little wind resistance as possible. Surely sir there's a barbershop in your town.

Sleep Mask
If I were a model that was asked to be photographed wearing a padded under wire bra on my face I would be smirking too.

Sun Visor
If you're so worried about UV damage that you need a visor of this proportion, maybe you should just stay inside. But since you've taken the visor this far, what better accessory for it than these post cataract surgery sunglasses? Also it appears to be the same "lingerie" model from above - I recognized her smirk.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I've Been Ev-Er-Y-Where Man

My last job was supposed to be 50% travel, which sounds like a lot until I realized that it was turning into more like 60 to 75% travel, which made me want to cry. The crying led to begging my supervisors for some relief. The not getting of any relief resulted in the quitting of the job.

I quit via huffy email on a Sunday morning. I was leaving for the airport for my next job and decided to check my schedule one last time before I packed up my laptop and noticed that they squeezed in more work for me during my vacation. Huffy may be putting in kindly. I told them to fuck right off (politely, of course because that's the nature of passive-aggression).

Now I'm unemployed and have become a bad housewife. I clean some stuff and job search, but am generally bored out of my skull half the time (hence the new blog). Earlier today I had the ipod going while I was putting away groceries and that old Johnny Cash song came up. I hadn't heard it in awhile, but I always felt that it was like my road warrior anthem. I decided to take time out of my busy schedule and look up the lyrics and see just how many of the places in the song I'd actually been to. Turns out, quite a lot.

Here are the lyrics with my own personal touches:

I was totin my pack (laptop case) along the long dusty Winnamucka road (airport terminal)

When along came a semi with a high canvas covered load

If your goin' to Winnamucka, Mack with me you can ride (I said "Winna-whatta? And who're you calling Mack? Get lost ass-face!" and then waited half a fucking hour in the heat/cold/rain for the rental car shuttle)

And so I climbed into the cab (shuttle) and then I settled down inside (more like squeezed in among 70 sweaty strangers)

He (the idiot touristy-guy who must always strike up a conversation with me when I'm squeezed in, irritable and sweaty) asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand

And I said, "Listen! I've traveled every road in this here land! (can't you see I'm exhausted and in no mood to talk?)"

I've been everywhere, man (Yucca Valley, CA)
I've been everywhere, man (Sharon, MA)

Crossed the deserts bare, man (in a rental car with broken air conditioning)

I've breathed the mountain air, man (a 3 hour white-knuckler in the snow at 3000 feet with no guardrails)

Travel I've had my share, man (a bag of 3 mini-pretzels and a thimble of Diet Pepsi)

I've been everywhere (I had to buy tampons at a truck stop)

I've been to:

Reno (and I lost my ass because the hotel was also a casino)
Chicago (can't complain about anything but the traffic)
Fargo (nope - but I've been to Yankton, oh never mind that's South Dakota)
Minnesota (I used to call my husband right outside Larry Clark's men's room in front of the big giant aviator Snoopy)
Buffalo (Buff-a-hole)
Toronto (Yahoo maps for Canada suck)
Sarasota (don't remember)
Tampa (flew there when my friend died, but it still counts)
Bangor (got rerouted from JFK during a thunderstorm and sat on the tarmac for 4 hours)
Baltimore (charm city my ass - put up some fucking street signs)

I've been everywhere, man (in line for the ladies room at O'Hare till I start to cramp and what's with the automatic toilet seat covers that stick to your butt?)

I've been everywhere, man (listening to inane conversations of strangers (to each other and on cell phones) and screaming babies for hours)

Crossed the deserts bare, man (at night when there are no street lights and I half expect Leatherface to jump in front of my car, but the stars are pretty)

I've breathed the mountain air, man (there's no guardrail, don't look down, don't look down)

Travel - I've had my share, man (I can poop pretty much anywhere now)

I've been everywhere (I keep toilet paper in my purse)

I've been to:
Boston (thank god I've never had to drive in that city)
Charleston (lovely, it really is)
Dayton (great Air Force Museum - lousy line for airport security)
Washington (DC - but somehow never the state)
Houston (why would anyone live there? - it's muggy and all the houses look alike)
Texas (County)
Monterey (had a great time can't complain)
Santa Fe
Glen Rock
Black Rock
Little Rock
Tennessee (scrubby landscapes but the people and the BBQ are amazing)
Spirit Lake
Grand Lake (didn't see the lake - too busy working)
Devil's Lake (near my uncle's house)
Crater Lake (have flown over it)

For Pete's Sake I've been everywhere, man (Horseheads, NY)

I've been everywhere, man (ate Subway for every meal because it was the only restaurant for miles and miles)

Crossed the deserts bare, man (Carefree Highway has no speed limit. None.)

I've breathed the mountain air, man (and kissed the ground when I came back down. I'm from the flatland baby)

Travel - I've had my share, man (stayed at a motel in rural Nevada that had no alarm clock, one blanket, one lumpy pillow and no maid service. I cried.)

I've been everywhere (rutted dirt roads that crack your teeth - always wear a support bra in corn country)

I've been to:
Louisville (actually have gone there for fun and would live there in a minute. If you ever go there avoid the damned horse race and eat at Lily's)
Knoxville (have I been here? Maybe it was Memphis...)
Jacksonville (I worked for some great people here)
Costa Rock
Richfield (or was it Richmond??)
Springfield (when I'm there I'm the (WARNING LINK WILL PLAY MUSIC) prettiest girl in town)
Bakersfield (don't remember, but I Know I was there)
Cadallic (it's my halfway point between home and the wilderness of Boyne City)
Fond du Lac
Idaho (had to go there to get to Yankton SD)

See What I Mean (are you still reading this??)

I've been everywhere, man (Newport, OR where I could see whales spouting from my hotel room window)

I've been everywhere, man (Temekula, CA home of (WARNING IF YOU ARE AT WORK - clicking this link will cause music to play!!!)Tori & Dean)
Crossed the deserts bare, man (nearly wrecked when I saw roadkill that looked like an enormous hairy armadillo, but turned out to be something called a javelina)

I've breathed the mountain air, man

Travel - I've had my share, man

I've been everywhere (Ortonville, MI)

I've been to:
Pittsburgh (people there talk funny)
Parkersburg (across the river from beautiful Marietta)
Colorado (involved more white-knuckle driving on some ice - again no guardrails)
Vicksburg (maybe it was Leesburg - it was all civil-warish)
Shasta (I hate you Mount Shasta. Refer to white-knuck moments above)
Nebraska (for about 20 minutes cause you could drive there from Yankton)
Kalamazoo (it's about half an hour from home so I rejoiced when I had jobs there - I could sleep in my own bed - Yeah Kalamazoo!)
Kansas City (thought it would be cool but it wasn't)
Souix City (nothing to report)
Cedar City (had to fly here so I could drive to Yankton)
Dodge City

There's another chorus of I've been blah, blah, blah. You get the picture. Of course I've been to lots more places than that, but none of them are in a song.