Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brace Yourself - I Hate Birds

This morning there was this bird guy on the radio who was the son of some other guy who wrote some big damn important nature book and also himself happens to be some big damn important guy in the bird watching world.


Whatever. It was fine as background noise until they started playing clips of bird songs. The bird guy had a big high hard one for bird songs.

I don't care for birds, or much else having to do with nature, but I was willing to keep it going for awhile longer merely because I was busy and didn't feel like figuring out what the hell else to listen to.

Anyhoo... at one point the radio host introduced the next bird song clip and the crazy bird guy broke in excitedly and began to describe the subtle and brilliant nuances of the upcoming bird song.

The bird guy just knew that this was going to be the best fucking noise that anyone in the entire known universe and possibly even galaxies beyond our own have ever heard - so he prefaced the bird song clip by saying, "Brace yourself".

Yes. He said brace yourself.

And sweet jeezus didn't I prepare to have my mind blown? And wasn't I glad I braced myself for the clip he played - of a fucking Cardinal.

It was a fucking Cardinal. A Northern Cardinal, to be specific. I could scare away about 7 of them this very second if I stepped into my back yard. In other words, who gives a shit?

While the words brace yourselves used in preparation for the recorded sounds of a creature I hear every day did sort of make me laugh for a brief moment, it also caused me to tear off my headphones and take a moment to consider my own less than savory encounters with other commonly known bird species:

The Crumb Crested Fry Pecker
Natural Habitat: Outdoor cafes and open air restaurants, the occasional movie theater or mall.

Diet: Whatever can be scrounged from what you've dropped on the ground or sneaked off from your plate while you are not looking.

The Car Shitting Fuck Knuckle
Natural Habitat: Suspended above freshly washed cars for several hours at a stretch.

Diet: Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, poppy seeds, pine tar, Elmer's glue.

The Rat Fucking Squatter
Natural Habitat - Dryer vents.

Diet - I don't know - but whatever they are shitting into the dryer vent makes the house smell like the gibbon cage at the zoo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stop It

Estee Lauder Introduces Worlds First Vibrating Wand Mascara

Sometimes there is a reason why nobody has ever come up with an idea for something before and the reason is that it is a very, very stupid idea.

Click to enlarge the stupidness.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thinly Veiled Smarm

Some time back I posted about the guy I used to think was gay until he visited my cube and confessed a keen romantic interest in my young female co-worker friend, we'll call her Jogger.

At the time I was in shock because of two things -
1.) His interest in a female, and

2.) The fact that he proceeded to dish some ripe-juicy office gossip, not the least of which was that he is divorced from one of my other co-workers - the one that was 9 months pregnant, also a female (now on maternity leave - she's remarried and it's not his) AND that he used to date one of the other temps - yet another female.

It was too much information to digest in one sitting and now I am unsure what advice I gave him about young Jogger. I'm pretty sure that I told him that she was currently available, but also that in my humble opinion, because I know her fairly well, that she was recently broken up and recovering from a serious, long-term relationship. Oh yes, and also that I thought she was way too young for him.

He is 37 and she is 23.

I was gracious about it, of course. Regardless though, I KNOW I said nothing that might encourage him to think that she may be interested.

I certainly never said "Why don't you hang around her cubicle, bug her all day and stare at her inappropriately? Young chicks really dig that."

His confession occurred on a Friday, so obviously the very next Monday I told Jogger all about it. Her response was "Ew!" Accompanied by a squinched up, disgusted facial expression. Suffice it to say, she's not interested.

Over the course of the past several weeks Jogger has gotten back together with her boyfriend. Also, to my delight she has been added to our team of data mining enthusiasts and so changed cubicles in order to be closer to us. Now she sits at the cubicle adjacent from mine and Hey Mr. DJ's. It's nice to have her near by and we've been working very closely together. I like her a lot.

In the olden days I used to see Gaydar every so often in the break room or while standing around waiting my turn at the printer, but now he seems to have decided to make a nuisance of himself and find a million reasons a day to come by, talking and laughing at top volume to any number of other people whose cubes are conveniently located near her, and in particular Hey Mr DJ who is seated right across from poor Jogger.

He's all business for the first few minutes and then eventually he breaks into jokey banter and frequent references to his motorcycle, bars he goes to or other personal matters that I'm guessing he thinks make him sound young, hip, masculine and sexually appealing to 23 year old temps who are barely out of college.

The man is out of control.

I can only wonder at what Hey Mr. DJ thinks of all the attention he's garnering from Gaydar these days.

Gaydar is not an unattractive man. In fact he's kind of cute and seemingly very nice. But he is driving poor Jogger insane.

Occasionally he'll turn around from bugging Hey Mr. DJ and try to include Jogger in their conversation, or he'll stop by and ask her inane questions about the project she is working on.

Oh, and how about this? He typed up a "guide book" for her to use on a project she's working on with him. It seemed like a nice gesture except that the special treatment only ended up embarrassing Jogger and irritating the crap out of all the other temps who are also working on the same project and received no such "guide book". Smooth.

This morning she came in to find a mysterious packet of Oreo cookies on her desk. No note. And no one fessing up to leaving them for her. Smooth. I of course told her that they were probably from Gaydar and excessively dosed with Ruffies. Then I laughed myself silly because I am at heart very mean spirited and find the whole situation quite humorous.

Anyhoo... I'm wondering how much longer this can go on? Why is he fucking around? For gods sake man ask her out! Let her say NO, disappoint you and get this shit over with.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nature Will Never Get Old

Happy 40th birthday to Nature Boy! Please raise a glass, even if it is just orange juice, in the honor of a man who is, in addition to being lucky enough to be my friend, a teacher, a talented artist,

The piece on the right is one of Nature Boy's discards that I dug out of the trash when we were roommates. The stamped raku piece on the left MDH paid full price for at one of Nature Boy's gallery shows and gave it to me for my birthday. I treasure them both.

had the good sense to marry the fabulous Frenchie, I couldn't find a picture of the two of them together, so here is a picture of Frenchie doing what she does best.

and father to boy genius, Jimmy Neutron.

I had to include this picture too because of the matching swim wear.

I have claimed for years that Nature Boy is hands down the best roommate I ever had. The guy was tidy, never borrowed my towels and has one of the best laughs you'd ever hope to hear. It's infectious. Seriously it's one of those laughs that when you hear it you have to find out what's the fuck is so funny and even if you never find out you'll start laughing anyway.

Also, Nature Boy can rock a pair of overalls like nobody's business. He doesn't look like Junior Samples at all.

Happy Birthday Nature Boy - you are loved.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Quick List of CrabbyLove

I've been such a crab apple lately. Quick tempered. Ugly mood swings. Just generally unpleasant to live with. Even the cat doesn't want to be around me anymore except when I fill his food dish. Ungrateful bastard.

See what I mean? I'm foul.

Anyhoo... I started trying to think of things that I love so that maybe I can start to snap out of this horrible queen of the harpies phase that I seem to be going through right now. So I'm taking a deep breath and in no particular order here goes -


1. Mashed potatoes - and keep the gravy away or I will stick a fork in your eye. Gravy sucks.

2. Having 10 items in my basket and no one else in line at the 10 Items or Less check out line. It'd be heaven if I had cash with correct change.

3. Finding out yesterday on NPR that those stupid detox foot pads are a big hoax - just like I knew they were. Oh yeah. This reporter put them on her feet before she went to bed and when she woke up the next morning said they were disgusting, gooey and gray, but she took them to some lab at UC Berkley where they compared the amount of minerals the company who makes the pads claim they remove from your system in an unused pad to the gray gooey one she had used and found no difference. HA. Then to explain the gray gooey part she took a clean one and held it over a steaming tea pot full of hot water and guess what? It turned gray - that's what. I knew it was bullshit and I love being right. You can listen to the story here.

4. My haircut. I hated it when I came home from the salon, but it's grown on me, so to speak and now I love it. On a less lovey note though, I have noticed that no matter what hair style I come home with, when I style it myself I do it exactly the same as I always have done. No wonder it never looks like it does when my stylist does it. I always ask for something modern and updated, which she does beautifully, but my hands and arms are in some kind of style time warp and still treating my head like it's 1993.

5. Discovering the other day that Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor did another motorcycle around the world series called Long Way Down. Fuck Ewan McGregor, he's OK I guess, but I'm all weak in the knees for Charley. I know it's strange and there is no accounting for taste, but I have this weird thing for Charley Boorman ever since I saw him half naked in The Emerald Forest, and think he is just about the sexiest man alive. Yeah. Well I did until I watched episode three in which while camping in Italy, he laid down on the ground with his knees in the air, held a Zippo to his ass, lit a fart and laughed like a hyena. I still love him any way. Maybe more now.

6. Marlboro Ultra Lights in a box. Don't worry. I'm not smoking again. Much. No really. I'm not - I'm just thinking about it a lot lately and choosing to over eat instead.

7. Clean sheets.

8. Dental floss.

That's it. I've been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to come up with 9 and 10 and I just can't do it. Why don't you tell me what YOU love... Make it good.

Love, Lady

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm so blah-some...

Hello stranger. I've taken a very long hiatus from my blog and still after all this time am wondering if anything I have to say here is relevant or worthwhile.

Is my slump showing?

Anyhoo... I decided that my putting out a crappy, wet blanket of a blog post might make me feel better than not blogging at all.

So here's what you get - a list of numbered points of the recent events, observations and general nuttiness that have been consuming my time lately. I realize that it's not much of a list as there are only 2 things on it. Get off my back.

1. Olive Garden Sucks - We're Snobs, Get Over It
Last week I decided to give our credit card statement more than a sweeping glance and discovered a strange charge of $52.83, or some similarly obscure amount, to the Olive Garden.

As a rule, and as a family of not just a little Italian persuasion, we tend to loathe the Olive Garden and many other ethnic-ky chain restaurants on principle. I knew that I sure as fuck hadn't eaten there, and so had no choice but to assume it was MDH. It had to be him.

Surely he had lost a bet or been roped into eating at Olive Garden on his business trip by some senior manager with horrific bad taste. I ran to the den to begin teasing and berating him immediately for dining at such a sub-par establishment when there are home made Italian delicacies to be had almost daily in our own home, made with love, by me.

Well, it backfired because he vehemently denied having eaten at the Olive Garden and not only that but said he had assumed it was me who ate at the Olive Garden. He thought it was an odd, out of character choice for me to make, but was relatively unconcerned.

We were each mutually insulted at the others assumption of our bad taste and spent a great deal of our time last week obsessing and arguing about this errant charge on our credit card. It wasn't me. It wasn't him. What the fuck?

There was much drama. Should we call the credit card company and have the charges investigated? After much discussion we decided it wasn't a large enough amount to worry about but that we would carefully monitor next months statement for any errant charges to such places as TGI Fridays, Appleby's or Don Pablo's.

2. Mr. Boo Can't Touch This

I have posted once before about the annoying little man at my office who has worked there forever and likes to go around startling innocent people while they are quietly working. I call him Mr. Boo and I didn't have much interaction with him before so wasn't a target of his insulting and unprofessional scare tactics - but I am now.

We are working on a project team together and sadly I am on his radar now. He knows who I am and he walks by my cube and tries to scare me on a daily basis. But I am unflappable. He never scares me and I can tell that it is frustrating the hell out of him.

Mr Boo (tiptoeing just out of my sightline - then suddenly leaps into view): BOOOOH!!!!!

Me (barely looking up, calm as a fucking ninja): Oh hey Mr. Boo. What's up?

Mr. Boo: Nothing. Just wanted to give those specs you asked for. (Walks away dejected.)

I had hoped that by flatly ignoring him, eventually he would get bored and leave me alone, but unfortunately I think he may be looking upon my smooth, un-scare-ability as a challenge. I was all smug about it until late this afternoon when he flung a pinata shaped like steer over the wall of my cube and tried to hit me in the back of the head with it while making loud moo-ing noises. It was on this fishing pole kind of thingy so he took a couple of swings.

I could see it coming at me in the reflection of my monitor and he missed anyway. What an asshole.

Mr. Boo will never get me. Never. But I am starting to be a bit frightened that he will never stop trying and it's gotten very old already.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Troll

I abandoned my cubicle life today and have the day off to take care of some "personal business". That's what I called it in the email request I sent to my boss early last Monday morning. I apologized for giving such short notice and then crossed my fingers, hit send and waited for his reply.

All fucking ding-dong day.

Usually, wherever he happens to be, my current boss responds right away to anything I send him, whether it be a time-off request or reporting some kind of project issue or new idea. He's good that way.

How novel. An attentive boss that actually listens to me and pays attention to my needs. In previous time off requests he has said things like "Sure! Take as much time as you need. I appreciate all your hard work here".

hat was taking him so long this time? I waited for his reply, squirming with discomfort and as the day wore on, wondering if I should write him back and call the whole thing off. He normally responds so quickly. What if something is wrong? What if he is putting it off because he has to tell me no? What if, what if, what if...

The next day he stopped by my cube and apologized for not getting back to me right away and said of course I could have the day off and then thanked me again for all my hard work.


I felt bad for silently cursing him (and myself) all day while I was waiting.

He's a good boss. And thanks to hideous, bastardly evil bosses I've had in the past, I'm apparently not able to trust or appreciate such kindness and understanding.

I am thinking in particular of the boss I had when I was still in school and working at my first official IT job, the guy would wait for weeks to reply to my time-off requests, even though he was in the next office and we saw each other daily. He even did this when I requested time off 9 months in advance for my wedding. We called him The Troll.

The Troll was a balding, pudgy, 50ish man, who wore his pants belted tight and high around his wide, gelatinous gut. He had big, mushy lips that looked as though someone had pasted two snails on his mouth and steely blue eyes perched closely atop a smushed, yet slightly turned up Hogarth-equese nose. Imagine if you will, that Tweedle-Dum and Jabba the Hut had a baby.

The Troll enjoyed intimidating people with his mental catalog of meaningless IT acronyms.

The Troll often made up his own acronyms, refused to tell us what they meant and would chuckle with glee when we guessed them wrong.

The Troll found it hilarious to schedule network hogging back-ups, system slowing updates and upgrades during his days off or his lunch hours.

The Troll thought it was amusing to make changes to the system or software upgrades without warning anyone. "See if anyone notices a difference", he'd snort. Thus causing my co-worker and I to spend our entire day fielding annoying, "my computer is really slow today" support calls that might have been completely unnecessary had he sent out an email or given anyone, including us, a clue.

The Troll was once overheard boasting to other department heads that he used a management style to keep us on our toes that he liked to refer to as "management by embarrassment".

I've never been one to judge a person based on looks, but when I first met him at my job interview I distinctly remember mentally wincing at the sight of his wide, waddling form coming toward me in the reception area. Oh you poor sad thing, I thought as he reached out to greet me with a handshake and the snails lifted their tails in a gruesome attempt at a smile.

He was a bit gruff and intimidating in the interview, but alas that is the nature of many an IT slug/computer nerd. They are not exactly what you would call People-Persons, so I gave The Troll the benefit of the doubt. But the more he talked, the less I liked this man.

I wasn't completely sold on taking the job until The Troll called in the other person on the team to complete the interview. She was the one I would primarily be working with. I liked her on sight. She was terrific, funny, smart and personable (and I think it goes without saying, much easier on the eyes). Unlike the troll, she had a face that was very expressive, all eyebrow arching, smirks, winks and smiles. We hit it off instantly and I knew that if she worked for this train-wreck of a man that it must be all right. I'll call her Sunny.

On my very first day of work it happened that Sunny was busy working on a project on the other side of the building, so The Troll briskly showed me around and then gave me a task that I was to complete by noon. Basically I had to take apart a desktop computer, replace the power supply and reformat the hard drive.

I bet you didn't know that I could do that.

Neither did I.

Although officially I had never done this professionally (that's why I was here, to get some experience), I had just aced a class on small systems hardware and I knew what and where everything was. No problem-o.

Or so I thought.

The power supply went in OK, but then when I tried to reformat the hard drive something was drastically wrong and I kept getting an error. And it's not like I was getting the error right away either. I waited and waited as bright text whizzed by on a black screen and then thump - error. This never happened in my class.

The time was ticking away and periodically The Troll would come in to check on my progress. When I told him about the error he came unhinged, got all red faced and blotchy and started yelling at me.

What kind of error?!

The blah-blah kind.

WHAT is your problem?

I don't know. I've never seen this error before.

I thought you said you could handle this job. If you can't do this simple thing then you may as well go home right now.

I started to cry. I'd had some asshole bosses before, but nobody had ever yelled at me like this. I was frozen, mortified.

And then Sunny came in.

The Troll then barked at Sunny, "see if you can fix her mess. Now!", and then he waddled out of the room in a blotchy red huff.

I explained the situation in a raspy whisper to Sunny who said it was no big deal and that she'd seen this error before on some of the other older machines and miraculously whipped out a new thingy-ma-bob that we installed together. Fixed.

Sunny was very reassuring. She said there was no way I would've fixed it on my own in the amount of time The Troll had given me to do the job, and that she too was flummoxed the first time it happened to her. She had spent hours back and forth on the phone with the computer company's hardware support to solve the problem and had ordered extra parts knowing that it was likely to happen again to the other machines. She said if she had known that he was going to make work on that kind of machine she would've warned me.

Speaking of warnings... when I asked her about The Troll's atrocious behavior and whether or not he was like that all the time she said, "I tried to warn you in your interview, didn't you notice me making all those faces?" I hadn't taken the hint. Then she said that if The Troll hadn't been in the room the whole time she would have told me to run away screaming and never look back and that she had been looking for a new job for several months.

I moved on eventually, but the scars remain.