Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not Unless Round Is Funny

I'm not feelin' it. I'm just not. Among all of the things that I do feel: fat, grumpy, a spot of soft flowing hair near my ankle that I've missed the last 6 times I've shaved my legs, I don't much feel like writing and I haven't felt very funny. I think I can safely (for the moment) blame it on the presidential campaign.

I've been riveted to the news every night and yet writhing in agony and frequently leave the room screaming or begging MDH to turn off the TV because of all of the ridiculous things I'm seeing and hearing.

My biggest pet peeve in human form at the moment is one Mr. Joe Wurzelbacher, real occupation unknown, who can't seem to keep his stupid trap shut on national TV and probably confirms my perception of what people in other states perception is of my home state of Ohio being filled to the brim with dim-witted mouth breathers. I'm beginning to wonder myself.

Anyhoo... Joe the Buttplug bugs me on several levels and he makes an entire state look bad.

Rant over. But I must say I saw the picture at the top of my post for the first time the other day and it's now my desktop background. It gives me a ripe fit of the giggles every time I look at it. What happened? Was the old man coughing up a hairball or suddenly struck with an urge to grab Obama's ass when he thought no one was looking? Either way, it gives me great joy to look at this photo so I thought maybe there's a chance that you haven't seen it and I would share. I'm a giver, that's me.

I've been so busy hanging on to every sliver of campaign coverage that I forgot to tell you: MDH and I went to Chicago this weekend. Yes we did. We met up with MDH's friend O'Pint, visiting from Ireland and his lovely girlfriend K. I had never met either of them before but have been hearing drinking stories about O'Pint for a very long time. K is a somewhat new and charming development and we find O'Pint to be a very lucky man.

We introduced them to wet Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago style hot dogs with pickles on poppy seed buns, and Old Style beer. Sunday night we took them to Second City and then out for beer (not Old Style) and ribs at the Twin Anchors. I don't even live any where near Chicago and I was showing it off, all proud like I owned the damn place.

MDH and I had some alone time on Saturday afternoon before R and K's flight arrived from Dublin so we hung around at the Art Institute, where we spent a good deal of our time enjoying a leisurely, wine-soaked lunch in the fancy restaurant (as opposed to the food court) and then walked around and for some reason I took a million pictures of chairs.

Here are some of the pictures of our visit - chairs included:

It took me a very long time to figure out the trick to embedding a Flickr slide show into my post - Patience! By the time it was done I found I had gone completely gray and grew a long white beard, so you'd better enjoy the damn thing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Em Face Iss On the Wrong Sill AH Bull

One of my co-workers, Bag O'Mice came up to me recently to personally let me know that he had updated one of the many thousands of SOP documents that we have to use to perform our jobs effectively. The first thing you might have a problem with the way this blog post is going is probably the fact that I used the acronym SOP in the first sentence of it.

Sorry, but that is what they are called. This ain't fiction baby and I don't make this shit up. I didn't understand for a long time what it meant either, but then I'm pretty terrible at acronyms, as I have explained in a previous blog post. Apparently it stands for Standard Operating Procedures, which is the second thing that may cause you to have a problem with this blog post.

Standard Operating Procedures. Ugh - It sounds so stuffy, doesn't it? I would be just as happy to refer to these documents as:

HT-DTS - How To Do This Shit

Anyhoo... the SOP's are constantly changing and being updated and it's not enough to merely change the documents - you have to let the rest of the team know when you've changed something. Usually we do this via email, like any normal person in the 21st century would. But I'm not sure that Bag O'Mice understands such high falutin' technical concepts like attaching documents in emails so he often makes photo copies and then hands them out personally. It's a charming touch, very personable, but I can see through him like used Neutrogena.

He's kind of an old timer and a totally nice guy, but he has to be nice... because the man is about as sharp as a bag of wet mice and niceness and good looks is all he's got going on.
It's amazing to me that someone as noticeably stupid as him has remained gainfully employed for over 20 years with this company, whilst I, on the other hand, and many others like me, have been slavishly clinging to my temporary position for dear life.

Bag O'Mice is so handsome, well mannered and soft spoken that when I first started working there it took me several weeks before I noticed that he is actually mildly retarded. It happened as we were walking back to our cubicles together after a meeting one day and he started to ask me pointed questions about the very same subjects that had just been discussed in some depth only moments before in the meeting.

So he cheerfully lays the updated SOP on my desk and points to the spot that he changed:

Bag O'Mice: There's been a change in country code numbers.

Me: Which ones?

Bag O'Mice: Blah, blah and CROW-AH-TEE-AH.

Me: Crow-Ah-What-Ah?

Bag O'Mice (pointing to word on document): See? CROW-AH-TEE-AH.

Me: You mean Croatia?

After he left I tried to think of all the reasons that a college educated, 50ish guy with a wife and 2 grown children might not have ever heard of Croatia. I know that he owns a TV, more than one in fact, and I assume that he listens to the radio because he always calls me a "Good American" in lieu of saying thank you like a normal person when I do favors for him. Then of course there was that little thing called the Bosnian War that was on the news every night for most of the early and mid 90's, right? Did I dream that?

Also the company has a market there. A small market, but we talk about it ALL THE TIME becaus it's kind of new. I'm postitive that somebody would have had to have said the word "Croatia" out loud to Bag O'Mice at some point during his career with the company, especially around the time that the country code for Croatia changed which is what caused Bag O'Mice to have to change the goddamn SOP.

I guess I am feeling more than a little embittered this week as I spend my evenings and weekends updating my resume and looking for work again while dumbass mother fuckers like Bag O'Mice are hogging the good jobs. I wish he would just retire already so that I could have a chance at career complacency and dumbassed-ness too.

Seriously, Bag O'Mice should be collecting disability.

Tell me in the comments about your dumbass co-workers please.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monkey Shines

We've moved back into our house after 5 days of self imposed home improvement project banishment. They said the fumes from the polyurethane were pretty noxious and would make the house unlivable. It's had more than a day to blow off and I'm finding that it kind of smells like a combination of burnt plastic and Elmer's glue with just a hint of bongwater.

Staying in the hotel was cool while it lasted, kind of like business as usual during the day, but being on vacation in the evening. We ate out for dinner every night and it was quite luxurious to have clean towels every day and someone else to make the bed, although I have a few bones to pick with the Ramada, not the least of which is the unexpected week day closure of the giant indoor water slide that had been prominently featured in all of the hotel's advertising and not a small factor in MDH's decision to stay at the establishment.

Apparently they only get business travelers during the week and apparently business travelers don't care for indoor water slides enough to warrant having a life guard on duty during pool hours. Whatever.

I was more upset about it because MDH had been looking forward to the water slide and was horribly disappointed to find it would be closed for the duration of our stay.

I, on the other hand, am never overly keen to dunk my body into the kind of pool that is geared toward child persons. I get a case of the shivering willies even thinking about all the filthy youngsters too busy flapping around having fun to make their way to the little boys and girls rooms should the need arise. And don't even get me started on those babies that I see in public pools swaddled in enormous diapers, swollen with pool water.

Besides, after my experimentation of late with hair color, I'm not sure what would happen should the chemicals on my head co-mingle with the scary brew that burns my nostrils in a public pool. Perhaps something like this...?

Anyhoo... we're home now and here are some pictures:

The Living Room Before:
The Living Room After:
Turtle's New Cat Bed - I realized that he had no soft place to curl up in the living room anymore...

The best thing that happened to me all week? Finding the most adorable slippers EVER in which to pad around on my new floors ...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The News Round Up

Hey all... I'm back. Sort of.

I'll be leaving again shortly as MDH and I pack up for a week long stay in a hotel starting Monday when the people we hired to refinish our hardwood floors begin to do so.

They told us that it will take 4 days and after they are finished we won't be able to walk on the floors in shoes or move the furniture back where it belongs for another week after that. That may seem like a long time to have things scattered all over the place, but because it's been this way for so long already, I've become accustomed to living in a pig sty. So whatever dude.

Actually, I've never been more excited to stay at a hotel in my entire life. It's just the crappy Ramada down the street, but it will be a week of living like a semi-normal person again. I won't have to turn sideways to walk through my kitchen and I already know exactly where the phone book will be (in the nightstand drawer).

The floor people were able to schedule the work in just the nick of time. I've gotten so used to living in this mess that one more day of it and I would have begun wearing nothing but mumus and eating all my food straight out of the can.

In the comments of this post, which contains the majority of my bitching, somebody made the clever suggestion that we move everything back to it's proper place until time came closer to the actual date when the work was to be done. Yes. Thanks for that. Marvelous idea. I hear you. It makes perfect sense and would probably have been a fine thing for us to do if we were not the two laziest people on planet earth and possibly galaxies beyond.

Anyhoo... now there is an end in sight.

Meanwhile I realized that not only have I been neglecting my blog I've also left it hanging with a couple of untidy loose ends that I intend to take care of in this post.

Like first of all:

Whatever happened between Gaydar and Jogger? Remember that whole thing with the old man with the crush on the young girl and the mysterious packet of Oreo cookies? Well I swear on a stack of chocolate cream filled cookies that the very next day after I wrote that post - what should I see displayed prominently on my very own desk when I got to work? Yes. A mysterious packet of Oreo cookies.

Anyway... here's what happened... Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was weird and I half wondered if Gaydar hadn't read my blog post where I all but called him a dirty old man because his annoying harassment of Jogger seemed to end right after I wrote it.

Jogger and I still don't know who gave us the cookies.

and loose end number 2:

The Case of the Olive Garden Charges
In this post I wrote a few months ago about a mysterious charge I noticed on our family credit card statement to the Olive Garden to the sum of $52.83 and the arguments and accusations of bad taste that ensued between me and MDH. A week or so later I called my mother who thanked me for the Olive Garden gift card I had sent to them for their anniversary. What a relief! Neither of us remembered having eaten at the Olive Garden because neither of has had.

And now a numbered list of random bullshit:

1. I dyed my hair back to my "natural color". At least I think it's my natural color. Over the years my blond highlight just kept getting lighter and lighter and my hair was starting to look fried. It's brownish now and very shiny again.

2. MDH does not like my new old hair color. He said he finds it "jarring". Too bad mutha fucka.

3. I drove around the block and wrote down the address of the house where the dog lives that barks all goddamn night and keeps me awake. I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, probably call the police the next time it happens. I have also toyed with the idea of finding out the phone number of the house too and then calling these assholes at 2am when they let their dog bark and howl for hours on end.

4. I have become addicted to the new HBO series True Blood. I know, I know. Vampires. But trust me, it's really good.

5. I have also become addicted to the MTV show called Exiled where the little spoiled rotten assholes previously featured on My Super Sweet 16 are hauled off like criminals in the night, made to live among families in third world countries and forced to perform chores such as making huts out of cow poop and sleep on dirt floors. It's wonderful. A feel good festival of grins and evil giggling.

6. Mr. Boo got me last week. I vowed that I would never let this happen, but it did and I am ashamed. You see, I was deep in conversation with my back to the cubicle aisle way and the asshat snuck up behind me and burst a handful of bubble wrap in my ear. I won't go into detail about what happened or what I said to him afterward, but suffice it to say that he limped away from the experience holding onto his ball sack for dear life and has still not been able to look me in the eye nearly a week later. I have no fear that he'll ever sneak up and scare me again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can't Get There from Here

Our local whoever is in charge of fixing the roads seems to have had some kind of planning, scheduling or logistical foul up because every goddamn road we normally use to get anywhere has been closed and there are detours.

Lots and lots of detours.

It's maddening.

If you would like to travel on Highway A under normal circumstances you would turn right at the end our our street drive about half a mile and voila! Highway A.

If you would like to travel on Route B simply make a left turn at the end our our street drive about 3 miles and.... Ahhhh... Route B.

One of the reasons we chose this particular neighborhood was the lovely combination of quiet sleepiness and close proximity to multiple highways. But for the last month there is so much road construction around our neighborhood that I cannot go more than 4 blocks in either direction at the end our our street without encountering a detour of some kind. We have been completely boxed in.

I was nearly destroyed earlier this week when after establishing a new pattern, however convoluted of using the detours to find my way to and from work every day I discovered that one of the detours I have been using now has it's own detour. Did I mention something earlier about madness?

In spite of all the detours, construction and extra traffic my commute to work in the morning is only taking about 5 extra minutes, but for reasons that are very difficult to explain to people who don't live in Michigan or states that discourage left turns, the time it takes me to drive home in the evening has doubled.

I have lost that certain 5pm spring in my step and eagerness to go home. Why bother, I think, I'm just going to sit seething in traffic anyway.

Actually, lately I've noticed I'm seething less. Not that the other driver's aren't every bit as irritating to me as they usually are, but the road rage has given way to a sort of secret encouragement and I have turned into a detour traffic coach, unbeknownst to my fellow de-tourists and I find myself saying things like:

That's it Green Ford Focus, focus!

OK beat-up Corolla, I'm counting on you. Turn! Turn! Turn! Aw damn! Why did you stop in the middle of your turn? Next time. You'll get it next time.

C'mon Buick! Let's go. Show me that Charlie Hustle!

Anyhoo... I'm glad to be home.